Wells cricketers celebrate promotion success
WELLS Cricket Club’s 1st XI are looking forward to playing in the second division of the Somerset Cricket League in 2018, after winning the third division title in the last game of the season.
It means that, taking into account league restructures, they will be playing at a level they have not played at since 2002.
The 1sts travelled to North Newton needing 16 points to be certain of claiming a first league title in 21 years. On a green wicket it was a surprise when skipper Ben Stacey lost only his third toss of the season and as a result, Wells were asked to bat first.
The Stacey brothers, Dave and Ben, opened the innings and the going was tough, with the Newton bowlers finding movement off the pitch and through the air. The first boundary didn’t come until the eighth over, and after nine overs the score was 31 for 0. When Dave was dismissed for 13 and Ben soon after for 19, Wells were 36 for 2 and in desperate need of a good partnership and clear heads to post a competitive total.
The reliable Jack Moore and James Dredge set about rebuilding against some decent bowling, and forged an important partnership in taking the score to 88 for 2 from 25 overs. Once Dredge was dismissed for 13, Ollie Smart joined Moore in what is usually a productive partnership. With a combination of boundaries and aggressive running, the pair upped the rate and put Wells on the front foot for the first time in the match. The partnership continued to grow in confidence, first taking the score past 150 and up to 200, a score already above par. Smart brought up his personal half century at more than a run a ball and was eventually dismissed for 51 going for another big hit. The pair took the score from 88 to 201 in just 16 overs in a crucial and entertaining partnership.
Rivers joined Moore with the task to smash as many as possible from the final four overs. They did just that, Rivers hitting a big 6 only for Moore to smash one 20 yards further soon after en route to an excellent 90 not out. Rivers unselfishly holed out for 18 leaving Layton Ball to take a single off the last ball as Wells posted a very good 236 for 5 off their 45 overs.
Following a great tea Wells knew the job was not done and took to the field knowing the dangerous Josh Cook, in particular, stood between them and a league title. As ever, Cook took no prisoners as Smart’s first over went for 10, and despite Jack Williams troubling him in his first couple of overs his third was dispatched for 18. The hitting was brutal with the ground seemingly not big enough for Cook, who brought up his personal 50 in just the ninth over.
In just the 16th over with the score already 88 for 0 and Newton well ahead of the rate, captain Ben had already made four bowling changes in a desperate attempt to get the breakthrough. However the fifth and sixth bowlers were the dependable bowling combination of Jack Moore and Dave Stacey. They immediately found control and in just Moore’s second over he got the huge breakthrough in dismissing Cook for 55, well caught by Smart.
D Stacey was soon into the wickets dismissing Stone, Giradin and Sellick all caught at point by Layton Ball. In Stacey’s final over he claimed two more wickets to complete figures of 5 for 21 in nine overs. Importantly, the sixth wicket ensured Wells had secured enough points to win the league.
‘The Key’ Matt Rivers (2 for 27) was brought back into the attack, picking up a couple of wickets. Graham Day (2 for 11) took the final wickets as Wells bowled Newton out for 174 and the celebrations could begin.