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 2019
This was the third season for Somerset over 70’s team in the ‘Friendly Cricket League’ (FCL) and by far the most successful.
In summary we had a significantly improved squad, with a couple of good recruits from last year’s Over 60’s team, but we also suffered with long term injuries or illness to several key players. However, even though we never fielded the same team two weeks running, we finished second in the league, behind Devon, who didn’t lose a match all season.
We did the double over Wales, Worcestershire and Warwickshire but lost to both Devon and Wiltshire twice, although one of the Wiltshire results was simply ridiculous, as we lost a game where we needed less runs than we had wickets in hand and were all out one short!
We started the season well, with an easy win at home to Worcestershire, bowling them out for 114, which we got in 22 overs. (Steve Chaudoir 39, Nigel Manley 54). Dave Foster and Colin Brunt both bowled very well, sharing 5 wickets.
Away to Wales we also won, batting first and scoring 166-6, with another good opening stand of 90, (Nigel Manley 50, Steve Sheppard 48). Brian Pearson and Geoff Flynn contributed a useful 31 to close our innings. Wales had a good opening stand of 66 but were never up with the scoring rate and ended on 166-8, with Geoff Flynn and Steve Sheppard bowling well. Away vs Wiltshire was the nadir of the season! We did well to limit Wilts to 152 a.o., with Steve Sheppard and Colin Brunt getting 3 wickets each. Chaudoir and Manley again started well with 54 and 23 respectively, but after that, apart from Sheppard’s 25, it was a bit of a disaster, as we collapsed to 151 all out!
Home to Devon followed a more usual trend against them, as they scored 215-7 and we managed 132-6, with Paul Fairman batting well with 45. Home to Wales lifted us as we scored 209-9, (Manley 31, Webster 22, Sheppard 37, Lines 47 Raines 24). Wales were never in the hunt, ending on 147-8, with Sheppard getting 3-12 and Webster 2-29.
In the return match against Wiltshire, we accrued a creditable 182-5, (Martin Betty 31, Sheppard 57, Lines 47). However, Wilts got the runs in 35 overs, despite Brian Pearson’s bowling contribution of 8-1-24-4. Facing Devon again (away) in temperatures reaching 29C resulted in a loss but we didn’t disgrace ourselves, scoring 194-4 (Betty 24, Manley 76 no, Fairman 22, Webster 38 no) in reply to Devon’s 225-4.
Away to Worcestershire, they made a respectable 165-7 in their 40 overs, with the wickets spread fairly evenly between our 5 bowlers. The game also marked Ray Perrin’s first FCL game of the season. We won by 4 wickets in 38.1 overs, with the highlight being the opening partnership of 102 in 125 balls,(Manley 31, Betty 76 ret’d n.o). Our final league games were played as double 20 over matches against Warwickshire. In the first match, Warwickshire batted first and scored 106-8 in 20 overs, (Elkington 4-0-11-3; Sheppard 4-0-28-2). In reply, we scored 108-2 in 17 overs, (Betty 23 and Sheppard 70 no). The next match, we batted first and again Martin Betty (46) and Steve Sheppard (72 no.) scored the bulk of our total of 143-2 in 20 overs. Warwickshire batted very well in reply, falling just 1 run short on 142-3. We also played two friendlies during the season, beating a strong Worcester Fossils team by 4 wickets but losing to Wales who overtook our 139-6 in the 39th over.
Overall, a first successful 70s season in the FCL – finishing second to Devon is no mean achievement and there were some notable individual performances. The team are very grateful to Brian and Amanda, Chalkie and Chris for their invaluable umpiring and scoring work and my thanks to Brian Pearson for taking on the role of my vice-captain – and keeping me sane.
2020 may well see us participate in the National Over 70s competition and with our squad growing in numbers and ability, there is every reason to anticipate further success.
If you would like to know more about Over 70s cricket in Somerset please contact one of the following:
Chairman: Brian Pearson firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Adrian Procter email@example.com
Captain: Roger Lines firstname.lastname@example.org