Weston 1st XI cruised to victory over Shapwick and Polden on a day full of emotion at home on Saturday.
A minutes silence was held before the start of the match for former Club chairman and President Bryan Chambers, who sadly passed away on Sunday after a short illness. Bryan was a member of the club for over 70 years, and one of a group of players who helped move the club to its current location at Devonshire Road.
The match commenced after this mark of respect for a much loved club member, with a full strength Weston bowling first. Charl Willoughby, playing in his last ever match, struck with the last ball of his first over, with Ben Gully taking a catch at slip. Pete Trego (10-0-23-2) then removed the other opener with an LBW, and the number 3, caught by Rob Turner, before Willoughby struck again in the 11th over to leave Shapwick 29-4. Ash Allen then entered the attack and took a wicket with his third ball. With three catches being dropped off the bowling of Trego, Shapwick doubled their score with a stand of 36 for the sixth wicket, before Dutch international Paul van Meekeren had the Shapwick top scorer caught behind for 23 in the 26th over. Allen (10-1-19-3) struck twice more, but Shapwick dug in, defending doggedly, and made it to the 44th over before they were all out for 96. In his last match, Willoughby finished will figures of 10-4-22-3, but it was a fitting and poignant moment when Tom Chambers, grandson of Bryan, took the final wicket.
Although the total was not a high one, the ball was moving a lot and chasing it down was going to be a straightforward task. This was demonstrated when Jack Press was caught behind off his first ball he faced to leave Weston 2-1 at the end of the second over. Andrew Fear built a partnership of 52 with Rob Turner, before being caught out for 26. Allen came to the crease and supported Turner well, as he batted resiliently, punishing the bad balls, to reach his 50 off 67 balls. It was left to Allen to hit the winning runs in the 24th over to finish 14 not out, as Weston romped home to an eight wicket victory.
Weston will strive to repeat this performance in their last match of the season, away to Taunton CC.
The Forte Financial Man of the Match could go to no one else in the circumstances: after five years at the club, Charl Willoughby showed his class with a three wicket haul in his final match for the club. He will be much missed on the field next year, and has done so much to help the club, both with his wickets on the field, and his support, encouragement and guidance that he has offered to the younger players. The club would like to thank him for all he has done, and look forward to welcoming him back to the club as a fan!
Weston 2nd’s relegation was confirmed on Saturday with defeat away at Minehead, but there was positives to take from the game, with saw seven players under the age of 19 represent the club.
The home team won the toss and chose to bowl, but Weston started well, with captain Dom Mayo (58) finally weighing in with some runs. He was well supported early on by U13 Davis Trego (22), as they put on 90 for the first wicket. After they both got out, there was a mid innings collapse, and it looked like it could be another bad day at the office for the team. But U15’s Eoin Austen (47) and Jodie Filer (22) batted superbly together, putting on 80 runs in an excellent partnership, that saw Weston to a score of 236-7 from 45 overs.
Weston made an excellent start with the ball. with Tom Court inducing a nick behind to keeper Mayo with just the second ball of the innings. However, that was as good as it got. The inexperience of the bowling attach showed against strong batting from the home team, as Weston were unable to take wickets or restrict the scoring rate. Batsman 2 and 3 both recorded unbeaten centuries, as the crushed home to win by 9 wickets.
Weston will hope to take the positives from the performance into their last two fixtures, hoping to finish a tough season with a win or two.
Weston 3rd XI had a mixed weekend with two away fixtures over two days, against Taunton St Andrews and Lydford Sports.
The match at St Andrews on Saturday was a humiliating ten wicket defeat, with Weston bowled out for 68, which they chased down in less than 16 overs without losing a wicket. Jon Lawrence top scored with 19, and Jamie Dance was the only other Weston player to reach double figures.
The match on Sunday at fellow relegation strugglers Lydford, rearranged from the football World Cup quarter final weekend, could not have been more different. Lydford won the toss and put Weston into bat. Openers Martyn Chambers and Matt Huxtable fell early, but captain Josh Knight led by example, with partnerships of 47 with Eoin Austen (13) and 83 with Jakob Massey (25). With the overs running out, Knight succumbed to the pressure to score quick runs, falling for 93 in the penultimate over. Weston posted a good score of 226-6 off their 45 overs, a score that included 47 extras on a pitch that, riddled with cracks from the dry weather, was doing all sorted and was proving difficult for the home side to field on.
The Lydford innings got off to a positive start with a partnership of 51 between Hodges (48) and Harvey (11). It was Lauren Filer who made the breakthrough, removing Harvey LBW in the 13th over. Ian Smith (9-2-34-2) struck in successive overs of his spell to leave Lydford 78-3 off 20 overs. A safe pair of hands from Huxtable in the deep took the next wicket off the bowling of Massey, but it was the introduction of Georgia Tulip (6.1-1-29-2) and Jamie Dance that changed the game. Lydford was fielding a team with some inexperienced players, and Dance took 4 wickets in 4 overs, including two in two balls, to finish with figures of 5-3-12-4. Tulip took the last wicket with the first ball of the 39th over, leaving Lydford 143 all out, a victory for Weston by 83 runs.
Despite notable performances from Josh Knight and Jamie Dance, the Forte Financial Player of the Match for weekend goes to Ian Smith, who drove the team minibus to both matches. Even the opposition umpire called him a hero!