Uphill Castle CC claim opening day victory at Staplegrove

All smiles for Uphill Castle CC as they pose for the camera.

All smiles for Uphill Castle CC as they pose for the camera. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Uphill Castle CC opened their Somerset League Premier Division season with a 67-run win at Staplegrove on Saturday.

Having won the toss, skipper Paddy Holyday elected to bat on a lovely day in Taunton.

Uphill made a strong start, making use of the erratic bowling from the Staplegrove openers, and looked comfortable at 38-0.

But fortunes quickly turned with Castle slipping to 57-4 after a couple of decisions went against them in the middle.

On his debut Rob Taylor (18) provided some stability alongside Kieran Chapman (25), but Tom Llewellyn (95) stole the show, hitting boundaries to all corners of the ground, including five sixes, off only 63 balls.

Eventually Llewellyn ran out of partners, and Uphill were bowled out for 208 off their 31 overs.

In reply, Staplegrove never really got going, losing wickets at regular intervals as Luke Bliss (3-30) took both openers early, with Taylor (0-17) keeping it tight at the other end.

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Thomas Pantling (39) was the only batsman that looked dangerous to Uphill, and once he was removed by Imran Oriykhail, Uphill were confident.

Oriykhail (5-31) continued to bowl brilliantly on debut, ripping through the middle order alongside Chapman (2-38).

Staplegrove fell away in the final overs, and were eventually bowled out for 141.

A maximum points victory on the opening weekend will give Uphill great confidence when they welcome Butleigh to the Castle this Saturday.

Captain Holday said he was pleased to open the season with a win and spoke of his delight at the performances by Llewellyn, Taylor and Oriykhail.

“It was brilliant to get back playing competitive cricket, and even better to start with a win,” he said.

“Hopefully we can push on into the next couple of weeks and build some point.

“Tommy has showed his class at this level for numerous years now, he can score runs in any situation and is brilliant for us in the middle order. Hopefully this is sign of things to come and he can push on throughout the season.

“Imran Oriykhail and Rob Taylor looked impressive. With Imran picking up five wickets and bowling brilliantly today also throughout pre-season. Rob will also be a very useful all rounder this season, I’m sure he will show his class with both the bat and ball, something he touched on today.”