Having finished 6th in the BCEW National League and relinquished their Twenty20 crown in the 2015 season, the Somerset Visually Impaired team were determined to hit the ground running this year. They began their winter training earlier than ever before and whilst most club cricketers were putting their kit bag into hibernation for the winter months, the Somerset team were hard at work preparing for the 2016 seasons from as early as October.
However, no matter how prepared they were, the first game of the season against 2015 runners-up Lancashire was always going to be extremely challenging. The visiting Lancashire Lions bowling attack simply proved too strong for the Somerset batting line up as the hosts were dismissed for just 58 with Lancashire winning the game with seven wickets to spare. A week later Somerset hosted the Yorkshire Vikings in the first round of the cup. They bounced back impressively from the Lancashire defeat, dismissing Yorkshire for 95 and knocking the total off for the loss of just two wickets. May finished in a washout and there wasn’t a ball bowled in the game against the aptly named Sussex Sharks.
The trip to Warwickshire saw one of the closest games of the season unfold. The Warwickshire Bears innings concluded at 213/7, with Ed Hossell taking four for 34. Hossell then led the Somerset reply with aplomb, scoring an impressive 145. Even this was sadly not enough and the Somerset team fell just 14 runs shy of the Warwickshire score.
Despite the disappointment of the defeat, such a performance against last year’s champions was a real confidence boost for the Somerset side and it paid dividends in the coming fixtures. Three wins on the bounce started with a resounding 10 wicket win against neighbours Gloucestershire in the Cup quarter-finals. A massive 210 run victory was then posted against Northants Steelbacks; Ed Hossell once again contributing heavily with both bat and ball.
August concluded with mixed fortunes. A second win of the season against Yorkshire Vikings kept their league form strong, whilst Sussex Sharks, who would go on to be named County Champions, knocked them out of the Cup.
Whilst 2016 was not a year for cup success, it did see Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club achieve their highest ever standing in the BCEW National League – 4th place, just 7 points adrift of the runners-up spot.
Ed Hossell continued to perform fantastically well for the side and was also given the honour of vice captaincy of the National team for their Ashes tour to Australia earlier in the year. The team were not however reliant on the success of their star all-rounder. Captain Rob Crisp put in a number of strong performances with both bat and ball and led the side well. Steve Cook, new to the side this season, was a fantastic addition and his ability fielding close to the bat was recognised by the league when he was awarded the BCEW Total Fielder of the Year award. Both Heidi Linegar and Kathryn Jelfs-White, both had good seasons for Somerset and were selected for the England Women’s Visually Impaired cricket squad.
|1 Sussex Sharks||6||4||2||0||108|
|2 Lancashire Lions||6||2||4||0||89|
|3 Warwickshire Bears||6||3||1||2||88|
|4 Somerset VICC||6||3||1||2||82|
|5 London Metro||6||2||2||2||71|
|6 Northants Steelbacks||6||1||1||4||31|
|7 Yorkshire Vikings||6||0||1||5||21|