Established 1891

The 2018 Bails’ Bash

The 2018 Bails Bash took place on Saturday, September 8 and was, arguably, the most successful to date – poignant indeed, given that Simon [Bailey] was laid to rest recently and his ashes adorn the Kensham Park outfield.

Bails' Bash 2018 winners
Bails’ Bash 2018 winners

Click HERE to view more pictures from the 2018 Bails’ Bash

With numbers limited this year, the BCC Eagles ladies turned out and they certainly played their part in what was an excellent afternoon of cricket before a healthy turnout of support.

With the Bradninch Eagles ladies team pre-entered as the BLACK SWANS by ladies’ skipper Megan Acton, their six was added to by the inclusion of Chris Acton and that left the other two teams being BUNK’S BALLERS – skippered by Thom Bunker – and ELIOT’S LOT – skippered by Eliot Acton, though this team later became WILL’S WONDERS as Eliot had to get away and Will Greig stepped into the breach.

The three group games meant everybody played twice and they were six eight-ball overs per side with a player bowling one over only.


Chris and Megan Acton launched the batting effort for BLACK SWANS and put on 42 for the first wicket before JR saw an end to Acton senior for 13. One more wicket fell – that of Megan, caught Tom Porter, bowled JR, but not before she had slammed four fours in a knock of 18.

Sarah and Natalie were the other two batsmen used and they both batted very comfortably despite some excellent bowling – particularly from Simon Glendinning (0-1 with six dot balls in his over) and the two wickets both fell to JR (2-6 with three dot balls).

In the Black Swans’ batting – which ended with them on 59-2; Sarah finished unbeaten on eight from nine balls and Natalie was not out five from 11 balls. The others to bowl for Eliot’s Lot were: Liam Reed (0-18 with two dot balls); Tom Porter (0-20 with two dot balls); Ollie Hardy (0-7 with two dot balls) and skipper Eliot Acton (0-5 with four dot balls).

ELIOT’S LOT’S reply was launched by Paul Nott and Tom Porter and the pair both retired when on 18 and 21 respectively; Eliot then took over and scored an unbeaten 18 – hitting father Chris for two sixes! And Ollie Hardy was not out three as the win was sealed in 4.2 overs. The best of the bowling for Black Swans was a splendid opening over from Heather (0-8 with one dot ball while Jenna (0-15 with two dot balls) and Justine (0-16 with two dot balls); Chris Acton (0-20 with one dot ball) and Natalie sent down two deliveries (one dot ball 0-1).


This was the afternoon’s highest scoring affair. Eliot’s Lot batted first and, with opener Liam Reed retiring after a 14-ball 30 with three sixes and two fours – he slammed Bunks for two sixes and got the other off Jason; Eliot scored an 11-ball retired 28 and Paul [Nott] was not out 25 with six fours and a single in an eight-ball cameo. JR, who opened with Liam, was caught Kian off the bowling of Luke Wrightson for two and Tom Porter was also caught – and bowled – by Kian while the third wicket to fall was off the very last ball when Ollie Hardy was trapped leg before by Bunks. However, the seven previous balls that Bunks sent down sent for 26 runs and Eliot’s lot finished on 100-3 from their eight overs!

Once again it was Ollie Mears who impressed with his bowling (90-5 with five dot balls) and Luke Wrightson, watched by new daughter – and wife – also bowled very well in what his first ‘spell’ of 2018! Luke finished with 1-6 and two dot balls. The other figures were Nick 0-18; Kian 1-12; Jason 0-24 and Bunks 1-26.

Kian and Bunks launched the Ballers’ reply and they both scored 25 before retiring, Bradninch Garage owner Sam Smith was the first wicket to fall, but not before he had struck the sweetest of boundaries in a cameo of seven. Nick was not out 14 and Luke not out five at the end of the innings as Bunkers Ballers came up short by just eight runs in a wonderful ‘run fest’ Eliot topped the bowling for his side with three dot balls in his 0-8 and JR bowled a very tidy 0-11.


Batting first in game two, the Black Swans’ openers Chris Acton and Justine were parted in the second over when the unfortunate Justine was run out without troubling the scorer! Will Greig – who ‘made up numbers’ in this game for the Ballers, was bowled by Nick Acton – losing his stumps to the third delivery he faced, out for four. Jenna was not out three at the end of the innings having faced seven balls and Heather was not out nought after facing 11 deliveries. The pick of the Ballers bowling was skipper Tom Bunker (0-2 from seven) while Oli Mears bowled a superb opening over (0-4 with six dot balls) and Kian Burns had a return of (0-5 with five dot balls) as Black Swans closed their innings on 49-1.

Needing 50 to win, Bunks Ballers got off to a flyer with Nick Acton hitting four fours and six in a 10-ball retirement of 25 and Jason Dowrick was 21 not out with three fours and a six as Ballers eased home in 2.6 overs.

Once again Heather bowled a splendid opening over, the left-armer went for 17 but had three dot balls and beat the bat a couple of times. Will Greig served up figures of 0-16 with one dot ball and the other bowler Black Swans used was Jenna (0-17 from .6 of an over).

So, after three group games we were down to a final between BUNKERS BALLERS and WILLS WONDERS (who started the day as Eliot’s Lot).

Batting first, WILL’S WONDERS had Chris and Meg Acton opening and Meg was bowled early on by Kian for two and Kian also bowled Chris for 17. The not out batsmen at the close were Paul, on 17 from 15 balls and Sarah, with five from seven as Wills Wonders closed on 53-2.

Kian and Natalie launched the Bunks Balls chase for glory, but Natalie was bowled by Liam in the opening over – one that ended with Liam being the only bowler on the day to send down a maiden – and it was a wicket maiden too! Oli [Mears] was next in – and out, bowled by Megan for nought. Kian was then joined by Justine, but Kian was caught on the boundary by Chris Acton off Simon Glendinning – a wicket that changed the course of the final! Tom [Bunker] tried his bit slamming three sixes in five deliveries in a brave attempt to fire his side back into contention, but, when Bunks was caught by Will Greig off Tim Piper with five balls remaining, it was all over. Justine was left not out for a splendid six from 13 deliveries and Nick was the other not out batsman – he was on one – but needed eight off the final ball to deny Wills Wonders the Bails Bash trophy! Liam’s wicket maiden apart, other impressive overs came from JR (0-2), Simon Glendinning (again) 1-3 and Megan (1-6).

The trophy was presented in front of the club by Simon’s [Bails] son and daughter – Mark and Ella together with BCC vice chairman Paul Nott.

Mark and Ella together with BCC vice chairman Paul Nott.
Mark and Ella together with BCC vice chairman Paul Nott.

Click HERE to view more pictures from the 2018 Bails’ Bash

Footnote: This REALLY was a special event, made all the better with the involvement of the BCC ladies, who next year are playing Sunday afternoon Devon League cricket and, based on some of the shifts they put in yesterday against some very tidy cricketers, they will be a force to be reckoned with and CERTAINLY a team we all need to get behind. Go Eagles go…….

PLEASE NOTE – we plan to run the Bails Bash on the Sunday of the 2019 August Bank Holiday complete with music and all the ‘razzmatazz’ of crash bang wallop fun cricket –