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Over 70s

Somerset Over 70s provides the opportunity for those who, having possibly progressed through other ‘Senior Sides’ or who are looking to re-engage with cricket in their ‘advanced years’, can join with others in an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, and keep body and mind in better shape.

Somerset Over 70’s Captain’s Review of 2018

The Somerset 70+ team plays in the ‘Friendly Cricket League’ (FCL) which consists of Devon, Somerset, Wales, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire; each team plays 40 over matches home and away. The FCL allows players to be over 67.

On paper our 2018 FCL season would look to have been a poor one, with just one win, a tie and the rest defeats, although several the matches were very close. Despite the results, it was a enjoyable for all those who played, if very frustrating at times!

We started off poorly, with the usual early season difficulties in raising a team. A pre-season  friendly against Wales at Newport, somewhat heralded the problem of our failing to score enough runs (109ao) and we lost by 5 wickets. In the first FCL match Somerset only managed 129-5 in 40 overs, chasing Warwickshire’s total of 169-3. The following week, Devon scored 240-2 and Somerset only managed 129 all out.

Our only win came away to Worcester, where we scored a more competitive 160-5, with Lines, Lunn, Webster and Foster scoring the bulk of the runs, backed up by very tight bowling from Foster and Pearson which restricted Worcester to 151-4. After that, normal service resumed, albeit with some very close games, some of which we could have won: against Warwickshire away, we lost off the last ball and the following week this happened again when Wiltshire beat us off the last ball, chasing a score of 190 at Goatacre!

This match saw the debuts of Steve Sheppard and Alan Elkington, with Steve opening his account with 54 not out batting at seven. Alan took 3-24 and Steve 2-37, so an excellent start for both players. At Devon the following week we also scored 190-2, with Rick Hutchinson (as a 70s YTS) and Alan Webster both scoring half centuries, but Devon beat us with 1 over to spare; Steve Edwards also played his first game and proved another asset going forward.

At Frome the following week (where, due to the drought, the outfield was so cracked it looked more like trenches had been dug), we thought we had a winning total against Wilts, with 222-8, with Alan Sheppard scoring 105n.o. However, we hadn’t reckoned with Wiltshire’s Tim Lerwill, who scored 146n.o. off 101 balls and we lost with 5 overs to spare! We then lost to Wales twice, both with poor batting displays and tied with Worcester and finally, in a post-season friendly, beat Worcester Fossils.

We could and perhaps should have won three or four more games, so there is good reason to be optimistic for the 2019 season. In the second half of the 2018 season, several counties said that we had the best bowling attack in the FCL and this will only get better next year, with Dave Foster returning after knee surgery to join Pearson, Elkington, Sheppard and Edwards in an impressive bowling line-up, supported by some good spinners such as Brunt and Headford.

However, we will be looking to improve or strengthen our batting for 2019. With other counties not having any bowlers other than slow (or very slow!), our batsmen will need to learn and have the confidence to be more aggressive against this type of attack.  We certainly improve our prospects with more players building innings into the 30s, 40s and 50s so that the team is able to post scores upwards of 150. We have proved we can do it (particularly in pre-season nets!), but we will need to be more consistent in 2019.

If you would like to know more about Over 70s cricket in Somerset please contact one of the following:

Chairman:                 Brian Pearson          brian@vividclouds.com

Secretary:                 Adrian Procter           trudenade@hotmail.com

Captain:                     Roger Lines              rhlines@btinternet.com