by Jeremy Blackmore (with thanks to Somerset Cricket Board website for additional information)
Somerset legends Charl Willoughby and Rob Turner were back in action at the County Ground last Sunday as they helped Weston-super-Mare to victory in the T20 Major Cup final against Ilminster.
The game was just one of three finals in a packed day of T20 cricket at Taunton starting at 10am, brilliantly organised by the Somerset Cricket Board and hosted by Somerset County Cricket Club.
Ilminster were looking to secure the league and cup double after winning promotion from WEPL Premier Two the week before, while Weston were looking to make up for their recent relegation from Premier One.
Williams and John Davidson took the score to 77 before Davidson was run out in the ninth over for 28, followed soon after by Turner without scoring, the first of three stumpings by Sam Spurway. By the half-way stage, Weston had reached 81-3.
Williams moved on to reach his half-century with a six in the 14th over and bring up the Weston 100, but he was caught on the boundary in the very next over for 53.
Three wickets from Matt Davis helped keep Weston’s innings in check with a score of around 130 looking likely until Ashley Allen launched a savage attack in the final two overs. He scored an unbeaten 32 off just 9 balls – including 24 off the final over – to propel the total to 158-7.
Ilminster’s reply got off to the worst possible start when Willoughby bowled the prolific Louie Kraucamp with just his third ball.
Johnny Warry scored freely, making 26 despite tight bowling from Andy Fear who bowled the dangerous Sam Spurway (9) to keep the innings in check. At this stage Ilminster were 37-2 in the sixth over.
Matt Davis counter attacked well, playing aggressively for 22, but Ilminster’s progress was checked further when Warry fell to Allen for 26. Davis was in full flow when he was adjudged LBW against the bowling of Sam Trego in the 10th over and Ilminster were 67-4, well behind Weston’s 81-3 at the same half-way stage.
Jon Hurford (38) and Craig Rice (21) hit their straps early and despite 12 an over being required the experienced pair hit a number of boundaries to keep up with the rate.
Ilminster’s task got harder when both fell in the space of two overs to Allen and Trego. The return of Willoughby in the 19th over, which went for only 7, left Ilminster requiring 21 which they were unable to get off the last over.
Weston-super-Mare were crowned champions, winning the game by 17 runs. champions. The man of the match award went to Ashley Allen for his 32 from 9 balls and three wickets.
Long Sutton CC emerged champions in a close game over Bear Flat CC.
Long Sutton batted first and made 128-5 in their 20overs, Dan Lazarides top scoring with 63 and Jay Morris taking 2-17. In reply, Bear Flat could only reach 117, falling 11 runs short, as James Cook took two wickets for nine runs at the death.
In another close contest, Bridgwater Second XI lifted the trophy after beating Staplegrove by nine runs.
Bridgwater reached 134-7 in their 20 overs, Witts top scoring with 44, Butt 24 and Skidmore a useful 19 at the close.
Bridgwater did well to restrict Staplegrove to 125-5, despite 58 from man of the match Dan Sizer.