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PHEW!! The end of 2017 was 'interesting'

By Grockle et al
September 29 2017

OK so it seems we have still got a First Division four day pedigree that keeps us out in front of everyone else (at least in terms of time served in CC1) but it was a close call and it is still not 100% certain in the eyes of some (me included).  But isn't that always the way for all Somerset supporters?  The fat lady seems to be a little tardy in singing when it relates to us.  If the situation does not change then massive comisserations to our SN friends in Middlesex and especially those at MTWD. I am constantly amazed at the good humour and courtesy many cricket website users show to each other in times of high competition. Many of the posters from MTWD posted some high quality stuff about their situation and ours over the last few days and it has been greatly appreciated by many. We are happy we got the result we needed but are, in the main, heartedly sorry it was at your expense and hope you bounce back in one season to the top level.

I've become a pessimist about the governing body over the last 18 months and will believe this is set only when it is too late for the ECB and their minions to reverse the position.  I would put nothing past them and until our second 'inspector' has come and gone I have no feeling of safety.

Well done to those who kept faith.  You have reaped a deserved reward.

I don't put myself among them because this side tried my faith this year and I had doubts on more than one occasion.

Well done to the bowling unit who really never let us down.  When we couldn't bat our way out of a paper bag they came up with the runs and even if they couldn't give us a total they then bowled like demons to make it difficult for the opposition to beat us.

Well done to those who kept working. 

I doubt Tom Abell will have a harder season than this one in his professional career.
I doubt Steve Davies will have a dry spell like this one again (which bodes well for us in the future)
I thank Lewis Gregory for literally putting his body on the line for the county and I hope it has done no lasting damage and he comes out of surgery well and whole to continue a career that is getting better each year.

Well done to Craig Overton whose workload this year has been massive and who has got a richly deserved reward with a berth on the international plane to Oz.  We owe you a lot this season Mr Overton

Well done to Jack and Dom and RvdM for their rearguard work in the CC.  Some of us probably had a few doubts about whether Jack was ready for an international stage at the end of last year and there were those who predicted loudly that he would be found out in his second full season.  Well someone found out something.  Jack IS the real deal.  If Roelof is saying you can bowl then you can bowl and over 50 wickets in his second season does not say 'flash in the pan'.

Well done to Tim Groenewald for just sheer hard work and the confidence he gave everyone with the bat and the ball.  In times of trouble turn to Tim and he is nearly always there with something.

Well done to the newbies for picking up the pace when we needed it and becoming part of an exciting first team squad for the next season.  There are rough edges and there are gaps still but we end the season stronger than we started it in terms of new talent.

Well done to those backroom boys who get slated on a daily basis by some but turn up and do their job keeping people on the pitch - Daz Venness will be a massively hard man to replace.  Some of you have no idea what this man has contributed to the team you watch regularly over the last 20 years.  As with goalkeepers, you don't remember the saves, you only remember the goals.  Somerset will miss him almost as much as he will miss them and I predict we will see his like again because I expect him to be back.

Well done to Jason Kerr, a man who only had his moments as a player (though some were glorious I still remember the 7 for 23 against Leicestershire and the Windies hat-trick) but has developed into a top quality coach and finder of talent.  Is it time for him to move up?  Well he's surprised many with his skill up to now so why not give him the chance to show us what he can do?  He is another man whose hard work has given us a lot to enjoy while forgetting that he has been behind the scenes quietly doing it.

Well done to the management for identifying the need for change.  Lee Cooper is new to many of us but he has already stamped himself on the club.  Well done to Matt Maynard for accepting that it wasn't working and agreeing to move on - he will be criticised and we'll hear all about rumours of 'massive' payouts and all that other unsubstantiated guff that comes on any sports forum I am sure but what he did was not all bad or appreciated by those who want instant results or are just too bitter to see anything as progress.

Apologies to Jim Allenby for the fact that you leave disillusioned and with a feeling you were poorly assessed by the fanbase.  It isn't entirely true Jim, the loud voices aren't always the majority ones. 

The circumstances of your arrival, the links to the Meschede deal, the early form of you and the team as a whole and your past strong relationship with MM did not give you a great base to work with.  Your struggles to impose yourself on the CC1 4 day game clouded your work in the 50 over format and our T20 strategy gave you little to work with when trying to forge a T20 reputation. 

Your seeming reluctance to bowl yourself confused people whether it was based on injury worries or something else and once that uncertainty was there the voices of the critics got louder and the support did not do you the justice you probably deserved by offering balance to your case.  It wasn't an entirely successful time at Taunton for you but the majority of the support do appreciate that you had your moments and did get us to the knockout stages of short format competitions on more than one occasion. Good luck in whatever comes next.

Thanks to Ben in the media centre for managing the innovations that have allowed a large number of our forced absence supporters and contributors to get a little more out of their experience of following this club.  I know it has increased AGod's posting rate but you have to take the rough with the smooth

On that note as well thanks to Farmer White for his literary efforts during games this season, especially when I haven't been in the country or have been in a hospital bed, they are most appreciated because I know he works hard on them.  Long may they grace our pages.

I will have missed others but you will fill in the gaps I am sure.  Apologies to those who get late thanks from others for forgetting you while doing this (I couldn't even remember the year so it isn't unusual).

Well done to all on a season that ended in relieved satisfaction. 

Finally.  Thank you to the posting population for the stimulation, the reports, comments, humour and goodwill that we sometimes forget oozes out of the pages of

Some of us will be here for the winter, those who pop off to other things, see you in April. 

Those of you who have become a little disillusioned at the dismay posted on our pages at times just remember that just liike in Star Wars.... the good guys won again people. 

Stay and help us keep it that way.  With a little help from an energised and committed playing staff in 2018 (got that one right though).

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PHEW!! The end of 2017 was 'interesting'
Discussion started by , 29/09/2017 08:07
29/09/2017 08:07
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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2017:10:06:11:41:02 by Grockle.

29/09/2017 08:43
Thanks for this beautifully balanced and positive piece Grockle. Lots to feel good about still. I think there are many of us who are very concerned that a way will be found to consign us to Division 2, but at least this article made me feel, so what? If they screw us, possibly today, we'll just be back anyway probably stronger.

29/09/2017 08:46
Thanks Steve, much appreciated.

You are probably right and as we can do little about it if they do we'll just have to keep '...bu99ering on...' I suppose.

At least we'd go into it knowing what it would have felt like had we saved ourselves.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:09:29:08:47:24 by Grockle.

29/09/2017 09:04
Nice piece, thanks Grockle.

I dearly hope we are not shafted as that would just destroy the memory of yesterday and any faith in the authorities for me.

29/09/2017 09:44
As see it, you have covered all bases for the 2017 season. Quite an achievement so soon after the season has ended.

29/09/2017 09:49
Nah... CJM someone will find one I've missed.


29/09/2017 09:53
Well said, Steve and well written , Grock. You have said things that needed saying, and said them with humanity and more insight than many of us have.

As always at season's end, thank you for keeping this site going. There are times we all get frustrated but particularly for exiles it keeps us in closer touch.

I miss Mike TA1's photos although I understand why they can no longer appear.

29/09/2017 09:56
Just posted to Mike on that very subject Bobstan. There must be a way of sorting that but I haven't worked it out yet.


Mike TA1
29/09/2017 10:36
I am having trouble keeping up with all the post and have only just read this thread.

Yep, always a big thank to Grockle (Paul) in keeping this site going, without it Somerset Cricket Club would be a lot less informative on cricketing matters. Somebody once said to me the Grockle web site is free advertising for the club.

29/09/2017 10:46
Would also like to thank Grockle, though the stress of following Somerset CCC can't be doing my health any good. But it's good to know there are other like minds out there. Hopefully next season I might even get to see a day or two. I was brought up in Bath and saw pretty much every day there from the early 70s for a few decades, as well as one-day cricket in Street, Glastonbury, Imperial Ground, Bristol, finals at Lords (one victory, many more defeats), matches at Old Trafford, Headingley, Hove, Cardiff and more, though only one day's cricket at Taunton so far - but it was a good one: Somerset vs Warwickshire C&G semi-final in 2001 when they recovered from 6 for 3. Here's to a less-stressful 2018...

29/09/2017 11:08
Yes it has been accused of that in the past. I think it was meant as a veiled accusation that we were the club's unofficial 'mouthpiece'. People who think that don't or can't read enough of our content

If SCCC or anyone else wants to contribute, anonymously of course to our upkeep we're not proud. Ithink we ought to get in on the Tractor 'one off' T shirt business myself.


29/09/2017 12:45
Why is the thread title for 2016?

29/09/2017 13:01
Because it was 'interesting,' too?

Tom Seymour
29/09/2017 13:26
Why do you expect Venness to be back? If he has accepted a new post with Surrey and handed in his notice, why would he change his mind and would the club accept him back?

IMO you make your bed and you lie on it.

The people who deserve most thanks (and I sincerely hope that they are suitably rewarded by the club) are Simon Lee and his hard - working groundstaff. Without the pitches that they diligently prepared, we probably wouldn't have had anything to rejoice over yesterday.

A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.

29/09/2017 13:35
Yes, Mr Maynard said as much.

29/09/2017 14:12
Yep very true Tom. I told CJM somebody would pick up on the ones I missed. They certainly need our thanks.

No idea why its 2016 (won't be for much longer). Maybe doing it while half asleep on a whim perhaps. Thanks for pointing it out.

I said Daz would be back. I didn't say he'd be working here and I didn't say it would be soon.

I think what he does is pretty much up to him and I'm sure if he wants to make another bed to lie on he will so I'm not sure he'll be interested in YO.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:09:29:14:25:35 by Grockle.

Loyal of Lhasa
29/09/2017 17:28
Thanks again, Grockles, for keeping this site going for yet another season (a 15th in my case), withstanding rather too many cross-bowed arrows aimed in your direction, and for your generous comments on players, officials, backroom staff and supporters.

I would like to add my special tribute to two players in whom some of us never lost faith and who made major contributions to our success in the second half of the season after suffering from poor form in the first: they are, of course, Trescothick and Hildreth.


Seventy-two Seasons a Somerset Supporter

29/09/2017 17:35
Well said all, and thanks to Grockle for an excellent summary.

Sincerely hope that the Championship outcome was determined on the field yesterday, and won't be decided elsewhere in the days/weeks to come.


29/09/2017 18:04
Very well put, Grockle. I'd like to echo the thanks which others have expressed for all your hard work in keeping this site going.

I'd also like to thank Farmer White for his wonderful pieces. A great cricket writer needs have a love and feel for the game, its players and followers, good observational and analytical skills and a felicitous use of language. FW has all these characteristics and more.

I should also like to thank wsm fan for his unstintingly positive and supportive posts - which have certainly cheered up me and, I suspect, others.

Finally, I thank all those with whom I have sat and enjoyed matches - at Taunton, the Oval and Chelmsford - for their company, conversation and friendship.

Shepton Paul 2
29/09/2017 18:15
Every word of Wickham's post goes for me too - thank you one and all.

Well, not every word - the last sentence doesn't apply to me - I only got to one day of Somerset cricket in 2017, Roussouw's thrashing of us in the 50-over game back in, I think, May. Hoping those currently unwell swiftly recover, and to see more of the team and supporters in 2018.

Farmer White
08/10/2017 13:13
Just surfacing after a week meandering between Cardiff, Salisbury and Minehead. Saw a Justin Hayward concert in Cardiff. He joined the Moody Blues, and is still with them when they do their occasional tours, in 1966 a year before Somerset's first Lord's Final.

Somerset came third in the Championship in 1966 and England won the world Cup at Wembley. Five of the top eight Counties in the Championship that year did not play at Test Grounds nor have they acquired that status since. Different world. Same songs.

However I digress, if it is possible to digress before you have started.

The main purpose of this post is to thank Grockle.

Firstly for listing me with the team and other Club staff at the head of this thread although since I do not score a run, take a wicket, hold a catch or do anything to coach or support those that do I am not sure I quite warrant being in that batting order.

Above all I would like to thank Grockle for the constant unseen work he must do to maintain this site. I have no idea what it entails for I am not technically minded but I do know from someonre who once had a cricket blog that being responsible for anything like this involves continuous effort month in month out. Without that work my posts would never have been written.

Thanks to Wickham too for his very kind words, to Shepton for echoing them but in truth I only reflect my impression of what I see and hear. What takes the time and delays the posts more than I would like is finding the right words and getting them in the right order. I really should sign them off 'Farmer White and the Thesaurus'.

Perhaps next year, for already as I sit here behind glass bathed in the warmth of the October sun pouring over the Blackdowns I am thinking June in the Trescothick Stand.

Mike TA1
08/10/2017 17:53
My prediction for 2018.

Because of the deafening silence by the ECB on the problems caused mainly by 25% of division one teams being relegated at the end of each season, many of us believe there will be some sort of change in the structure of the two divisions next season to keep Middlesex in division one thus keeping the people happy who are causing all the fuss since the season ended.

09/10/2017 10:29
As a newcomer to this site in terms of posts, although having followed it for quite a time, it is impressive in terms of debate, argument, general cricket knowledge and specific Somerset CCC knowledge. So well done to all those who contribute and obviously Grockle who does an enormous amount of work to keep it so good. Having seen all home Championship matches except Essex and Middlesex, being in Oz both times and a couple of away matches means the site has been a good way to keep up with stuff.
Farmer White, your daily reports deserve a wider audience, they are excellent, both informative and amusing. Many thanks.

Farmer White

If you like Justin Hayward, FW, then he is appearing in Sydney on the 18th or 19th of October I noticed today when walking through Sydney. You might need to meander a bit further afield to do that though! Having spent my childhood in the centre of the Blackdowns where you are now I’ve certainly meandered! Have a good winter!

09/10/2017 16:45
Don't have to do much.

The quality looks after itself and the odd bitteŕ old lag who thinks you have to watch for over half a century before you appreciate the true failures of SCCC are no real opposition for the people who understand change and the demands of the game in the 2ist century.

Time marches on and we'll be here for Year 24.


geordie moonraker
09/10/2017 22:46
I was at school with Justin Hayward( 2 years below me)he used to do mini concerts in the school hall after lunch and was brilliant then.

Somerset LaLaLa
10/10/2017 10:39
Are tickets still available for the Sydney test? I suppose some day 4 ones if the game goes that far. Will look out for the Blackdowns flag on the tv

Farmer White
10/10/2017 12:19
Still brilliant now Geordie and still has the voice. The Days of Future are not yet Past.

And saw Ralph McTell in Exeter on Sunday and the same applies. Not many can play ragtime on a guitar. Anyone go to school with him?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:10:10:12:23:11 by Farmer White.

10/10/2017 20:56
I didn't know Ralph was still touring. Did he sing Kew Gardens, FW?

Shepton Paul 2
10/10/2017 21:08
I saw him live in Camberley a few months ago, very much still touring - great gig.

Farmer White
10/10/2017 22:48
No Bobstan, no Kew Gardens but the ones that immediately spring to mind are 'From Clare to Here', 'Around the Wild Cape Horn', 'The Setting', 'Bentley and Craig', 'Streets of London' of course and that amazing piece of ragtime. The ninety minute set was over in the blink of an eye.

Angell Face
10/10/2017 23:01
FW if you like ragtime guitar try Stefan Grossman. You can find a couple of examples of his playing on u tube.

11/10/2017 10:33
You didn't go to sleep did you FW - that makes events pass really quickly!! I find it works particularly well with slow boring movies.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:10:11:10:34:15 by Grockle.

11/10/2017 15:10
Thanks, FW.

Gosh the actual events of Bentley and Craig as reported in the Press seem so sharp in my memory. Why can I remember things from so long ago while struggling to recall what I did last week!

11/10/2017 15:33
Ralph McTell's 'You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here' is one of my favourite albums ever. Some classics on there like The Ferryman, First and Last Man, In Some Way I Loved You ... and more.

Farmer White
11/10/2017 18:12
Sorry not to reply earlier Grockle, been asleep. Although not in the R McT concert.

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