Third-placed Kilve 2nd’s travelled to second-placed Taunton Deane Crusaders on 7th August for this top of the table clash, with stand-in skipper Nick Hancock winning the crucial toss and electing to field.
The young pace attack were a bit wayward with the swinging ball, so the home team got off to a flyer, however the introduction of Will Munro (3-16) and Dr. Dan Sefton stemmed the flow of runs dramatically.
Wickets fell steadily until a partnership between G. Wilson (45) and W. Mellor (23) threatened to take the game away from Kilve again until the guile of old pro Ian Head soon put a stop to that! He bowled a mixture of slow, slower, and very slow balls to deceive the home team and take 4-27 off 9 tidy overs, with the Crusaders reaching 160-9 from their alloted overs.
Kilve had a terrible start to their reply, quickly losing the run-machines of Jay Darrell (4) and Will Munro (19), followed almost immediately by skipper Hancock (Out to possibly the best caught and bowled ever seen in the history of the game! Well maybe a slight exaggeration!! ), leaving his team on 35-3 (John Dunn the home bowler doing all the damage ).
However, opener Dr. Dan was joined by young whippersnapper Mark Girling, and the two began the steady climb towards their target.
Runs were accumulated slowly initially, but the tempo increased once 25 overs had been reached to leave 90 runs required from the final 20 overs…game on!
Girling was particularly impressive, with his off driving helping to swing the game back in Kilve’s favour until a dubious LBW decision (That man Hancock again!) meant a break in the partnership as the Dr. left the fray for a controlled 28 (With the score sitting on 115-4), and that sparked a mini collapse as the middle order came and went in typical Kilve fashion.
Girling reached his impressive maiden 50, and whilst he was there, Kilve were still cruising. However a rush of blood to the head saw him dance down the wicket and he was stumped for an excellent 61 off the bowling of spinner J. Langston (3-26 ) leaving the score on 148-8. Gulp!
Chris Blazey (11no) was joined by the evergreen and ever dependant (But partially sighted!) Martin Tully (9no), and these two took Kilve to their victory target with one over to spare, thanks to a mixture of swift running and meaty blows. The result was never going to be in doubt though, with Kilve able to call on the expertise and confidence of Simon Crockett at 11 if necessary?!!
With 3 games to go, and an outside sniff of promotion it’s nail biting stuff. Come on boys !!