Where are they now? Somerset – 1979 Gillette Cup and Sunday League double

By Neil Fissler

Brian Rose admits that Somerset were determined not to repeat their mistakes of 12 months earlier as they won their first two trophies in the space of 24 hours.

In 1978 they had suffered a five-wicket loss to Sussex in the Gillette Cup final and 24 hours later conceded the John Player Sunday League.

That latter reverse, a two-run defeat against Essex at Taunton, handed Hampshire the Sunday title on run-rate following a three-way tie at the top of the table with Leicestershire who finished third.

Further motivation was added when, in 1979, Somerset were thrown out of the Benson & Hedges Cup after Rose declared against Worcestershire after two balls.

Rose had wanted to protect Somerset’s strike rate but the TCCB decided that it was against the spirit of the game and threw them out.

He said: “The effect on us from the previous year was profound when we lost the Gillette Cup and the John Player Sunday League and then we found ourselves in exactly the same circumstances.

“And we had also had the bit of a trauma when we were thrown out of the B&H because of the declaration at Worcester.

“So the side were absolutely determined not to mess up again and suffer the same disappointment from another poor weekend.

“We also wanted to get over the problem from the B&H to resolve the problem and win competitions and put that behind us. That was a key thing.

“It made us more determined and more disciplined. We already had great players which was a huge bonus and so we were galvanised that weekend.”

Somerset showed how determined they were at Lord’s in the Gillette final, posting 269-8 mainly due to Viv Richards’ 117 off 136 balls.

Richards’ fellow West Indian Joel Garner then blew Northants away with 6-29 as they were bowled out for 224 handing Somerset their first trophy in 104 years by 37 runs.

Somerset’s fate in the Sunday League the following day, however, was not in their own hands as they trailed Kent who were top of the table by two points.

But Middlesex went to Canterbury and beat Kent by 55 runs which left Somerset only needing to beat Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge to win the title.

A half century from Peter Roebuck helped his side post 185 from their 39 overs but Garner, Ian Botham and Colin Dredge ran through Notts for 129 and Somerset won by 56 runs.

Rose said: “We were fully prepared and were playing bloody good cricket all summer. We had a lot of players in form and our Test players did it on the day.

“In the Gillette final Joel Garner took six wickets but Viv was still man of the match ahead of him, which was pretty incredible, and he was a key reason why we won those one-day competitions.

“When you had a bowler like him in your side and an attacking bowler like Ian Botham down the other end it was a complete contrast. It made it easier for the captain to control the game in key periods. Nine times out of ten you lobbed the ball to Joel he wasn’t going to get hit very far.

“I have only ever seen him get properly clobbered once and that was against Warwickshire at Taunton when Alvin Kallicharran played brilliantly but that didn’t happen very often.”

BACK ROW (left-right):
Keith Jennings: A medium pace bowler lives in Milverton, Taunton. A carpenter and joiner by trade who now helps to run the family business.
Hallam Moseley: Fast bowler, lives in Greenford, Middlesex, and is a coach at the MCC Cricket Academy at the Lord’s Indoor School. Has also coached Brentham CC colts.
Peter Roebuck: Right-handed bat and later captain. He became a journalist working for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and ABC Radio in Australia. Died after falling from a Cape Town hotel window in 2011, aged 55.
Joel Garner: West Indian ‘Big Bird’ was one of the finest fast bowlers of his era, has been president of Barbados Cricket Association since 2008.
Colin Dredge: Right-arm medium pacer who was often in the shadow of Garner, Botham and Marks. Had seven brothers, all of whom played for Frome. Has worked in the print trade.
Ian Botham: The legendary all-rounder has held a number of directorships and now lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and works as a commentator for Sky TV.
Vic Marks: An Oxford University educated spinner who also played for England. He went into journalism and broadcasting and is currently Somerset’s cricket chairman.
Phil Slocombe: Right-handed opening bat he has run a mail order cricket business and been an antiques dealer in Texas. Ran a Brittany guest house and is now a wine merchant.

Neil Russom:
Right-hand bat and right arm medium pace bowler who also played for Cambridge University he now lives in Port Elizabeth and has worked for General Motors.
Graham Burgess: All-rounder who qualified as an umpire and stood in more than 500 matches between 1990 and his retirement in 2008.
Peter Denning: ‘Dasher’ was a left-handed batsman. A qualified teacher, he became a grain merchant in Somerset after retiring in 1984. He died in Taunton in July 2007, aged 57, after a battle with cancer.
Brian Rose: England opening batsman returned to teaching but later became Somerset’s director of cricket until 2012 and has since been a consultant to Glamorgan.
Derek Taylor: Right-handed wicketkeeper/batsman has Somerset as a middle name. Now lives in Noosa Head, Queensland, and is retired after working in commercial insurance. His twin brother Mike played for Hampshire.
Viv Richards: The West Indian batting genius played both World Cup cricket and football. He has held several mentoring roles and also works in broadcasting.
Dennis Breakwell: All-rounder who became head coach and head groundsman at King’s College, Taunton, for more than 25 years until his retirement last December.

Nigel Popplewell: Cambridge University-educated batsman who became a solicitor and is now tax partner at Burges Salmon LLP in Bristol.
Mervyn Kitchen: Left-handed batsman. Became a Test and ODI umpire before retirement in 2005 aged 65.
David Gurr: Right-arm seamer. Went into financial services and is founding director of Diminimis an advisory firm in investment management services
Jeremy Lloyds: All-rounder who in 1996 joined the first class umpires list. Was on the ICC Test panel for two years


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