WITH the covers stowed for the winter and sightscreen slats stored, December is good moment to look back and take stock of the summer's cricket.

While the work of putting the square to bed for the cold months is always more labour intensive than it looks, it also provides an opportunity to remember the sunny days, good friends, competitive and dramatic moments from

April to September.

For Kilve Cricket Club, nestled among the trees, a stone's throw from the beach, it has been a very satisfying season.

As newly-crowned West Somerset Cricket League champions, they have plenty to cheer about. But they don't intend to stop there.

Pete Stone, club chairman, said: "It's been quite a story in recent summers and I feel privileged to have been able to be here for it. We've had back to back promotions and youth players coming through."

Promotions and this year's title have come in parallel with an established sense of community connection and those young players making their mark.

"It's good seeing so many players thriving at the club where they learned their cricket," added Stone.

Club captain Carl Clemenson has taken many of the plaudits. At the league presentation evening, he picked up individual awards for best batting average and best bowling average, as well as collecting the league trophy.

In a season where the first team lost just once (away at local rivals Holford), left arm spinners Tom Smith and Josh Calder, with multiple five-fers, made big contributions. Will Munro continued combining attractive stroke play with energetic fielding, Jim Taylor consolidated his role as opening bowler, Jay Darrell brought his imposing stature to bear with bat and ball, while Ben Gannon maintained bright form and character as keeper.

Teenagers Tom Wilcox and Tom Sherburn, whose maiden 50 won him the Champagne Moment award at Kilve's presentation evening, have been another bright spot.

Clemenson added: "It was a real team showing all summer. And it's fantastic to captain a side that combines experience, energy and opportunity. It’s been great to see teenagers flourishing in the 1st XI. That's how we want to go forward - giving young talent more opportunities, rather than just repeating last year's formula. We're hoping to start the journey of bringing the next generation of players into the club with a revived youth section next year.”

And youth is not the only high priority. Emma Walford, who shares responsibility for the women's cricket at Kilve, said: "It's an exciting time for us. We're enjoying the fact that we have a good range of ages and ability. The summer weather wasn't always kind to us in 2023, but we’re keeping going with indoor practice and some tournaments, too."

With women's cricket not being accessible at many West Somerset clubs, Kilve are keen to provide a home for anyone looking to take part.