It was a disappointing season for the first team being relegated from the WEPL after finishing level on points with Chew Magna, a team we failed to beat even though we bowled them out for 88 runs, we managed to lose by 24 runs. Despite winning 6 games this season it was not enough for us to stay up, victories against the champions MSN, Brislington & Bristol were all real highlights of the season.
Looking back, I would say our season was a real mixed bag, rather like Will Penny’s availability as Vice Captain. Our first win of the season came against MSN at home with James King scoring 89* to set an unassailable first innings score to win by 99 runs. Still, there’s always next season to score your maiden league ton James!
Our next win came against Bristol where we won by 5 runs in the last over, no thanks to Matt Tavare, who almost handed victory to Bristol quite literally when he we were given a 5 run penalty for Matt accidently throwing the ball at his own glove which he had thrown off to allow him to quickly field the ball and shy at the stumps.
Our 1st XI had the pleasure of being guests to Bristol Pakistanis where James King was the victim of serious theft from the changing rooms. Yes, Oakley sunglasses, one cigarette and a whole pack of Cadburys Curly Whirlies. This was also Fin Yates’ debut where he took 3 catches behind the stumps and guided us to victory with 1 not out alongside victim James King.
Our T20 cup run was successful compared to previous years where we made it through to the quarter final against Stapleton after beating Thornbury in Prem 2 by 16 runs. We also had the pleasure of playing Timsbury, once again in the pouring rain and once again prevailing as victors. Thanks to Ash Joiner for and father Ian for building the BBQ and cooking some delicious post match grub throughout the season.
The less said about Brislington the better as they have never been the most gentlemanly in their play and after a distasteful end to an abandoned match at their ground it was all the more pleasing to beat them by 6 wickets bowling them out for 130 at Fortress Failand. Clean bowling 4 of their batsmen all off stump was a personal highlight of the season for me and in turn securing the Brislington rag in all its glory. Perhaps we should burn it and stick the ashes in an urn and play for them every other year!
Similarly to Fin Yates, Oli Meadows made his debut this season and demonstrated courage and tenacity out in the middle, something that the 1st XI lacked when batting. I am confident Oli & Fin will go on to play a huge part in our first team for many years to come.
It would be impossible to go through a season without Rupert Swetman stepping into the lime light, and he did just that when he caught a Bath player on the boundary with an acrobatic catch that Jonty Rhodes would have been proud of. Our final game of the season finished with a victory secured by Lisle Durrans with his first ton for the club saving his best innings till last showing everyone what a talented, yet frail cricketer he is.
James King wrapped up the season with 397 league runs at 33. I finished with 32 league wickets at 18 and Gareth Griffiths & Tom Barrington with 20 and 19 @ 18 and 20 respectively. Special thanks this year must go to Rhiannon, Rossco & Peter for their sterling efforts scoring & once again to Nick and Lisa who have done a fantastic job in providing a delicious variety of teas, voted best in the West by players, supporters and umpires from the region. Last but least to Alex Harris, Steve Jacobs and Will Penny for all the rolling, watering and grounds keeping over the year, our playing surface has drastically improved and this has been due to your hard work. Thank you from us all. Next year the team’s goal must be to win the league and return to the WEPL, here’s to an enjoyable and successful 2018.