Deverills v Mere Cricket Club Mere CC on Sun 25 May 2014 at 2.30
Mere Cricket Club Won by 10 wickets

Match report There is a very real danger this match report will be longer than the actual match, so this biographer knows he will need to be at his best to keep report and match in balance:
Deverills batted first and were bowled out for 38. Tea was had following which Mere surpassed the first innings score without loss of wicket.

However, that clearly leaves out much detail of which the future historian will not be aware and indeed will render his study of the 2014 Mere CC season incomplete. So this biographer feels a more comprehensive account of events is called for in order that his responsibilities are properly satisfied.

The tale of this match begins in the days leading up to the appointed fixture. What would only be obvious from the study of the relevant season’s fixture cards of the time was that the match was originally fixed to be played at the Deverills ground in Kingston Deverill. The diligent historian will also have studied the meteorological conditions of the Mere/Deverills area in the week leading up to 25 May 2014. Our historian’s research would show a predominance toward inclement weather that will have severely restricted the preparation time required by the conscientious groundsman in his preparation of the perfect playing surface. To the extent that it had rained so much the Deverills pitch was deemed unplayable as early as the Saturday evening before the day of the game.

As fixtures secretary the majority of your job is carried out in the winter months. Our fixtures secretary does indeed work tirelessly during the months of dark, early evenings, but he is not one to rest on his laurels during the playing season either. Bryan quickly rescued the game by suggesting a switch to play the game at Mere; the forecast looked good and we could always use the artificial. A last minute change of venue did create a few logistical problems. Notifying players of the change was not too much of a problem in these days of easy communications (I speak of course in the context of the early 21st century). Organising tea was more problematic, but our intrepid fixtures secretary had a solution, more of which later, at the appropriate juncture.

The afternoon was a fine one and a first class reward for the efforts made to get the game on. The groundsman decided to use last weeks pitch (note for the historian: pitch number 4) which required a quick mow and the use of the heavy roller for 10 minutes. After the captains had tossed up, the Mere skipper, Duncan Weir, upon winning the toss elected to field first. The game started a few minutes late allowing for the last minute pitch preparation. As it turned out, the wicket played really well, testament to Matt’s excellent preparations the week before.

The Deverills openers strode out with an air of purpose. Charlie White (RFM) opened the bowling from the Fish Farm end and sent down six of the best; Bryan (OB?) opened the bowling from the Burton path end. It was Bryan who struck first claiming his 98th career wicket. In order to make sure I correctly reported the detail of the wicket taken, I checked with the umpire at the bowlers end as to how much the ball had turned. Not a jot was the answer. Perhaps the ball swerved, ducked and dipped in the flight. Apparently not, it was just a straight one that bounced and took the top of the batsman’s off stump just like every good coaching manual shows you.

It mattered not how, the breakthrough was had, and shortly after White had his reward also. Skipper Weir then decided to put some pressure on the incoming batsman by placing three slips alongside the gully, the combined age of all four coming to 197, a total Deverills were destined to not come close to reaching. It is customary in the close catching cordon that the youngest member takes on the duties of chasing the ball should it somehow leak through. Mr Harkin found to his horror that on this occasion that meant he was saddled with the chasing duties. Our historian would do well to study the Jamaican sprint quartet of the contemporary era to properly understand the situation. I refer of course to Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Warren Weir (I am unable to confirm whether he is related to our captain). Once one fully appreciates what these gentlemen are capable of you will understand the latent pace that lay in our slip cordon. Sadly they were not put to the test. It did however give Mr White senior a good view of his son’s bowling and anything loose elicited a sharp tut from between the father’s teeth, a full toss being condemned most particularly. What makes it remarkable that there aren't more loose deliveries is that, as the bowler later revealed, he bowls with his eyes shut!

Two bowling changes later and we had Archie Young (RMF) from the Fish Farm end, giving it everything, albeit without success today, and Sean Harkin (RM) from the Burton Path end. Sean soon had the first of four wickets bowling the nervous jumpy Allard with yet another straight one. Allard and Deverills captain Read had been patiently building the score and had taken it to 33/2 before the former’s dismissal. Two balls later Harkin had his second victim, plumb LBW, although the batsman clearly wanted to discuss the validity of the decision. On came Jamie Weir (SLA) to replace Archie (I am able to confirm this particular Weir is related to our captain). The Deverills captain decides Jamie’s first delivery is the one to attack, but only managed to lob it into the covers. What followed was a demonstration of determination, focus and sheer bloody mindedness which can all be essential factors when trying to pouch a catch at Mere. Archie later claimed it was coming straight for him, and Duncan said the same. Duncan to be fair did call the loudest. In fact, anyone playing cricket in the entire Blackmore Vale would have let catches drop at that precise point in time in the sure belief that some fellow called Duncan would be along to take the catch. As it turned out he did take the catch, in the midst of being rugby tackled by Archie, also hell bent on taking the catch.

Next ball another wicket, take a breather for a ball (thus missing out on a hatrick) and the fourth ball also bagged a wicket. Harkin got in on the act with a couple more in his next over and J Weir finished it off with his fourth in 10 balls. 38 all out.

Tea as I mentioned earlier was potentially a logistical headache. There had been no time to prepare anything, and we needed to work around the bowls club who had an event on assuming we wouldn't be there. Bryan had dashed out to pick up some bits and pieces and had returned with anything that had been labelled up on a 3 for 2 offer in the first 3 aisles of Tesco, although fortunately it looked like he had skipped past the fresh meat. It turned out to be absolutely fine somehow, a gourmet success, although the proprietor of a local pub suggested you couldn't run a business like that. The curtailed 1st innings also meant we avoided any clash with the bowls club, so a result all round.

The second innings saw the Marks Williams and Cassidy take to the crease. Both scored at around a run a ball to see the total surpassed in the 7th over, with some nice stroke play coming in particular from the Cassidy bat toward the square leg area.

The results card shows a straightforward win for Mere, but this biographer believes he has been able to demonstrate, there was, as always, much more to it than that. Following this performance there are now a pair of Harkins and a pair of Weirs occupying the top four places in the bowling prize race, but of course it is only the end of May, and this is where our historian has the advantage as he will already know how that panned out by the season’s end.


Deverills Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
1nb 5w  
for 10 wickets
38 (18.4 overs)
E Barnes ct  G Cassidy b C White 4 8 10 1 40.0
I Robbins b  B Yeo 4 4 4 1 100
E Read ct  D Weir b J Weir 41 46 38 1 107.89
J Allard b  S Harkin 9 32 36 1 25.00
R Braithwaite lbw  b S Harkin 0 1 2 0
D House b  J Weir 0 10 9 0
J Downe b  S Harkin 0 3 1 0
H Fagan ct  M Williams b J Weir 0 1 2 0
J Fagan Not Out  1 8 3 33.33
J Richards b  S Harkin 0 1 4 0
S Pearce b  J Weir 0 2 4 0

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charlie White4.01818.002.00
Bryan Yeo6.0117117.002.83
Archie Young4.01800.002.00
Sean Harkin3.01441.001.33
Jamie Weir1.41140.250.60

Mere Cricket Club Mere CC Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 0 wickets

(6.3 overs)
Mark Cassidy Not Out  24 21 25 4 96.00
Mark Williams Not Out  15 21 14 1 107.14 1
George Cassidy   1
Kevin Whitmore  
Archie Young  
Charlie White  
Duncan Weir   1
Jamie Weir  
Sean Harkin  
Tom White  
Bryan Yeo  

Deverills Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
H Fagan3.301900.005.43
J Fagan2.001500.007.50
I Robbins1.00500.005.00