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Team unity was key, says Richardson

Rookie captain: DeSilva had a superb first season in charge

The team that plays together ultimately wins together.

That certainly proved to be the case for Somerset Cricket Club who achieved an impressive league and cup double this season under rookie captain Jordan DeSilva.

The West Enders won the Logic First Division to return to the top flight at the first attempt and capped a successful season with victory over Cup Match rivals St George’s in Sunday’s First Division Twenty20 final at home.

They also retained the Cup Match trophy after this year’s two-day classic at Somerset ended in a draw.

“It’s been a very successful season for Somerset Cricket Club and I think that team unity has been the key to our success,” Jeff Richardson, the Somerset coach, said.

“A lot of different players chipped. It wasn’t like one guy carried the team the entire season.”

Suffering relegation the previous season might have been a blessing in disguise for Somerset.

“We used relegation as an opportunity to build and help the team mature a bit and I think the guys have learnt that a bit of hard work, maturity and patience goes a long way,” Richardson said.

Never once did the coach doubt his team’s ability to make a swift return to the top flight.

“Promotion was a target we set out at the beginning of the season,” Richardson said. “We looked at the other teams and found no reason why we couldn’t challenge for the top spot. There was some concern having a new captain but the transition went pretty smoothly.”

Richardson, who has already agreed to stay on as coach next season, expressed a lot of optimism for his team’s future.

“There’s no doubt the best is yet to come because we have some very talented youngsters,” the former Western Stars, Bermuda and Somerset Cup Match batsman, said.

“We have a young team and most of the guys are around the same age. They know each other and get along well. The guys have been together for so long and I think they’re starting to mature as a team.”

Richardson’s only concern is the limited roster he has at his disposal.

“I think we can do with an addition of maybe three or four players just so complacency doesn’t set with guys knowing they are going to be playing every weekend regardless of their performance,” he said.

Somerset lost only two matches all season to Devonshire Recreation Club in the league and St George’s in the early stages of the First Division T20. They avenged their loss to St George’s courtesy of a 35-run triumph in Sunday’s final.

“St George’s beat us in the early stages of Twenty20 so we sure were not going to let them beat us again in the final,” Richardson said.

Somerset were the only First Division team to gain promotion after runners-up St George’s lost to Premier Division side Cleveland County in a play-off at Somerset at the weekend.