Clevedon finish the season in second spot despite defeat
PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 06 September 2017
Clevedon finished the season with defeat at Downend, ending up in second position overall.
Piers McBride takes his leave
This game encapsulated Clevedon’s whole season really with flashes of absolute brilliance being mixed with moments of total incompetence.
One minute you were applauding a sumptuous cover drive by Masoor Khan and the next your heart was in your mouth and your eyes sticking out like chapel hat pegs as Jake Rowe somehow contrived to crash head first through the sight screen at the far end of the ground. You wouldn’t read about it, although of course that is exactly what you are doing right now.
Still haunted by the real prospect of relegation there was considerable tension abroad as Downend’s openers took guard and local hopes took a nose dive as Nathan Roberts and kingpin Ian Cockbain fell victims to Clevedon’s favourite son Andrew Solomons for just nine runs apiece.
Grieshaber (34) and Daniel Lezar (47) combined comfortably to repair the damage, but both fell to Jacob Lintott as the visiting spinners imposed themselves on proceedings.
An enterprising seventh wicket stand of 68 gave Downend a real boost until Solomons (4-34) and Masoor Khan (3-40) got together to snuff out any further resistance, 229 runs a comfortable target on such a small ground.
Well now, we’ve all been here before haven’t we? Clevedon, well pleased with their efforts in the field, immediately stumbled with the bat, simply because that is what the top order does.
Skipper Lintott, Ben Keysell and Marc Lezar combined for a total of one and at 3-3 the visitor’s congested dressing room took on the air of a gathering of young Victorian ladies suffering from an attack of the vapours.
Bats, boxes, pads and gloves were flying everywhere as the lower order strived to keep up with the comings and goings until Masoor Khan and Joshua Davey shared a stand of 55 for the fourth wicket. Josh left for a run-a-ball 26 and Downend couldn’t believe their luck as Solomons and Will Carpenter took their leave for next to nothing.
All the while this procession was being enacted, Masoor Khan was batting in total serenity at the other end and when he finally found a tried and trusted partner, Jake Rowe, Downend heads began to drop.
Jake made 20 before being trapped lbw, but with Will Plummer (29) now operating as Masoor’s co-pilot, Clevedon looked destined for victory. Not so though as Mas was cruelly run out when a driven ball from Will clipped the fingers of the bowler and crashed into the stumps. This was a cruel end to a memorable innings of 77 which included a six and 10 fours.
That wrapped things up pretty well and there was jubilation among the sizeable crowd as the euphoric Downend players left the field having avoided the drop.
You want to know how Rowe crashed into the sight screen? Of course you do. Well racing full tilt in an attempt to prevent a boundary Jake opted for a spectacular dive to halt the progress of the ball and quite simply he flew head first into the screen.
The bang could be heard all around the ground as Jake made contact and a concerned hush fell until he sat up none the worse for his experience even though he had failed to prevent the boundary.
So the curtain falls on a truly remarkable season. Whether or not Clevedon will be able to reach similar heights in the future remains to be seen as this squad has exceeded all expectations.
Lintott and his team have brought immense pleasure to the supporters and followers of Clevedon cricket throughout the summer and it is to be hoped that the majority of the players will return to play on Dial Hill again next year.
Finally a word or two about Clevedon’s gun all-rounder Andy Solomons who has now returned to Sri Lanka. For three seasons Andrew has won matches for Clevedon either with his explosive hitting, his hostile pace bowling or a combination of the two.
His exploits have become legendary with both bat and ball and he has attracted much attention from clubs throughout the leagues. He is a very talented professional cricketer who has given his everything to Clevedon, but it now remains to be seen whether or not he will be returning to Dial Hill next summer.
Whatever happens Clevedon’s players and followers will wish him well and thank him for the contributions he has made both on and off the field.
Final league standings, all played 18: Bath, 301 pts; Clevedon 254; Frocester 230; Bristol 225; Downend 220; Potterne 218; Bedminster 214; Bridgwater 214; Lechlade 201, relegated; Corsham 142, relegated.