The 2022 season fell in to 3 stages:
Stage 1: the first 6 games, during which we were undefeated having stolen a thrilling tie from our first match of the competition against Wales.
Stage 2: the next 6 games, during which, following some indifferent form, we had a run of 3 wins and 3 defeats, to conclude the group matches and finish second to Wales.
Stage 3: the knock-out phases, during which we enjoyed a convincing away quarter-final win against Hertfordshire (Nationally ranked no.1) A narrow but deserved home semi-final win against Wales, followed by a thumping National Final victory over Lancashire at Stroud CC to conclude a very successful season.
To conclude: a whole variety of reasons contributed to an absence of consistency in selection this season, which would usually underpin successful team/squad progress. 34 different players were called on to represent the 2’s, with an average of 4 team changes each week, which indicates the depth and talent of playing resource within the Somerset Seniors. The quality and number of players available towards the end of the season presented particularly tough selection decisions, especially for the final, a situation not experienced earlier in the season. Dave Wilcox and Derry West, who had both played the majority of earlier matches, were omitted for the final. Despite understandable disappointment, I am grateful for the manner in which they accepted the decision and that both were supportive of the team throughout the final and to join the post-match celebrations.
Rick Hutchinson: batting at 7, undefeated 39 in 44 balls helping us crucially squeeze past Gloucestershire in the 44th over, in his only game for the 2’s!
Devon: being reduced to 11 for 4 wkts in the 16th over at Wembdon
Hugh Brooker: his maiden seniors’ century, 101no v Devon at Exmouth in his 2nd match
Steve Sheppard: his selection for England O70’s. 2’s leading wicket taker with 17 wickets from only 9. His match-winning all round performance of 5-10 in the quarter-final defeat of Hertfordshire, following his crucial earlier knock of 22 runs off 20 balls. A truly skilled performer and remarkable athlete.
Andy Ashfold: scoring 409 runs in his 6 matches, including a superb undefeated 123 in the National Final v Lancashire & sharing a match-winning opening stand of 206 in 38.2 overs, with newcomer David Noyes, who was probably disappointed he fell short of his personal milestone, falling for 87.
Sung & Unsung heroes: thanks to all the players, but thanks too must be extended to the (almost) ever present umpiring of Chris Norton (he missed 1 match) and scorer Chalkie Whyte for their valuable and unstinting support.