Ryan stars in lop-sided Clevedon victory

PUBLISHED: 09:37 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:37 01 August 2018

Ryan Higgins.

Ryan Higgins.

Archant

All-rounder Ryan Higgins starred for Clevedon in this lop-sided victory over Taunton St Andrews.

Clevedon 329-3

Taunton St Andrews 130

Piers McBride spots a mirage on Dial Hill

I can tell you that Clevedon are doing everything they possibly can to get their collective hands on local cricket’s holy grail, the West of England Premier League championship trophy, and this lop-sided victory reflects the club’s sheer determination to lift the trophy.

With storm clouds in the offing the visitors had no hesitation in inserting Clevedon on a sun parched arid pitch which resembled little more than an oasis without either a camel or a sheik.

Gloucestershire’s current golden boy, all-rounder Ryan Higgins and Masoor Khan opened the batting and so began a long and stamina sapping afternoon for the visitors as both batsmen took up residence.

‘Higgo’, it’s amazing how inventive cricketers can be when bestowing nicknames on each other, and ‘Maz’, see what I mean, added 102 for the first wicket in 16 overs before Mas fell lbw for 30, not the first time the classy left-handed opener had been trapped leg first in front of his stumps this term.

No respite for the Taunton attack though as Ryan was joined by Max Curtis and the score began to mount at a rate of knots. Ryan, who had only just celebrated his first century for Gloucestershire a couple of days previously, tucked into Taunton’s long suffering bowlers with considerable relish and no fewer that 19 fours and three sixes illuminated his most entertaining 153 which came from just 118 deliveries.

Max was keeping a watching brief while all this was going on but he contributed fully to the second wicket partnership of 154 which eventually came to an end when ‘Higgo’ was caught by James Regan.

Harry Ellison came in at four and barely stopped long enough to take guard, two sixes and a four his share of a 39-run 15-minute partnership with the patient Curtis who batted serenely on to finish 86 not out at tea, eight fours and a six, in company with skipper Jacob Lintott, who closed with 14 not out at the end of the 50th over.

Taunton made a whole hearted effort in response with openers James Regan (32) and Ron Contreras (34) adding 52 for the first wicket, but once Jake Rowe had bowled Regan the wheels came off and wickets tumbled swiftly to the busy Higgins (2-23), Lintott (4-29) and Will Thirkell (3-26). There were still 15 overs remaining when the final wicket fell, further testimony to the rigorous preparation demanded by coach Piers McBride, no not me, I’m talking about the talented one, and skipper Lintott.

So 20 priceless points for Clevedon and with just five matches remaining tension is really mounting at both ends of the league table as teams jockey to either get their hands on the championship trophy or alternatively, to stave of the spectre of relegation.

With Bath taking an unexpected tumble against Potterne on Saturday, there is now clear water at the head of the league table where sit Clevedon in splendid isolation, 35 points ahead of the field.

This Saturday Clevedon will make the short trip to Bedminster to do battle with former Dial Hill favourite Rob Cunliffe and his squad at the Clanage, play gets underway at 12.30pm.

The following day, Lintott and his men will make the trip to Stanmore in Middlesex to contest the high profile Royal London National Knockout quarter-final. Victory in this will ease Clevedon into the semi-finals of this most prestigious competition, so it will certainly be early to bed on Saturday night for Lintott and his squad of players.

Current Premier League standings, all played 13: Clevedon 234 pts; Bath 199; Downend 196; Bristol 187; Potterne 170; Bedminster 154; Taunton St Andrews 139; Bridgwater 135; Frocester 121; Goatacre 113.

Photo: Jason Crane.

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