In a season full of highs and many deserved plaudits, Frome 2s had a day to forget on Saturday – a bad day at the office resulting in a trouncing from an in-form Taunton outfit. On an afternoon when very little went right for Frome,a failure to combat swinging conditions left the batting in a heap – and despite a valiant effort with the ball the Showmen left with a measly 8 points, losing ground in a tight promotion race.
Despite another lost toss Frome were relatively happy when they were invited to bat first, anticipating a surface which would be at its best for batting early on. When a blistering start from Leonard (26) propelled them to 31-0 inside 3 overs, everything seemed rosy and an intimidating was total on the cards. Unfortunately left arm seamer Matt Phillips had other ideas.
A hooping inswinger which bowled Leonard through the gate gave a sign of the carnage to follow, with all of the Frome top-order struggling to come to terms with the late movement. After Gullock gloved behind, Potter and Smart were both pinned LBW to leave the innings in a mess. A mistimed drive to point accounted for Pinchen and when another jaffer knocked over Jon Dredge’s off-stump, the top 6 had all departed in the space of 12 runs.
When Phillips’ superb spell of 5-17 finally came to a close the damage had been done, and despite a few late blows from Knight (13), Taunton worked their way through the lower order to dismiss the Showmen for a paltry 75 in a whirlwind 22 overs. With the curry-filled Yorkshire Puddings barely luke-warm, the sides headed straight back out for Taunton’s reply.
Frome pushed hard with attacking fields to make some early breakthroughs, however some confident shots from openers Preston and Eavis raced Taunton to 35-0. From a seemingly hopeless position however, the Showmen bowlers persisted to the end – Wheeler (2-26), Arthur Harman (2-27) and Cox (1-1) deserving great credit to snare some victims and send Frome down fighting.However, with such a small total to defend the home side were finally put out of their misery in the 16th over – a humbling 5-wicket loss leaving much to ponder as the firstThatchers were exchanged just after half 4.
After a tough run of games this third successive defeat saw Frome drop down to third in the table, in amongst a cluster of teams now pushing for promotion. However, despite the disappointment it should be remembered that we have been here before – a chastening loss in the opening game of the season against Ilminster preceding 8 wins from the next 9. One calamitous afternoon doesn’t make us a bad side and next Saturday’s home game against Bridgwater provides the perfect opportunity to put things right.
To quote Steve Bruce – “let’s dust wasselves down and goagain”