Weston stroll to victory on emotional day at Devonshire Road

PUBLISHED: 14:14 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:14 24 August 2018

Charl Willoughby bowling for Weston.

Charl Willoughby bowling for Weston.

Archant

On a day full of emotion, Weston First XI recorded an emphatic victory as they strolled to an eight-wicket victory over Shapwick and Polden.

Weston First XI cruised to victory over Shapwick and Polden on a day full of emotion at home on Saturday.

A minute’s silence was held before the start of the match for former club chairman and president Bryan Chambers, who died on Sunday after a short illness.

Bryan was a member of the club for more than 70 years and was one of the group of players who helped move the club to its current location on Devonshire Road.

The match commenced after this mark of respect for a much-loved club member, with a full-strength Weston bowling first.

Charl Willoughby, playing his last-ever match, struck with the last ball of his first over, with Ben Gully taking the catch at slip. Pete Trego (10-0-23-2) then removed the other opener with an lbw and number three, caught by Rob Turner, before Willoughby struck again in the 11th over to leave Shapwick 29-4.

Ash Allen entered the attack and took a wicket with his third ball. With three catches being dropped off the bowling of Trego, Shapwick doubled their score with a stand of 36 for the sixth wicket, before Dutch international Paul van Meekeren had the Shapwick top scorer caught behind for 23 in the 26th over.

Allen (10-1-19-3) struck twice more, but Shapwick dug in and made it to the 44th over before they were all out for 96.

In his last match, Willoughby finished with figures of 10-4-22-3, but it was a fitting and poignant moment when Tom Chambers, grandson of Bryan, took the final wicket to end their innings.

Although the total was not a high one, the ball was moving a lot and chasing it down was never going to be a straightforward task.

This was demonstrated when Jack Press was caught behind off his first ball he faced to leave Weston 2-1 at the end of the second over.

Andrew Fear built a partnership of 52 with Turner before being caught out on 26. Allen came to the crease and supported Turner well as he batted resiliently, punishing the bad balls, to reach his 50 off 67 balls. It was left to Allen to hit the winning runs in the 24th over, as Weston romped to an eight wicket victory.

Weston will strive to repeat this performance in their last match of the season away to Taunton on Saturday.

The Forte Financial man of the match could go to no-one else in the circumstances. After five years at the club, Charl Willoughby showed his class with a three-wicket haul in his last match.

He will be much missed on the field next year, but has done so much to help the club, not just with his wickets in the promotion battle of last year, but in the support, encouragement and guidance that he has offered to the younger players.

The club would like to thank him for all that he has done, and look forward to seeing him on the pitch side cheering us on in the future.

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