THE cricketers of Penallt and Redbrook behaved like typical tourists last weekend: they went to the seaside, ate too much ice cream and soggy chips, and went home sore and a little bit sunburnt.

To blame, for the physical toll, at least, was a punishing schedule of three games over three consecutive days, as the village side’s action-packed summer tour took them to some of Devon and Somerset’s most picturesque grounds.

A 12-strong touring party won one match and lost two, scoring 346 runs, conceding 378, and taking 20 wickets in the process.

The cricketing element of the adventure kicked off on Friday night, with a spirited 20-over game against the nearby village of Dunster which went down to the very final ball.

Penallt’s Luke Whorton was the man at the centre of the action with both bat and ball, taking 2-24 as the home side ended their innings on 106-6.

On paper, the total seemed very get-able. But on a niggly pitch, some ponderous early batting saw Penallt fall behind the required run-rate. Despite 32 from skipper Graham Hyde, they needed 13 to win from the final over.

With Dunster’s canny spinner Martin Flynn in the attack, that seemed like a big ask. But when Tim Swanson whacked consecutive fours from the first two deliveries, the game sat in the balance.

Two singles from the next two balls set things up for a glorious finish, only for Swanson to be stumped attempting a third boundary. That saw Whorton come to the crease, needing three to win from the final delivery.

His shot selection – a straight drive – was note perfect. But, sadly, he neglected to ensure that his bat made contact with the ball. A leg bye saw the touring side lose by the agonising margin of a single run.

Saturday brought the privilege of a 20 over game against Lynton and Lynmouth at the world-famous Valley of the Rocks, a stunning ground surrounded by high cliffs widely regarded as one of the most picturesque cricketing locations in the world.

The home side batted first, getting off to a solid start before losing openers Andy Keech and Daniel Millington for 31 and 33 respectively. Despite some loose fielding, Penallt kept a lid on the rest of their line-up, restricting Lynton and Lynmouth to a slightly under-par 111-5. Lyndon Jacques, with 4-15, was the pick of the bowling.

Penallt, sponsored by Paul Jarrold Tyres, did their best to butcher the response, losing three key wickets for 50 runs in the first 10 overs. But momentum turned when Guy Adams and Phil Harris took to the crease. They clocked up 33 and 35 not out respectively, before Adams whacked a straight six to win it with two overs in hand.

Exuberant celebrations that night ensured that the team then took the field with bleary eyes and thick heads on Sunday, for a 40 over showdown with West Monkton, whose dangerous opening batsman Daniel Adams scored 54 in the opening exchanges.

A fine caught-and-bowled by Tim Swanson, who took 5-29, ended the fireworks and the remainder of the innings saw the home team notch up 161-9.

Proceedings were jollified by a hard and squirrely pitch and outfield which at times behaved like a cobbled street. Penallt’s Pete Weldon took a ball to the chin, Adams was struck hard on his shin, and medium-pacer Richard Waterstone (1-14), turned his ankle during his delivery stride, and was forced to retire hurt.

The tourists kicked off their response in chaotic  fashion, losing their first four wickets for 20 runs. Some respectability was restored by Phil Harris (20), Myles Evill (21) and Lyndon Jaques (22 not out) but the target was never in danger and the last wicket fell for a disappointing 128.

On Saturday, it’s back to league duty, with Penallt and Redbrook due to play Lydney at Pelham Hall. Play starts at 2pm.

Guy Adams