Mere Cricket Club Mere CC v Shrewton on Sun 03 Jun 2012 at 2pm
Mere Cricket Club Won by 25 runs

Match report Shrewton was a new game on the Mere fixture card this year, the result of some excellent work in the late off-season by Bryan Yeo to shore up some of the gaps in the list of fixtures. Bryan had responded to an advert placed by Shrewton looking for some additional games so their older colts could gain additional match experience. We didn’t mind, we were just keen to play on as many Sundays as possible, the general consensus being that it would be a crying shame should we all be sat around doing housework instead of playing cricket on a glorious Sunday afternoon.

Sadly, this was not to be a glorious Sunday afternoon. The UK had just bathed in 3 weeks of sunshine and bearable temperatures, but that abruptly ended on the Saturday with an all day downpour, and the forecast for the Sunday was no better. An early morning inspection was carried out, the pitch was rolled (twice) and if no further rain fell it was hopeful we might play on it. Who were we trying to kid? Moments later the heavens opened again.

However, come 1.30 as the Mere players began to congregate, it had stopped raining again. The grass wicket would be unplayable, but we still had the artificial. The outfield was damp on top but otherwise fine. There were just two things that could prevent play now: further rain, and the lack of opposition. On the rain front, showers were forecast for the afternoon before a further torrential downpour that evening; we may get lucky.

On the opposition front, there was nothing to be seen or heard of them. Shrewton had contacted Bryan earlier in the week to explain that they had unexpectedly reached the county semi-final of the village knockout cup and it had been scheduled for this Sunday. Many apologies, but they hoped still to field a side although they would have to back-fill it with under 15’s. We wondered whether perhaps they had not been able to fill a side after all. Bryan, as match organiser, reassured the assembled players that he had made contact earlier that day and they were all set and looking forward to it. In the end Bryan dispatched himself to hunt for them in case they had managed to get lost in Mere. His hunt bore no fruit, or cricketers.

Eventually they appeared, claiming they had thought it was a 2.30 start. Raised eyes turned toward Bryan. However, with an opposition present, and still no rain, custom prevailed and the match was on. Whitmore won the toss and elected to bat. Bryan and Glen were instructed to open, but Bryan was nowhere to be seen. In all the uncertainty of whether the match would be played or not, the decision to purchase ingredients for the tea had been delayed until the last minute, almost literally, for Bryan was in the supermarket, bedecked in his whites, buying up apple pies and quiches by the armful.

Ignoring the lack of an opener, Whitmore issued instructions to his middle order: “Williams, you’re 4, unless we lose an early wicket in which case you’ll be 3 otherwise, you’re 4. Cassidy, If we lose an early wicket you’re 3, otherwise you’re 7, no make that 5. White, you’re 4, unless we lose an early wicket in which case you’re 5.” To their credit, none of them asked how early the wicket had to be in order for the alternatives to kick in, although in hindsight, they may not have asked because they were still trying to fathom what their captain’s instructions actually meant.

The Shrewton team meanwhile were enthusiastically bounding around throwing rugby balls to each other and looking well, rather young. Indeed we later discovered that their oldest player was 22. Our optimism for a positive result was quietly growing.

That optimism was short-lived however when their opening bowler, one of the under 15’s earlier mentioned by the name of McClure, hared in from the Fish Farm end and fizzed 6 deliveries in very quick fashion past Ings’ bat. He was rather lively. Two overs later Ings played a shot past gully for some runs. Actually, that’s wrong, it turned out to be just one run even though they ran twice because Yeo was adjudged to have run one short. Whether it was the unsettling effect of the hurried purchasing of the tea, or that he didn’t fancy running all the way to the other end, or that we were playing on the artificial which has lines for the junior matches all painted in the same colour, Yeo only ran 19 yards to the under 11 crease line and back again.

There followed a fascinating battle between the young McClure and the experienced Yeo as the batsman took the battle to the bowler and refused to allow him to dominate, the bowler responding with quicker deliveries, shorter deliveries and the occasional yorker; this was fine stuff and worth the wait. It was a shame then when Yeo’s innings was cut prematurely short on 12 when he was the third wicket to fall, bowled at the other end. Ings had already departed bowled by the impressive McClure swinging the ball across the unfortunate batsman to take his off stump and Cassidy, coming in at the fall of an early wicket, had also been and gone.

White came to the crease with two wickets down after Cassidy’s departure, which if you’d been paying attention earlier and followed the captain’s pre-match instructions to his middle order, you’d know this should have been impossible. It seems that with the captain pressed into service as an umpire, the middle order, completely bemused by his instructions, took matters into their own hands and made up their own minds where they wanted to bat. White though showed his intent with some forceful and attractive strokeplay.

Shortly after Yeo departed, Williams was also out to his trademark dismissal, and not long after that White also succumbed, tickling the ball with the thinnest of edges down the leg side to the keeper. The umpire didn’t see it but to his lasting credit White walked anyway, knowing he was out.

We were now 50-5 and it was beginning to look like this might be a short afternoon. The occasional comment was made in Bryan’s direction about checking out how good an opposition were before signing up for a massacre, and don’t forget, their first choice eleven were some miles away in a village cup game; thank God none of them were here!

We shouldn’t have worried. Harvey was now at the crease with debutant Chris Rumens. Slowly, carefully, and not without a healthy dose of mother luck, Harvey and Rumens began to build a partnership. With most of his runs accumulated off the inside edge down to wide fine leg, Rumens collected 12 runs before being bowled, which brought Sam Harrison to the crease, playing in his first 40 over match. Harrison a product of Mike Gladding’s current under 15 side batted with increasing confidence, partnered by Harvey who played his own mixed brand of attractive cover drives, brutal straight drives, and downright jammy top edges to all parts of the ground. Not without some justification he was heard explaining to the exasperated fielders that one particular effort was not what one might call ‘conventional’.

Harvey and Harrison, cheered on by watching family, took the Mere score from obscurity to respectability with a valuable 63 run partnership, Harrison falling for an excellent 25, Harvey eventually out excruciatingly close to a well deserved 50.

Tealey failed to trouble the scorers, which left Ryan and Whitmore to see out the final few overs. The tea was almost ready, having been feverishly worked on by volunteers (dismissed batsmen) and overseen by Mel. The only item not in a state of readiness was the quiche, so the instruction to the No11 batsman as he prepared to take the field was not anything useful like “see out the overs”, or “give Ryan the strike”, no, it was “make sure you hang around long enough for us to cook the quiche”.

He did, returning to the pavilion 5 runs later with the quiche just being removed from the oven, thus making it the first instance his timing at the crease has been just right this year.

Shrewton had been lively and chirpy in the field and had treated the spectators to a good selection of unnecessary slides aided by the damp grass. The fielding had been good considering the conditions and the bowling had been tight in the main. It was perhaps fortunate their two quickest bowlers had been unable to do any more than resort to trying their off-spin as conditions were not suited to their full pace run up and delivery.

Tea was taken amid compliments for the warm quiche with Mere having posted 181 all out, a defendable target hopefully, but Shrewton had looked well drilled in the field and there was no reason to suspect their batting would be any less efficient. Spectators cuddled their cups of tea eagerly as Mere took to the field for the second innings, the clouds above still threatening to have their say.

In his second over Ryan took the first wicket, and an over later Whitmore took the second. At 4-2 things were looking up, not taking early wickets had been our downfall against Shaftesbury the week before. For the tenth over, White replaced Whitmore at the Burton path and soon had a wicket of his own. By now Ryan had also been replaced by Tealey, who produced two of his trademark wickets in his first over tipping the balance of the game firmly in Mere’s favour. From 41-2 after a mini recovery, Shrewton were now reeling at 45-5.

Shrewton were now obliged to rebuild again and having seen what Tealey was capable of they played more circumspectly, respecting his variation of flight and spin. At the other end they just couldn’t lay a bat on White’s bowling as he ended with figures of 5-2-7-1. Plank and Cash though diligently set about their task and had taken the score to 90 whilst keeping pace with the run-rate and were beginning to look dangerous.

A further bowling change produced the breakthrough for Mere. Williams replaced White and in his second over bowled Plank using his well practised 1-2 routine; the ‘1’ being a wide so wide the square leg umpire could call it, followed by the ‘2’, an unplayable straight one, unplayable due to its unexpected nature.

The following over the recently introduced Yeo bagged the first of his three wickets with help from a solid catch by Williams in the covers. Harvey took the next catch four overs later, again off Yeo’s bowling and the final pair were then at the crease, the score now on 117 with 13 overs remaining. Newberry and McClure were that final pair, Newberry probably deserving his place near the foot of the order, but the young McClure appeared to be out of position at No9. He batted with authority, poise and control and quickly made his way to 46, including three sixes, his shots of choice being the inside out lofted cover drive off Yeo, and the hoick to deep square leg off Williams.

It was Yeo who eventually got him though, caught at mid-wicket by Tealey leaving Shrewton all out on 156. Mere victorious by 25 runs.

Shrewton were clearly a very good side, and in dry conditions with a full strength side maybe it would have been a different story. We will certainly need to put out a stronger batting side next year, for by the end of the game both sides agreed it had been an excellent fixture which should returned the following year, nods and smiles this time being directed to Bryan for his part in setting it up.

Whilst Nick Ryan’s new i-pad scoring gizmo (which I believe may be called an “app” to those in the know) showed Jason Harvey as the man of the match through its statistical analysis, there were in practice a few very worthy candidates. Harvey’s 48 was indeed instrumental in our batting recovery, but he would be the first to acknowledge that would not have been possible without the sterling support he received from Sam Harrison who also batted superbly. But then we also need to consider Bryan Yeo’s contribution, 3 wickets, last minute tea arrangements and the match organiser; no i-pad gizmo can possibly count the value of all that.


Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 22w 20b 1lb 
for 10 wickets

(37.2 overs)
Glen Ings b McClure 3 13 23.08 1
Bryan Yeo b Cash 12 30 40.0
Mark Cassidy b Plant 4 11 36.36
Charlie White ct Plank 15 15 100
Mark Williams lbw Cash 0 1 0 1
Chris Rumens b Newberry 12 41 29.27
Jason Harvey b Jackson 48 56 85.71 1
Sam Harrison b Newberry 25 37 67.57
Kevin Tealey ct Jackson 0 1 0 1
Mike Ryan Not Out  12 16 75.00
Kevin Whitmore ct b M Anderson-Emm 5 7 71.43 1

Shrewton Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
K McClure6.0217117.002.83
J Plant4.0017117.004.25
J Cash6.0224212.004.00
G Plank4.0024124.006.00
T Anderson-Emm3.001600.005.33
C Newberry8.0125212.503.12
J Vallis2.001100.005.50
M Jackson4.0022211.005.50
M Anderson-Emm0.20414.0012.00

Shrewton Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
5w 1b 2lb 
for 9 wickets
156 (32.1 overs)
T Anderson-Emm ct Ings, b Tealey 29
M Anderson-Emm b Ryan 0
J Plant b Whitmore 0
A Williams b White 9
J Vallis ct Whitmore, b Tealey 2
G Plank b Williams 24
J Cash ct Williams, b Yeo 21
M Jackson ct Harvey, b Yeo 3
K McClure ct Tealey, b Yeo 46
C Newberry Not Out  14

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mike Ryan6.0227127.004.50
Kevin Whitmore5.0115115.003.00
Charlie White5.02717.001.40
Kevin Tealey4.0027213.506.75
Mark Williams6.0046146.007.67
Bryan Yeo6.1031310.335.03