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126 SPORT - CRICKET


1st X1 Cricket


The balmy Easter weather led us to believe that summer had arrived early. Cricket whites were duly unpacked and Failand looked magnificent.


In our traditional opener against Wells Cathedral School we looked a little rusty and struggled to 99 all out. A sustained spell of fast bowling from skipper Mike Willmott (4wkts for 8 runs) had the opposition reeling. At 70 for 9 the win seemed in the bag but a determined last wicket stand from Wells led to a 1 wicket loss: a nerve racking start to the season.


Against Dean Close we managed a creditable 165 for 5 with Ben Woolf hitting a swashbuckling 70 with 7 sixes, including one which landed on the pavilion roof! A fine 87 not out from Mike Willmott and 44 from Toby Osborne gave us 192 for 8 against King Edward’s Bath. However, a fine partnership of 120 from the opposition led to a 3 wicket loss with 5 overs to spare.


The on-form Mike Willmott made 76 against Queen’s College, Taunton and with the help of Will Pearce (34) we made 198 for 8. Sadly, Mike was injured whilst batting which prevented him spearheading a weakened bowling attack. We lost by 4 wickets after a rush towards the end.


As exam fever struck we kept Pate’s Grammar School to 154 but fell 50 runs short.


In the local derby against Bristol Grammar School we bowled well to dismiss them for 88. In particular, youngsters James Young and Henry Hill showed much promise. Having the opposition at 35 for 6, the score could have been lower and at one stage we were 14 for 5. A rally from Matt Marrs and Callum Roberts put us close but sadly we fell 9 runs short.


At our final Saturday game at Wycliffe, Vice-skipper Vishnu Shastry led by example with 61 and a spirited knock of 40 from Matt Marrs gave us 193. In a dramatic finish, the opposition needed two runs from the last ball with the last pair at the wicket. Fortunately, only one run was scrambled, which led to a tied match.


The 20/20 format seemed to suit us better. We beat Wycliffe after a fine 61 from James Young and we also beat Bristol Grammar School with a good all-round team display. We were well beaten by favourites Clifton College and Filton College. We finished the season with a very enjoyable 10/10 triangular competition at Wells Cathedral School, along with Kingswood.


Much credit must go to excellent Captain Mike Willmott who has played 1st X1 cricket for five years. In that time he has scored over 1000 runs and taken 50 wickets and he was often the talisman. He will be sorely missed with both bat and ball.


Fellow Upper Sixth players Vishnu Shastry and Tom Pearce have been valuable team players, along with Matt Marrs and Toby Osborne. Ben Woolf showed talent but missed many games. Fellow Lower Sixth players Harry O’Conor, Oli Harries and Jack Woodruff all made good contributions. The Year 11 youngsters showed much promise: Bobby Naeem played for us in midweek and regulars James Young, Will Pearce and Keeper Alex King showed some pleasing ability for the future.


My thanks, as always, go to coach Damian Forder for his efforts. Thanks also to Craig and the new groundstaff who have made such an impact in a short time. Thanks also to the caterers for all their efforts.


PEJ


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