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    Captain’s Report 2017

    I think the penultimate paragraph of Peter George’s Western Tour report sums up last year’s tour perfectly, with the only disappointment being the loss of the North Devon game to the weather. A tour without the breeze and brine of Instow is not quite the same! The individual highlights were three ‘first one for the club’ hundreds for Andy Bolan at Heathcoat, Charlie Redmayne at Kilve and Charlie Thomas at Kilmington, five wicket hauls for Andy Pring at Sidmouth (including a hat trick) and Peter Sprague at Chulmleigh and four slip catches for Mike Hall at Heathcoat. It was great to see the continuation, indeed extension, of fathers and sons playing together with Alistair and Harry Thomas, Jon, Harry and Sam Kennedy, Peter, Sam and Alec Sprague, Charley and Jack Redmayne, Jonny, Olly and Freddie Atkinson, Guy and Will Bucknell, and Paul (why wasn’t he playing) and Charlie Thomas. Two of these next generation Sou’Westers, Harry Kennedy and Charlie Thomas succeeded in breaking the club’s third wicket record that had stood for over 80 years with a 202 partnership at Kilmington.

    Player availability and early commitment was a bit sketchy and local guests were called on at the last minute to enable us to put out full teams for every match. There will be two changes to the fixture list in 2017 with Exmouth and Axminster returning to the list instead of Budleigh Salterton and Kilmington, who are unable to play host to us this year. The geographical hubs still exist and Sam, Andy and Jonathan will be looking not only to recruit some new players, but to pinpoint suitable, relatively inexpensive accommodation. The Committee have agreed to supplement the cost of this for deserving under 25s, so I look forward to receiving all members’ availability – plenty of it and an early commitment!

    Martin Oliver