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Somerset Over 50s compete in the ECB National competition and the Southern Counties West Division.

Regrettably 2017 the ECB team did not achieve 2016’s heights reaching the semi-final; in fact for the first time in many years the knock out stages were not reached.  The Southern Counties team completed their fixtures but also did not reach the knock out stages.

The season started with friendlies, but losses to Wales and Gloucestershire, before quickly moving onto league matches in May

The ECB competition started with leagues matches against Cornwall where probably the best cricket of the season was played, Somerset scoring 266 – 5, Marc Jenkins (Clevedon) 76, Andy Stevens (Minehead) 62 not out.  In reply Cornwall, who eventually lost in the national semi -final, were bowled out for 204. Isle of Wight were next, Somerset made 340 – 6, Marc Jenkins 134, Simon Hogg (OBs Westbury) 61. IOW were bowled out for 147, Andy Fussell (Hinton Charterhouse) 5-38. Moving onto Devon at Barnstaple, Devon put Somerset in and having made 199 in difficult conditions, Devon scraped home in the last over 6 wickets down, thanks to Richard Pyle 75, one that got away.  Hampshire were played at North Perrott on the hottest day of the year and having bowled well to contain Hampshire to 265-6, Somerset were unable to chase down the runs falling 50 short, Simon Hogg 72 the mainstay of the innings.

Channel Islands were played at Taunton Deane, bowled out for 169, Simon Hogg’s leg breaks causing complete turmoil with figures 7-34 in 9 overs, surpassing the last 7 wicket haul by another leg spinner Chris Slocombe in 2008 7-47 against Cornwall. Somerset won in 33rd over Graham Poulton (Midsomer Norton) 63 and Andy Stevens 47 not out. Against Wiltshire at Frome Mark Hunt made 134 for Wiltshire in their total of 236 but Somerset fell 20 runs short with Chris Brewer (Crocombe) 49 not out. The season was finished as the match v Dorset was not rearranged due to 2 rain cancellations. Somerset finishing 5th in Group 3.

Southern Counties competition which is played mainly on Thursdays on a home and away basis started in early May with Somerset travelling to play Gloucestershire, eventual losing finalists. Gloucs,375 -5 Somerset 240-5 Hugh Brooker ( Hinton Charterhouse)95 not out, Alistair Barr (Ashcott & Shapwick) 59.Next up Wales at Panteg, were Somerset tied with Wales on 230 Somerset losing their last wicket with one ball remaining from a run out. Against Devon Somerset lost by 60 runs despite Chris Golding (North Curry) 4-31 and Richard Ford (Lympsham) 60.  Cornwall, also semi- finalists beat Somerset by 86 runs. Against Dorset, Richard Ford’s 86 ensured Somerset won by 5 runs scoring 224-7.

At this stage the fixtures were reversed and unfortunately losses continued, Gloucester by 84 runs, Cornwall by 113 runs, but with performances from Malcolm Pressly-Smith (Wombats) 4-54 and Mike Caddick (Churchill) 54. Devon won by 3 wickets at North Perrott despite runs from Mike Caddick 71 in a total of 239-6 and Chris Goldings 5-54; after this matches against Dorset and Wales were cancelled and abandoned.

For the Southern Counties team runs were not the problem, with Richard Ford, Hugh Brooker, Alistair Barr, Everton Griffiths contributing – bowlers are needed for 2018 season.

The season was finished with a match at Taunton Deane against a touring Australia 50s who toured the South of England.  Somerset, a combined ECB & Southern Counties team, made 204 – 7 against some very tight Australian bowling.  Australia winning by 4 wickets and 10 balls to spare.  A very sociable evening ensued with contacts being made, all with the potential to create links between Somerset and Australia for subsequent tours.

On behalf of the Over 50s teams, I would like to thank all the Clubs in the county who provided grounds for the team’s use during the 2017 season, along with all their members who provided pitches and teas; without these the Over 50s would not exist. There were a number of postponements due to the weather and the Clubs’ flexibility to fit matches in at short notice was much appreciated. Thanks also to all scorers and umpires who officiated.

Somerset 50s with a number of Somerset Over 60s players will be touring Sri Lanka in March 2018 following the previous successful tour back in November 2015 to St Lucia.

As a group we are continually looking for cricketers aged 49 and upwards who would be interested in representing the county in enjoyable but competitive cricket.

If you are interested in playing in the coming season do visit SCB website for further details and/or contact one of the Management Group:

Graham Poulton – graham.poulton@btinternet.com

Roger Snelling - rogersnelling1932@hotmail.co.uk

Chris Golding cgolding@idealstandard.com

Clive Hamblin - glanesportsgrounds@live.co.uk