With the new season upon us, Kilve travelled to Gipsy Lane to take on Taunton A, on what was a typical ‘first game of the season’ Saturday. The clouds loomed overhead and a constant drizzle fell making it entirely possible the game would be called off. Due to the rain thankfully easing off though, and the fantastic facilities at the venue, play was underway only 30 mins late. A miracle really considering the colour of the sky.

After losing the toss, Kilve were put into bat on what proved to be a firm and quick wicket with good carry through to the keeper. Openers Cris Taylor and skipper Stuart Lloyd started well, averaging 5 an over straight away. Carrying on their good form from the previous week, it wasn’t long before Taylor and Lloyd were hitting to all parts of the ground. Taylor looked in great touch, hitting all bowlers for boundaries before falling to a ball that kept low – bowled by Hill for a classy 67. This brought James Payne to the crease, looking to build on his maiden 50 the week before. He started well, playing the shot of the day (according to Taylor) through the covers for 4, and the pair started to pile up the runs – Lloyd playing with typical elegance.

With the score approaching 180 Payne played a somewhat ‘agricultural’ mow to a good ball that deserved a straight bat, and was bowled by Rogers for 21. This brought Glen Manchip to the crease who looked to be in great touch, even managing to run three 2’s in succession without collapsing with exhaustion!

With the innings reduced to 42 overs due to rain, Manchip started to come down the wicket and played some beautiful drives to all bowlers, before being bowled by an inside edge that squirted onto his pad and rolled against the stumps removing a bail. A very unlucky dismissal for Manchip who would surely have seen the rest of the overs out. Carl Clemenson made his way to the middle looking to start his campaign with some runs off the bat, and he certainly did that, flaying the ball through point, gully and straight to add valuable runs to the total.

With Lloyd playing a typically cultured innings, he fell on 74 trying to up the run rate in the final overs. He was swiftly replaced by young Chris James and between him and Clemenson, they added a few more runs to bring Kilve’s total to a very compelling 225 considering the conditions.

To say Kilve’s bowlers started well is an understatement. With both Clemenson and Penwell finding great line and length from the off, it wasn’t long before the openers were back in the hutch, with Manley being caught by an unbelieveable pouch from Manchip off Clemenson for 4, and Odey trapped in front without scoring. Penwell bowled an immaculate next over, accounting for Shaikh who feathered a delivery to the keeper Payne for a duck.

Clemenson struck next, with Lewis being bowled for 2 after showing some very powerful strokes. Fortunately for Kilve all his shots went to the fielders.

Batsman Rogers then called ‘two’ to a ball that the batsman was never going to make, and was run out easily by keeper Payne after all the hard work was done by Pete Stone in the field. His superb chase and throw making it regulation for the keeper.

Penwell got the next two wickets with some superbly controlled swing bowling, trapping Comber leg before, and bowling Dare with one through the gate for 4.

The next two batsman for the home team stuck around for a while, and young Hoffmeister (great name!) played some beautiful shots around the ground before being bowled for 9 by one that nipped back from Chris James. It wasn’t long before James had another one in the bag accounting for Hill with Pete Stone taking a solid catch at point.

Quinton Button came on at the other end making it two left armers bowling in tandem, and it wasn’t long before he wrapped things up with a deserved wicket. Howell was the unfortunate batsman, playing on for 18 – the only Taunton batsman to reach double figures in their total of 60.

It was a very good performance all round for Kilve – with every single player putting in a solid performance, and a well earned start to the season with maximum points!