Mere Cricket Club Mere CC v Westbury on Sun 15 Apr 2012 at 1.30pm
Mere Cricket Club Won by 15 runs

Match report Mere (133/4) bt Westbury (120 all out) by 13 runs

Our season got off to a winning start on Sunday 15th April at a windswept and chilly Mere ground as
we welcomed a Westbury side for a T20 friendly. Last minute preparations including hoovering the artificial wicket of recently mown grass and the unveiling of the new boundary fence and player's gate...only slightly wider than the one that certain Mere batsmen have offered the opposition bowlers in seasons past. The gate will be opened officially at the first league game against Bruton and will be henceforth known as the Whitmore Gate.

With players looking to make a good impression on new skipper Duncan Weir, some even made it to the ground before the actual start time...this could only be a good omen for the campaign ahead. Some were quick to point out to DW that under our previous captain we'd never lost a home toss and were therefore already doubting his credentials as he returned from the middle emptyhanded. As all good captains do he declared it a great toss to lose and looked around the dressing room to see who would have the pleasure/honour/discomfort/embarrassment of opening the batting.

It fell upon the two Marks, Williams and Cassidy to open, and having argued about who was to face possibly the first duck of the season, Williams pulled rank and said his junior partner should take the honour. In seasons past this would have been a partnership of hugely contrasting styles...the swashbuckling cross batted, gung ho Williams wielding the wood like a master tree feller and Cassidy whose stoic defence has in the past lead to other players going home for their tea mid innings knowing that they wouldn't be missing much let alone getting to bat. What a difference a Winter makes with both having spent a little time under the watchful eye of DW, resisting the temptation to revert to type early doors.

It didn't last long for Williams however who was caught mid-wicket attempting a sumptous lofted cover drive but getting through the shot too early and lofting up a simple chance that Westbury were ecstatic to have held, having already dropped the dangerous strokemaker behind the wicket when only on two. Williams was equally pleased as it was the first time he had been out in any other way than bowled middle stick whilst heaving across the line.....things were indeed looking up! Cassidy however was riding his luck, determined to silence his doubters and resisting the temptation to "steady things up a bit" after the early loss, he set about the Westbury attack with new partner Glen Ings and between them put on a brisk 87 before Ings was caught for 41 going after another crashing boundary and spooning one high to mid-off which was easily taken.

This bought the new captain Weir to the crease, and within a ball or two was stroking the ball at will to the off-side boundary with typical Gower-like ease. Cassidy at the other end showing an unerring feel for his edge, guided many through the slips and over the keeper and showed a glimpse of what could be to come this season with a textbook back foot cover drive that raced to the fence for four. Such footwork hadn't been seen from him since New Year's Eve whilst dancing on the tables at the Walnut Tree Party. He finally succumbed, given out contenciously by umpire Williams, stumped behind whilst going for a swipe to cow corner. Later in the pub when relaying to the absent Mr Yeo (normally opens the batting) that he had scored 36 off 43, Mr Yeo answered in typically dead pan fashion "I thought you were only playing a twenty over game".

With Guy joining Weir at the crease, fireworks were expected but he returned to the hutch soon after, run out easily, leaving the crowd somewhat disappointed at not seeing some of Guyer's flamboyant left-handed strokeplay. It was left to the young Mike Ryan back from Uni and sporting a new look paunch and ginger beard to wrap up the innings with a typically quickfire 11 off five balls to leave Weir unbeaten on 16 and himself the not out batsmen. Mere finished on 133/4...a decent total for the first time out and defendable if the bowling attack was up to the job.

After taking tea, Mere took to the field and captain Weir decided to bowl all ten players, choosing to open from the Rec end with the Motcombe man Dave Rutherford. Steaming in on his first over since last season he bagged his first wicket as the Westbury opener looked to dispatch him over mid-off but edging sharply to safe-hands Williams who pouched the first catch of the campaign. Pity this wasn't to be the order of the day as Mere saw catches by Whitmore (2) Tealy, Guy, Weir, Ryan (2) go down as Westbury rode their luck. Westbury's numbers 2 and 3 took the score along steadily as they batted without restraint and it was down to the wristy spin of the Tottenham turner Harkin who snaffled his first wicket as Guy took an easy chance at mid-off.

A steady procession of wickets followed with all the bowlers fairly tidy, the mesmerising flight and guile of Kevin "Tosser" Tealy the pick of the bunch deserving better as the over eager Cassidy behind the stumps took the bails off neatly, with just the lack of ball anywhere near his hands being the deciding factor in the umpire's decision to keep the batsman in the middle. In fact the game looked to be going easily in Mere's favour until the 17th over when Glen Ings took the ball and was dispatched mercilessly for 22, giving the Westbury bats a sniff of hope, knowing they still had another over from Ings to come. With Ings indignant and protesting that "none of the balls had actually been that bad" not giving his teammates much confidence in what was to come, it was time for the young ginger bearded Mike Ryan to take the ball for his first over, with Westbury needing 25 from 3 overs to see them home. A masterstroke of captaincy by Weir to keep Mere's fastest and most prolific bowler back till the end as Ryan ripped through two Westbury batsmen, and then a piece of fielding magnificence in the deep by Ings saw the third Westbury wicket to go as a direct hit from the
boundary saw the batsman well short of the crease.
Buoyed with confidence Ings bowled a tidy 19th over and it was down to the Ginger Ninja Ryan to knock over the last two wickets to leave Westbury all out for 120 and himself with a tidy set of figures of 4 for 3. A triumphant Mere team retired to the Walnut and it was the fines purse that was the real winner as nearly all the players were made to cough up for a fielding misdemeanour or two.

So a winning start for Captain Weir, runs for Ings and Cassidy and a bagfull for week sees the visit of our near neighbours from over the border Motcombe....let's hope for more of the same.


Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 9w 9b 2lb 
for 4 wickets

(20.0 overs)
Mark Cassidy Stumped  36
Mark Williams Caught  6
Glen Ings Caught  41
Duncan Weir Not Out  16
Chris Guy Run out  2
Mike Ryan Not Out  11
Kevin Whitmore  
Sean Harkin  
Kevin Tealey  
Dave Rutherford  
Lewis Wood  

Westbury Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Westbury Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
118 (19.0 overs)
  b 0 0
  Caught  8
  Caught  36
  Bowled  13
  Caught  3
  Run out  28
  Not Out  8
  st Cassidy 1
  Caught  0
  Bowled  1
  Bowled  0

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Dave Rutherford2.00414.002.00
Mark Williams2.0016116.008.00
Sean Harkin2.0012112.006.00
Kevin Whitmore2.0012112.006.00
Kevin Tealey2.00818.004.00
Mike Ryan2.00441.002.00
Lewis Wood2.00800.004.00
Chris Guy2.00400.002.00
Duncan Weir2.00600.003.00
Glen Ings2.002400.0012.00