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    Western Tour 2012

    Played 12  Won 7  Lost 5  Drawn 0 Abandoned 0


    Most of which seem to have happened outside my earshot.

    1. HOW………………….!
    2. Haven’t you taught your wife anything about cricket?
    3. I shall be retiring you if you aren’t back soon.
    4. So much for private education!
    5. AWWWW!

    Tour Report

    It is a bit of a challenge to try to match the literary maestro that is Peter George, but needs must, so please read what follows with the sun shining on your soul. Indeed the sun was shining with unusual enthusiasm as we gathered at Blundell’s. There was a strong local element in our side, tempered by the return of Simon Sprague and the presence of the skipper, who showed good form with the toss. Against a lively young pace bowler and the steadiness of Guy Bucknell, and a fairly hairy outfield (wet weather and a big game the next day conspired), we made a rather feeble start. At 62-5 things looked a bit grim, though Richard Godfrey looked pretty sound before ambition entered his plans; two fours and a six and then he holed out at mid-off. Harry Thomas, first with his schoolmate Ed Denton and then with Will Penny, took charge, and the score mounted rapidly. Penny in particular ran aggressively, eventually falling victim to his own enthusiasm, and a brief cameo from Simon Hogg helped Harry to his hundred, a remarkable innings for one so young, and a declaration. Penny took the new ball and two early wickets, but then Guy Bucknell and a brace of talented youngsters took over. Few of our bowlers were economical and at 207-4 prospects looked bleak. However Chris Stone held firm, Penny came back, there were two slightly silly run-outs, no eleventh batter, and we won with fifteen balls and twenty-two runs to spare. The day concluded with some excellent beer and a very palatable supper. The OBs were then able to complete the selection process for the big game commemorating the only Olympic medal match ever played, when a side consisting largely of OBs beat a French team to win gold.

    Your correspondent again cocked up the drive to Cerne Abbas, but arrived in time for a slightly late start. It was again gloriously sunny, but the square had recently, as with most places, been flooded, and the pitch was slow. Spray, leading Cerne Valley, won the toss and chose to bat, and the Stone show developed. Chris took five of the first six to fall, two of them caught and bowled, and Peter chipped in with a wicket later. Among this mayhem Paul Thomas caught a brace behind the stumps and Hogg contributed two more c-and-bs. Spray ran his partner out to bring the innings to an end. In the middle of it, the usual sumptuous lunch was served, reminiscent of Dawn Pinney and Rangers lunches of days long gone. In our reply Paul Barford hit two fours and holed out, and Steve Gray made a welcome but brief reappearance. Godfrey and Simon Sprague then coolly knocked off the runs – Richard passed fifty and Simon uncharacteristically failed to reach the boundary. We eventually adjourned to a new pub and some splendid beer, full of thanks for the hospitality master-minded by Mr and Mrs Spray.

    The sun shone on Sidmouth, which makes parking problems fade into insignificance. It really is a gorgeous place for a cricket match when it’s proper summer. There was the usual confusion as both sides gathered, but Barford, acting skipper, won the toss and chose to bat. We started only a little late, with Dean reluctantly persuaded to umpire. A day in a deck-chair and a lazy eye cast over the efforts of our appointed umpire must have seemed quite appealing. Sidmouth had picked a youthful side, and a total of eight bowlers, mostly off long runs, toiled away as Barford swept to a hundred, assisted first by Charlie McKegnie and then by a guest called Maher. He and Barford exchanged the sort of straight drive which fells your partner. Five penalty runs for a blow on a free-standing helmet represented what seems to have been a Sou’wester first. Maher was eventually run out in rather mysterious circumstances and after a late flurry of wickets and another not-out for Richard Godfrey we declared at 284. The early Sidmouth batsmen made full use of the short up-hill boundary and started briskly. Will McKegnie took two early wickets, which cleared the way for a young man called Gater, who had already bowled six overs for twelve runs and two wickets. With a display of assured clean hitting he dealt unceremoniously with every bowler put before him. He hit thirteen sixes and numerous fours before he was stumped off Chris Stone for 175. It turned out that he has two more years at school. Our senior umpire, scoring for Sidmouth, gave us a master-class at I.T., as he used his tablet or whatever it is called. Charlie McKegnie picked up three smart stumpings ,and a game which seemed lost came back to us. Sidmouth needed fourteen off the last over and went for them. It took an arrow-like throw from Peter Stone to run out number eleven and give us a slightly unexpected win by six runs. For once the man of the match, had there been one, would have come from the losing side.

    The Swashbucklers were back in action, on the second pitch at Sherborne. The sun was still on duty and we agreed a 40-over game. We lost the toss and bowled, opening with a battery of Stones. We did not thrive. Stone C seemed rather stiff. The first wickets fell at 92 and 200. The pitch was low and getting lower and an opener called Nurton fell to a shooter from the multi-faceted Harry Thomas (Paul’s). Thereafter Al Thomas took wickets regularly and we were faced with a target of 285. Barford got us off to a steady start, and most batters got in but failed to go on. Barford reached fifty but a drinks interval did for him on Nelson. Thomas A and Thomas H (father and son) did their best to rectify the situation, but we were too far behind and though their unbroken partnership reached 93 we fell well short. It had not been one of our glory days, though the appearance of Tim Alexander and some of his family and of John Harman was some compensation.

    Unbelievably the sun still shone over Taunton School as we arrived to play their Old Boys. The skipper, with an abundance of talent at his disposal, agreed to a twelve-a-side game, though the toss rather exposed the cracks in the O.T. side – Stone C started the game fielding as sub. We made a promising start against a lively bowler sporting dreadlocks and Richard Godfrey. Lots of batters made starts, and Chris Haynes and Craig Williams both reached fifty, but nobody really built on it. The leg-spin of Richard Glover, an occasional Sou’wester, tied things up, and Simon Hogg, against us for once, cleaned up at the end. We batted for sixty-two not very exciting overs (though Stone P livened things up at the end) and much of the entertainment was provided by George Oliver and his ecstatic reaction to a JCB at work. The OTs featured a batter who had appeared for a few minutes in the field, but made up for it by staying for the whole chase, finishing frustratingly short of his personal ton and a half. Spin twins McKegnie and Contreras tried their best and took three quick wickets, but the rest of the bowling lacked distinction and the fielding was short on athleticism. We lost with rather more than six overs to spare, giving us time to ponder on the uncertainties of twelve-a-side cricket. We had been comprehensively stuffed.

    And so to the rustic splendour of Chulmleigh. No sun, it is true, but the genuine smell of the country. There seemed to be a bit of a carnival on and a number of rather confusing diversions, but the ground hadn’t moved and the views were as good. The gathering of the sides was slow, quite a lot of it on bikes and in leathers. Some of our side filtered out to field, featuring four father and son combinations, accompanied by one umpire and two batters. Eventually the field filled and battle commenced. Jeremy Peet picked up an early wicket in a slightly erratic opening spell, but Chulmleigh knew its pitch and the score mounted. Hogg took his usual two wickets, and Sam Sprague, son of Peter, bowled some useful leg-spin to out-shine his father. Charlie Haynes took a wicket, and the innings ended with a formidable score. It had rained briefly! Paul Thomas had pulled a vital muscle. So we were ready for the very handsome tea. Our innings lacked substance against some lengthy run-ups and extensive appealing. Hogg, opening, got a few, but thereafter the credit belonged to the Sprague family, who each made 17, in Peter’s case his highest for the club. Peet ran himself out rather foolishly, and we lost, handsomely, with five overs to spare. We wound our way to the pub, through a sea of competitive runners, and drowned our collective sorrows in charmingly old-fashioned surroundings. Long may Chulmleigh Cricket Club continue to resist the blandishments of league cricket.

    It rained on Sunday and pessimism ruled. But all was well and we started a 40-over game only a little late. The Bridgetown side looked youthful as it took the field. Harry Kennedy was soon out, But Andrew Lewis and Peter Stone carried the score almost to three figures. Peter, after rather a ponderous start, produced a stream of fours as he sailed past his personal hundred. He got help from Chris Haynes, who peppered the river and managed narrowly to avoid being run out twice in the same ball. Tea, the usual feast, came with our score a handsome 261, and when the batsmen finally emerged for the chase to begin they made it look a bit inadequate. Jon Kennedy picked up an early wicket, and then Richards father and son flourished. Matthew looked in total command, hitting numerous boundaries and taking the unfortunate Sam Sprague, already three wickets to the good, for 32 off his last over. However Guy Bucknell came on for two overs and two wickets, and the innings folded. Philip Oliver had a productive little bowl and the Kennedys caught a lot of catches. We were charmed by the company of the President and the erstwhile Manager.

    Injuries elsewhere over the weekend and communication breakdowns left the skipper with nerves all ajangle at the County Ground. He was not expecting to play himself, but with only seven on the ground and two lost in the depths of the University, even the arrival of four from Falkland could not altogether ease the tension. Added to that a Southern Hemisphere ring to many of the Dumplings voices suggested a strong non-Devon element and a powerful side. We batted, with limited success, against, initially, a seven-one field. The last man appeared and wickets began to fall. A left-armer with a huge arm-ball (or was it his karom ball?) picked up three wickets. The Falkland contingent contributed three twenties, and the skipper fell to a direct-hit run-out. Our ten men had not excelled themselves, nor did they greatly shine in the field. Two catches went down and the out-fielding was ragged. Sam Kennedy picked up two wickets and there was a run-out, but only Richard Glover showed both relative economy and penetration. A number of apparently Antipodean wickets fell, but the scoring was rapid, and tea was delayed to allow the game to finish. From the Sou’wester angle the only consolation was the quality of the catering, which certainly encouraged second helpings.

    There was rain in the air at Axminster, who had disappointingly asked for an afternoon start. A 45-over game was agreed and we went out to field. Both Joel Martin and Will Penny opened to a 7-2 field on a pitch of limited bounce. It wasn’t long before Penny went in the groin and vanished, never to be seen again. Several batsmen made starts, among them a technically sound young lady of breadth rather than length. Sam Piper brought off a smart leg-side stumping. Rob George got in on the act, as did Jared Ashworth, and Jon Kennedy brought himself on to mop up the tail. Wides scored heavily, as they did in the second innings. Piper, Harry Kennedy and Martin Davis all batted with panache, and we knocked off the runs in twenty-five overs for the loss of only one wicket. There was a solid body of Sou’wester support, including an open-air hospitality suite, with table and crisp white cloth, and no doubt silver and crystal and champagne and caviar.

    Your correspondent was suffering from the early symptoms of a seriously unpleasant bug, so his observations of the last three games are based on part-time watching and the scorebook. He did notice that it was pretty wet all the way on the road to Instow, and he remembers the groundsman working his socks off to prepare a pitch. He succeeded, and a thirty-over game, to start at 3.30, was agreed. North Devon batted. They made a good start against our mostly Falkland attack, but faltered, allowing Charlie McKegnie two stumpings and Ashworth four wickets. 141 seemed within reach. We made a good start, with Piper making an excellent fifty, and at 122-3 seemed to be winning. However some tight bowling and a series of indifferent strokes in a strong wind brought complete collapse, and we lost by five, using up all the overs. Not our finest hour.

    Seaton looked in pretty good shape, as we won the toss and batted in a forty-over match. Most of our side made a few, but nobody made fifty as we powered our way to 213. Wides and no-balls contributed quite a few and there seem to have been an unusual number of threes. Tea seems to have been something of a feast, though this is based on hearsay – your correspondent wasn’t for eating. Thereafter we toiled in the field. Nick Beedel, who has been a thorn in our flesh for some years, made a steady 74, but seven bowlers turned their arms over, generally pretty economically, and with the aid of a run-out we took seven wickets. However we were never in danger of losing, and this time there seemed no-one to claim that it was a draw rather than a Sou’wester victory.

    There was early drama at Falkland; neither the scorer nor the scorebook appeared, and both were missing for three days, stuck in lonely isolation in Yeovil hospital, less than well, without telephone or relevant numbers. There seems to have been real concern, but the game went ahead or so a photo-copied scoresheet relates. No less than seven Falkland players appeared in Sou’wester colours, and local knowledge paid off. The Gents batted and struggled. to reach 171. Only Akram and Zafar made real progress as six bowlers shared the wickets. In the reply Sam Piper dominated, reaching his hundred just before the end. Harry Kennedy got a few and Ryan Gilmour was going strong at the end. We won by eight wickets in sixteen fewer overs to bring the tour to a winning end. This report lacks detail, but then so did the scoresheet.

    So that’s more or less how it all happened. Twelve games, none drawn or abandoned, some of them pretty one-sided, three centuries, quite a bit of sunshine, not at all characteristic of 2012, an unusual number of call-offs and consequent pressure on the skipper, the President and at one stage or another four of his predecessors, the Treasurer and two of his predecessors, the Captain and at least five of his predecessors, numerous blasts from the past, lots of fathers playing with sons, families galore and a wide range of accommodation. How much again we owe to Martin and Marion. We badly need to take some of the weight off their shoulders and allow Martin next year to enjoy his jubilee year of Sou’wester cricket. We should be extremely grateful to the Olivers. So make yourselves available for 2013 and then stick to it.


    Chris Carruthers

    The Quotes Explained

    1. Simon Hogg starts to appeal for LBW as Philip Oliver leaps for a catch at mid-wicket.
    2. Andrew Lewis to a colleague, whose wife was opening the car boot behind the bowler’s arm.
    3. Christopher Dean, in umpiring mode, to Peter Stone, who had left the fields in mid-innings. He responded swiftly.
    4. A Bridgetown critic, as one of his colleagues surrendered first ball, stumped, slogging.
    5. The constant Antipodean noise whenever a Sou’wester scored a run.



    v Old Blundellians Monday 23rd July Won by 21 runs
    Sou’westers 243-7 H.S.Thomas 103*, R.Godfrey 36, W.Penny 29, E.Denton 22
    O.B.s 222 G.Bucknell 111*, W.Penny 4-30
    v Cerne Valley Tuesday 24th July Won by 8 wickets
    Cerne Valley 111 C.Stone 5-24, S.Hogg 2-14
    Sou’westers 112-2 R.Godfrey 60*
    v Sidmouth Wednesday 25th July Won by 6 runs
    Sou’westers 284-6 P.L.Barford 113, G.Maher 82. C.McKegnie 32
    Sidmouth 278 H.Gater 175, C.Stone 3-59, A.Thomas 2-47, W.McKegnie 2-49,
    v Swashbucklers (40 overs) Thursday 26th July Lost by 48 runs
    Swashbucklers 264-7 A.Nurton 89. A.Thomas 3-47, H.S.Thomas 2-47
    Sou’westers 216-4 A.Thomas 77*, P.L.Barford 52, H.C.J.Thomas 24, H.S.Thomas 21
    v Old Tauntonians (12 a side) Friday 27th July Lost by 7 wickets
    Sou’westers 250-8 C.Williams 59, C.D.Haynes 51, H.S.Thomas 33, R.Contreras 24, W.McKegnie 22
    O.T.s 252-3 D.Redding 148*, R.Godfrey 66, W.McKegnie 2-58
    v Chulmleigh Saturday 28th July Lost by 84 runs
    Chulmleigh 194-7 B.Darth 86, S.Hogg 2-31, S.Sprague 2-31
    Sou’westers 110 S.Hogg 26
    v Bridgetown (40 overs) Sunday 29th July Won by 103 runs
    Sou’westers 261-4 P.Stone 120*, C.D.Haynes 66*, A.H.Lewis 40
    Bridgetown 158 M.Richards 73, S.Sprague 3-62, G.Bucknell 2-2, P.G.Oliver 2-21
    v Devon Dumplings Monday 30th July Lost by 5 wickets
    Sou’westers 173 J.Martin 26*, J.P.Kennedy 24, W.McKegnie 24, J.Ashworth 23, R.Gilmour 20
    Dumplings 177-5 M.Stringfellow             90, S,Kennedy 2-36, R.Glover 2-50
    v Axminster (45 overs) Tuesday 31st July Won by 9 wickets
    Axminster 155 J.P.Kennedy 3-18,  R.J.P.George 2-17, J.Ashworth 2-42
    Sou’westers 158-1 M.Davis 54*, H.Kennedy 44*, S.Piper 26
    v North Devon (30 overs) Wednesday 1st August Lost by 5 runs
    North Devon 141-9 J.Ashworth 4-26, J.Martin 2-26
    Sou’westers 136 S.Piper 63
    v Seaton (40 overs) Thursday 2nd August Won by 54 runs
    Sou’westers 213-9 M.Davis 47, S.Kennedy 29, S.Piper 28, J.Ashworth 21. H.Kennedy 20
    Seaton 159-7 N.Beedel 74, J.Ashworth 2-29
    v Berkshire Gents Friday 3rd August Won by 8 wickets
    Gents 171 J.Ashworth 2-20, R.Marson 2-22 J.Martin 2-22
    Sou’westers 175-2 S.Piper 103, R.Gilmour 38*, H.Kennedy 21

    Batting Averages

    Inns N.O. Runs H.S Ave Ct/St
    P.Stone 3 2 143 120* 143.00 1
    R.Godfrey 3 2 107 60* 107.00 1
    C.D.Haynes 3 1 126 66* 63.00
    P.L.Barford 3 0 173 113 57.67 1
    S.Piper 5 0 232 103 46.40 2/2
    A.Thomas 3 1 79 77* 39.50
    M.Davis 3 0 117 54 39.00 2
    S.Hogg 2 1 39 26 39.00 3
    H.S.Thomas 6 1 173 103* 34.60 4/4
    J.P.Kennedy 2 1 27 24 27.00
    H.Kennedy 5 1 101 44* 25.25 4
    J.Ashworth 3 1 48 23 24.00 2
    H.C.J.Thomas 2 1 24 24* 24.00
    R.Gilmour 4 1 69 38* 23.00 1
    A.H.Lewis 2 0 46 40 23.00 1
    W.McKegnie 3 0 62 24 20.67
    S.Kennedy 2 0 41 29 20.50 4
    J.Martin 3 1 40 26* 20.00 2
    S.R.B.Sprague 2 1 19 18* 19.00
    C.McKegnie 3 0 54 32 18.00 1/5
    R.Contreras 3 0 49 24 16.33
    P.Stephenson 2 1 9 9* 9.00
    P.G.Oliver 3 0 16 10 5.33 1
    M.R.Oliver 2 1 3 2 3.00 2
    R.J.P.George 2 0 0 0 0.00 1

    Also batted: G.Bucknell 8; E.Denton 22 (1 ct);  T.Downey 16; J.Durrell 3; R.Glover 0; S.Gray 12; J.Hare 0; C.Haynes 5; G.Maher 82; J.W.Peet 0 (1 ct); W.Penny 29; B.Preston 9;   T.Radley 2;P.C.D.Sprague 17; S.Sprague 17;  R.Stephenson 5*; S.P.H.Thomas 0 (2 ct); C.Williams 59

    Also played: C.Stone (2 ct)

    Bowling Averages

    Overs Mdns Runs Wickets Average
    G.Bucknell 2 1 2 2 1.00
    W.Penny 12.2 3 33 4 8.20
    J.P.Kennedy 15.1 4 43 5 8.60
    P.G.Oliver 6 1 21 2 10.50
    S.Hogg 13 3 55 5 11.00
    R.Marson 8 1 22 2 11.00
    J.Ashworth 28 1 117 10 11.70
    J.Martin 34 10 94 5 18.80
    S.Sprague 12 1 94 5 18.80
    A.Thomas 23 1 94 5 18.80
    R.J.P.George 18 3 59 3 19.67
    J.W.Peet 10 3 46 2 23.00
    R.Glover 11 0 50 2 25.00
    C.Stone 48.3 10 225 9 25.00
    R.Gilmour 23 7 69 4 27.25
    H.S.Thomas 7.4 0 60 2 30.00
    S.Kennedy 22.5 3 130 4 32.50
    P.Stephenson 21.5 3 98 3 32.67
    W.McKegnie 26 0 134 4 33.50
    R.Contreras 29 3 158 4 39.50
    R.Godfrey 25 2 93 2 46.50

    Also bowled: M.Davis 2 – 1 – 1 – 0; E.Denton 15 – 3 – 80 – 1; D.Da Silva 7 – 0 – 27 – 1; J.Durrell 6 – 0 – 34 – 0; C.Haynes 3 – 0 – 31 – 1; C.D.Haynes 7 – 1 – 22 – 0; H.Kennedy 2 – 0 – 8 – 1; A.H.Lewis 8 – 3 – 14- 1; T.Radley 5 – 0 52 – 0; P.C.D.Sprague 5 – 0 – 26 – 0; P.Stone 18 – 1 – 102 – 1; H.C.J.Thomas 5.4 – 1 – 26 – 0.


    100 wickets

    J.P.Kennedy 575.2 overs 105 maidens 2153 runs 104 wickets 20.70 average