In glorious sunshine Torquay took to the field for the first time under Chris Kelmere to face Ipplepen who for the first in XX years wasn’t being captained by a member of the Wakeham family.
Responsibilities for the day had been discharged to former Torquay star spinner, Marcus Green. Green “lost” the toss but pulled a rabbit out the hat by persuading Neil Hancock, the Aussie sensation who helped Torquay win the league in 1996 and never went home, out of retirement for possibly his Rec swansong.
Ipplepen actually took to the field with no fewer than three players who had played in Evo’s Celebratory Match for 500 league matches – two weeks’ time it is match 600! (Torquay coincidentally only had one survivor playing.)
Steve Lewis and Noah Rider got Torquay off to a solid start putting on 50 for the 1st wicket before the run feast in the middle order. Chris Kelmere, Harry Passenger and Josh Hunt all scored 50s before retiring. All three of them signed off their innings with a 6! Young Passenger had the best strike rate of the three. Whether the final 6 by Hunt should have been downgraded to a 4 as it flew onto the Pitch and Putt course – well there would have been shouts of “Four!” The most economic bowling by Ipplepen was a certain Neil Hancock with 1 for 16 off 4 overs. Torquay finished on 264 for 4 (well plus a few retirements).
A big thank you must go to Master Harvey and various members of the Green and Hancock family for supplying Evo with names of the bowlers and fielders.
When Ipplepen went out to bat they were soon in trouble at 20 for 2 thanks to young speedsters Sonny Baker and James Tyler. They slumped to 95 for 5 before Neal Hancock joined Andrew Maynard at the crease. “Hanks” despite having retired a couple of years ago and having netted just once, showed he still has his hand eye co-ordination as he plundered 56 off more than a run a ball just like the old days. Once Maynard was out he was joined at the crease by Marcus Green – it was really like old times then. (By then two more from the Glory Years, namely the Chairman and Steve Short had also returned from the golf course to watch.) Green had a quick cameo of 20. Once they were both out any chance of a famous win evaporated. Torquay ended up using nine bowlers (Evo is still waiting for a ten) with youngsters Sonny Baker with 2 for 19 and Harry Passenger with 3 for 36 (including the wicket of Hanks, now there is a thought did Pasty ever get Hanks out - I mean Liam Botham got Mike Gatting out but Sir Ian never did). Ipplepen were all out for 194 in 36.5 overs. A first win under Chris Kelmere by 70 runs.
It gets a whole lot more serious next week as the 1st XI host Barton CC 1st in the round 1 of the DCL mini leagues. The 2nd XI are just up the road at Cricketfield Road.