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2020 Captain’s Report

For obvious reasons, the 2020 season has been unlike any other for Somerset Disabled Cricket Club. It was only the sheer dedication, hard work and attention to detail of crucial members off the pitch that meant we were able to play multiple games of cricket in a safe but still enjoyable way.

In terms of on the pitch progress, the pandemic has paused, but not completely stopped, the strides we have been making. The previous two seasons have seen the first XI reach the national semi finals – narrowly missing out on both occasions, whilst the Somerset Dragons played more matches and had more members than any other season prior. The aim for the club this season was to use these successes to push on to the next level, aim higher, achieve more – all in our Somerset way. The national lockdown changed all that.

The lockdown didn’t just take away the opportunity to play cricket for the club we all love, but it took away the chance to be with our friends, our cricket family and be there for one another. Those family values are what this club is built on – and every member should know that those principles will never change or go away despite the best efforts of a pandemic.

Our first game of the 2020 summer highlighted that to me more than ever, we could have lost the game by 10 wickets or 300 runs, we were all just having the best time doing what we love surrounded by great people. As it turns out, we produced one of our best fielding and bowling performances for a long time, restricting an able-bodied side to under 4 an over by nailing the basics. We didn’t have enough runs in us on the day to come out on top, but the result was secondary to being out on the pitch again.

Game 2 was against Ilton’s Sunday XI, another able-bodied side of mixed ability in which we needed to carry the momentum from our first game in order to get a result. In the end, we were run away winners, with every player, without exception, stepping up their performances from the first game. Although the less said about Jon’s catching the better

Our final game was against our regular opponents Dorset Disabled Cricket Club. We have enjoyed a friendly rivalry with Dorset for many years, and it was fitting that we should get the opportunity to play them in this disrupted season. The game felt like all the progress we had been making this season came together in our best performance, especially with the bat. Man of the match Jack Milton was outstanding with 50 to go with 3 wickets, although his batting was arguably shadowed by Russ Young’s second 50 for the club coming from just 24 balls. Colin Hancock, Ben Hallows and James Mayled all chipped in with wickets, and were backed up by Simon Penny and George Fox-Reid taking brilliant catches. The individual highlights in a top team performance saw Somerset home to a comfortable victory.

Against the odds, and thanks to the hard work done by the Mayled Family, Steve Gass, Neil Staines, Alister and Tracy Hallows to name just a few, we have managed to have another successful season. This club is in debt to all those who put in the hours so that we are able to play disability cricket, a task difficult enough in a regular season. On behalf of all the players I’d like to thank you.

On a personal note, I love playing for this club, people close to me will tell you I could bore anyone for hours talking about it, but the way every member has stepped up this year to be there for one another in a time of hardship represents what we are about better than I’m able to express in an overly worded report. I couldn’t be more proud or grateful to be captain of this club, I count myself very lucky. I already can’t wait for a successful, and hopefully more straight forward season next year!