Clevedon excited by Bath trip as new league season begins

Harry Ellison acknowledges a half century

Harry Ellison acknowledges a half century for Clevedon - Credit: Jacob Crane

Clevedon start the new West of England Premier League season with a trip to Bath on Saturday.

And director of cricket John Bachelor says the team are looking forward to it after a busy pre-season schedule.

"If you don't go to Bath excited about playing there is probably something wrong with you!" said Bachelor.

"It's a terrific place to play, they are always a very strong side and it's a nice start to the season. If you beat Bath you are going to take a lot of confidence. It's a lovely place and the boys are very much looking forward to it.

"You have got to go there, enjoy the game and the principle of most games of cricket is to do the basics right. If we can get the basics right I have no problem.

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"If you lose a game of cricket and do everything you possibly can to win, these things happen. Making sure we don’t put down catches, we are disciplined with the ball, we don’t want to give them too many extras, wides.

"All that discipline are key factors. We’ve got the ability to beat Bath, absolutely no doubt, but it’s all down to the lads’ discipline. Good fielding, catching, discipline with the ball, running in between the wickets all those things. They are tiny cogs in a big wheel but they are what you need to win big games of cricket."

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Clevedon slipped to a 61-run defeat against Midsomer Norton in their last pre-season game at Dial Hill on Saturday.

The visitors piled up 310-8 from their 45 overs, led by Nick Pang (97) and Jake Rowe (66).

Ryan Thorpe (3-37) was the pick of Clevedon's bowling, as Dan Williams (2-25) and Tyler Leaman (2-47) nabbed braces.

But Oliver Wilson fell to the second ball of their reply and Harry Ellison to the sixth to leave them up against it.

Thorpe and Connor Crane both scored 33, sharing a 41-run partnership, before Williams and captain Matt Carpenter put on 89 for the seventh wicket.

Williams hit eight fours in his 64 off 68 deliveries, while Carpenter smacked three sixes and six fours in a quickfire 52 off 29 balls.

Max Horton chipped in with 30 but Clevedon were all out for 249 with 10 balls remaining.

Bachelor added: "The guys have had plenty of time in the middle, there should be no excuses. We've done more pre-season this year than any other year. We are full of confidence.

"Harry Ellison is going to be a key player for us. He's also captain as Jake Lintott is not available. There's going to be eight, nine games Jake can't play so Harry will be captain for those. I know the boys are well up for Saturday and really looking forward to it.

"We've got four teams out, all four are very excited to be playing league stuff again. We are quite a big club, very competitive, nothing else than competing for silverware is what we are after.

"The WEPL One is an incredibly tough league to play in, we really need the twos in the WEPL set-up and feel we've got a side able to compete for promotion in the Bristol & District League. Also the threes and fours, there is no reason why we shouldn't be competing this year."

Clevedon were saddened to hear news of the death of Tim Brooks, who played over 240 games for the club. He was 49.

Bachelor said: "I would love to think we can put in a performance in our first league games that would honour him. He was one of the guys you would want in your corner.

"He was a real changing room guy and would really get the best out of people. I hope in remembrance of Tim we can put in some fantastic performances this weekend. A terrific guy who is really going to be missed by a lot of people at the club.

"He was a strong supporter of the ones, home and away, and you can guarantee he would've been at Bath with 'Jenks' (Paul Jenkins) and (Darren) Hussey. It's incredibly sad."  

Clevedon seconds eased to a nine-wicket win over Failand & Portbury, who posted 233-7 from their 40 overs.

Muhammed Ahmed (85), Joe Marsden (47) and Ivor Wilson (28) led the way for the hosts, as Jake Brand (3-22) and Jack Banks (2-33) had most success with the ball.

Scott Ford hit six sixes and 14 fours before retiring out on 100 in reply and shared a large opening stand with Andy Payne, who was unbeaten on 103 after hitting four sixes and 10 fours.

Andy Payne and Scott Ford hit centuries for Clevedon seconds against Failand & Portbury

Andy Payne and Scott Ford hit centuries for Clevedon seconds against Failand & Portbury - Credit: Clevedon CC

The thirds came up well short at Abbots Leigh, after the home side made 256-6 in 40 overs.

Jonny Weber (63 retired) and Miles Weber (48 not out) top scored, as Sam Barcham (2-22) and Teddy Birkbeck (2-31) nabbed doubles for Clevedon.

George Salmon (27) and Josh Jenkins (24) were the only batsmen to pass 20 in reply as Clevedon were dismissed for 120 in 35 overs.

Sunday's friendly with St Fagans also ended in defeat, after the visitors made 238-7 in 45 overs.

Jacob Lintott (3-48) and Ellison (2-18) had most success with the ball for Clevedon, who saw Wilson suffer another second-ball duck in reply.

Louis Woodland (26), Ellison (21), Lintott (26) and Will Carpenter (20) all made starts, while Will Plummer hit a team-high 53 off 63 balls as Clevedon were dismissed for 203 in the 43rd over.

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