Somerset Disabled CC 2015 Season Report
2015 marked the return of the National League structure for disability cricket and anticipation for the summer to get underway was felt none more keenly than here in Somerset.
The break in competitive cricket has enabled the squad to grow in depth and there have never been more individuals in Somerset with a learning or physical disability gaining the opportunity to pick up a bat and ball. As a result it was no surprise that a number of players made their competitive debut for the team this season.
The season got underway in late May with a trip to take on the Hampshire Hawks. An impressive mid-order knock from Russ Young of 53* enabled the team to post 137 for 5. This was followed by an extremely impressive performance with the ball which saw the Somerset side dismiss the opposition for just 55 runs. Nick Dean leading the way with four wickets for just seven runs.
The next fixture was away once again as the team crossed the border to Gloucestershire. New to the National League, the Gloucestershire team struggled against a strong Somerset side. Unbeaten half-centuries from both James Mayled and Nick Dean helped the team to an unassailable position and Somerset went on to post an impressive 195 run victory.
The winning vein continued when the ever supportive home of the Somerset Disabled CC, Taunton Deane CC, played host to the second Hampshire side in late June. Mayled and Dean once again led the way with half-centuries and captain Kieran Cosens followed suit. However it was the bowling of James Redwood that sealed the 157 run victory with five for 16 from his four overs.
At the halfway stage of the season the Somerset Disabled CC were sitting pretty at the top of the table. However, there were bigger tests to come and the first of these was at home against the Isle of White on 5th July. A batting collapse in pursuit of 135 runs for victory saw the team on the end of their first loss of 2015. Just a week later Somerset faced a strong Dorset team. A depleted batting line up set a victory target of just 49 and, despite their best efforts with the ball the Dorset team cantered to comfortable seven wicket victory.
In just two games the Somerset side had gone from first to third and there they finished at the end of the group stage; missing out on the National Quarter Finals by just two points.
Overall this was a fantastic first season back in the National League. The new players involved in the set-up took to competitive cricket with ease, whilst the experienced Somerset Disabled CC players put in impressive performances and helped the new squad members with all aspects of the game. Despite the frustration of missing out on the knock-out rounds of the competition the squad have many positives to build on for next year.