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ST.BURYAN XI v SOMERSET, St Buryan, 4th April 2004

Tractor Anorak

The follow-up to the Truro game was further west, a St.Buryan XI v Somerset, Sunday 4th April. I ventured down on a late train from Bristol to Penzance through driving rain, for a couple of night's B&B stay (looked like they'd had rain at Dawlish & Teignmouth - the place was flooded on the one side!).

Originally planned to be a 45 over match with an 11:30am start, the contest was supposed to mark the opening of the new pavilion; a smart large building which I was told a council grant had been applied for, and when refused, John Le Carre, a St.Buryan local (of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy fame to name just one of his books), kindly donated the funds himself. There were a few bits & pieces still to complete (but the bar was in perfect working order), so the official opening was postponed.

After all the previous day's rain, which shortened proceedings at Truro, the outfield was extremely wet, but with sterling work from the groundsmen, the game was able to start at 1pm reduced to 35 overs a side.

From the souvenir programme, the umpires were B.Bennett & B.Willey, scorers J.Hosking & M.Nicholls, and the St.Buryan XI comprised N.George (capt), G.Thomas, D.Roberts, T.Sharp, R.Driver, J.Kent, G.Edwards (wkt), P.Lello, A.Birkett, J.Badcock & N.Curnow.

Kevin Shine and Darren Veness ensured a strong Somerset squad of 13 to choose from (shown below).

Ian Blackwell played at Truro, but was on his way back to Taunton to prepare for his departure to the Windies this week.

Dunno who won the toss, but Somerset batted first and opened with Gazzard and Dutch. Any shot along the ground seemed to slow up rapidly before reaching boundaries, so there seemed to be a plan to hit the ball in the air, a fairly good idea but was the undoing of most of our batsmen, being caught mostly at mid-off, I think. There were short spells of sunshine, intermittent showers, and a biting cold wind blowing across the exposed pitch. Wickets fell steadily but local lad Gazzard kept going and compiled a good 70. The order, as far as I can remember, was Gazzard & Dutch, then Laraman, Wood, Burns, Parsons, Turner, Caddick, Edwards, Francis J and finally Francis S. Somerset eventually posting a total of 161 for 9 from their 35 overs.

An impressive traditional cricketers tea was laid on for all present, and pleasantries exchanged between captains (a quality print/painting of St.Michaels Mount given to Keith Parsons), before the St.Buryan reply (after another short shower).

Somerset initially rested Dutch and Turner (Gazzard kept wicket), substituted by Bowler and Johnson, although I think they all took a turn in the field. Caddick opened the bowling and took a wicket with his first delivery, the batsman advancing down the wicket, the ball dropped in short, and it was skied behind.

Local knowledge of weather and pitch appeared to favour St.Buryan who were in charge after their early loss, smiting a few well hit boundaries, but the Somerset bowlers eventually rallied and dismissed them for about 120 to win by some runs ( apologies once again for the lack of detail here, but this time it was the effects of a local 'Skinners' brew, hence sketchy afternoon detail, and I can't find any reports on the 'This Is Cornwall' media network to assist)!

No matter. A good start to Keith P's benefit year, and a win at the start of the season!