Shaftesbury v Mere Cricket Club Mere CC 1st XI on Sun 27 May 2012 at 2pm
Mere Cricket Club Lost by 81 runs

Match report For the league game against Shaftesbury we would be missing not only our Captain and last year’s top scorer Duncan Weir, but also our usual wicketkeeper Mark Cassidy. So the obvious question immediately arose: who would write the match report?

That duty fell to the vice captain, Whitmore, as did assuming the captaincy for the day. It was a huge responsibility, keenly felt; would his grammar be up to the task? Would he keep the length of the report to less than seven sides of A4? Probably not if he continues to write a report about the report. Whitmore had the benefit of several hours of advice from Weir in the week leading up to the match. Bowl first on a Shaftesbury grass wicket was agreed early on, the batting order took a little longer, the opening bowlers were soon agreed too. Bowling changes, fielding positions and when Whitmore was allowed to use the toilet were then also discussed at some length.

In time however, a clear and workable plan was in place, nothing had been left to chance, surely all we had to do was to turn up.

A phone call the night before the game came from Shaftesbury to inform Whitmore that their mower had broken and we would have to use the artificial wicket for the match. This contingency hadn’t been considered duringthe Weir/Whitmore planning phase. This was a catastrophe. At a stroke, all those carefully prepared plans went straight out of the window. Whitmore would have to rely on his wits and resourcefulness. Yep, we were doomed.

The day of the match dawned bright and beautiful. It was going to be a scorcher. Whitmore hadn’t slept much that night trying to work out whether to bat or bowl first. However, he had formed a plan by the time it came to do the toss; we would bat first, sod the state of the wicket, it was far too hot to field in the middle of the day. Apart from the change of playing surface however, everything else was still going according to plan; for a start, everyone had now turned up, no, wait a minute, where’s Glen going?

Glen Ings had been earmarked to keep wicket in Cassidy’s absence, and open the batting (not in Cassidy’s absence). Either way he was fairly crucial to the beginning of either innings, and there he was driving off leaving a sizeable trail of dust in his wake. Smirking from ear to ear, Williams informs the captain for the day that Glen has had to return home ‘cos he forgot his whites. What next?

Next in fact was the toss. Whitmore delays and prevaricates as much as possible, insisting the toss be conducted in the middle and asking all manner of spurious questions of the patient Shaftesbury skipper about the state of the artificial wicket and such like. The toss however, could be avoided no longer; Whitmore calls tails and prepares to inform his long suffering opposite number that Mere will bat. But wait, another fly pops up in the ointment, Shaftesbury have won the toss; this wasn’t in the plan either, dammit. What’s more he wants to bat too. This is going to make the game a little awkward, surely someone has to bowl.

Eventually Whitmore realises he should conform to convention and accept that losing the toss means the other guy gets to choose. Lawrence Yeo agrees to take the gloves, and we are away, taking the field with 10 to begin with.

Dave Rutherford opens with a frustrating mixed bag, some completely unplayable deliveries, followed by some gifts that the batsmen tuck into with relish. Bryan Yeo at the other end bowled what he described later as a “tidy spell”. We must remember that it was a hot afternoon, and one can’t expect the memory of an 84 year old to be all that sharp I suppose. Mike Ryan came on and bowled quickly as always and Mr Harkin came on with instructions to bowl a tight line. The batsmen (a left/right partnership) however were in their stride, and by the time drinks were taken at 15 overs, Shaftesbury were 91-0. I’m pretty certain I don’t remember this being in the plan. A new plan was hatched: we’d rotate the bowlers to combat tiredness and Ings took the gloves to release Yeo Jr, who had spent the last six overs or so like a caged tiger being taunted with raw meat, and was itching to have a bowl. He came tearing down the hill determination and fury in every sinew, and went for 10 in his first over.

Never mind, at least it was a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the English countryside listening to the birds twittering away, the sound leather on willow (even if it was accompanied by the umpire signalling four all too often) until the grating sound of a dozen or so Motocross engines doing battle a few hundred yards away rudely interrupted the gentle peace.

Eventually, with 144 on the board, the first wicket fell,Yeo Jr getting reward for 110% effort. The remaining opener, one Lewis Mutton had already made his 50 and had no intention of stopping there. Further bowling changes ensued, no-one really bowling a good enough line with any consistency. At the 30 over drinks break they were on 194-1. Was there any way back?

Ryan came back into the attack, having gone for 21 in his first 4 overs, went for only 8 in his second spell of 4, and took the wicket of Mutton for 91 caught behind. Tealy and Ings combined for a stumping in the following over, Pitts taking a catch in the over after that and things were suddenly looking, well, less rubbish than they had done a few minutes earlier. From 216-1 to 220-4, we were almost prepared to call it respectable, everything is relative after all.

Shaftesbury ended up making 244-5 Tealy and Ings combining for another stumping in the last over. It was by no means an impossible target. True, we had given them too many runs in extras and loose balls, but as they had shown, it only took one batsman to make a big 50 and you have the makings of a big score.

Tea was taken, sadly with no hint of the sumptuous chocolate cake in evidence last week at Thornford. The chocolate penguins were tricky to negotiate, the heat having ensured that they were more slippery than the real thing.

The Mere reply began with Yeo Snr and Ings looking comfortable and in control. Now this I do remember to be part of Weir’s grandmaster plan. In the 5th over however, Yeo drove the ball straight at a fielder and began the long walk back. Pitts replaced him and began nicely, but in the 10th over Ings was beaten by the ball of the day drifting away from him at the last moment and clipping the off-bail thereby removing it from its resident position.

Yeo Jr then came to the crease and looked purposeful and determined. The stories of the fireworks that usually accompany Lawrence’s innings must have got around, for within minutes of his appearance at the crease two fire engines came blasting through the peaceful countryside towards us, sirens on full tilt. They didn’t stop at the ground though; they were headed for the motocross event. That’s good I thought, fire engines hadn’t been in Duncan’s plans either and I really had no idea what I was going to do if they’d parked up at square leg.

Right on cue though in the 15th over (are you spotting a pattern yet?) Lawrence also departed toe-ending one to a delighted cover fielder who was shortly due home for his bedtime story. Pitts had to replace his bat which seemed to interrupt his stride and he too was shortly returning to the pavilion. Someone soon was going to have to step up and score this big 50. It wasn’t to be Harkin though, his recent good form deserting him and after plenty of bluster and not much end result, Ryan also departed, leaving Mere on 87-6 after 23 overs.

Rutherford and Williams were now together at the crease and began to make batting look easy. In 5 overs they had put on 50 and Shaftesbury were beginning to be concerned for the first time that afternoon. If this carried on Mere could yet win. It wasn’t how Weir and Whitmore had planned it, but then nothing had gone to plan all day, and we’d take winning the game from here however it came about. That however was the cue for Rutherford to take one of the biggest ‘Yahoos’ in living memory and end his part of the resistance by failing to connect with a straight one. Kev Tealey then staked a solid claim for one of his Duck Boy tee shirts, but Williams was still there, playing nicely, a mixture of his conventional leg side shots, and one or two more closely resembling something from the coaching manual too. He even played a defensive shot and he played one on the off side, although he confessed later that was only because he was a bit late on it. That shot must have confused the Shaftesbury skipper because he still hadn’t loaded the leg side with fielders.

Sadly, Williams ran out of partners on 38, Lewis Wood edging one to close the innings on 163. Williams it would seem was the one destined to score the big 50 today – that hadn’t been in the original plan either, but it will be next time.


Shaftesbury Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 7w 10b 2lb 
for 5 wickets
244 (40.0 overs)
L Mutton ct  Ings, b. Ryan 91
R Bryant ct  Ryan, b. Yeo L 51
S Mutton Not Out  47
R Coker st  Ings, b. Tealey 0
M Williams ct  Pitts, b. Ryan 1
M Cuff st  Ings, b. Tealey 4
L Pile Not Out  5

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Dave Rutherford7.003800.005.43
Bryan Yeo4.002000.005.00
Mike Ryan8.0029214.503.63
Sean Harkin3.001900.006.33
Lawrence Yeo5.0034134.006.80
Kevin Whitmore4.002800.007.00
Lewis Wood3.001900.006.33
Kevin Tealey6.0040220.006.67

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC 1st XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
2nb 3w 7b 3lb 
for 10 wickets
Bryan Yeo Caught  11
Glen Ings Bowled  14 1 2
Matt Pitts Caught  24 1
Lawrence Yeo Caught  4
Mike Ryan Caught  9 1
Sean Harkin Caught  1
Dave Rutherford Bowled  37
Mark Williams Not Out  38
Kevin Tealey Bowled  0
Kevin Whitmore Bowled  9
Lewis Wood Caught  0

Shaftesbury Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.