For this weeks “Blast from the Past” we take you back to December 1988 for a 1st Grade game vs Kenwick. It was Club legend, Paul Keep’s first year at the home of the Tigers and he would announce himself in a big way.
It was round 5 of the season and the Tigers were 2 wins and 2 losses and even though Paul Keep had been taking plenty of wickets, 14 from 4 games, the runs were just not coming.
Kenwick would bat first after losing the toss and would ground out a total of 304 from 70 overs with the Cannington bowlers sharing the wickets around. Paul Keep with the figures of 2/57 from 11 overs, the other wickets going to Alan Walters 3/79, Neville Yovich 3/76 and Jason Nairn 1/17. It was going to be a big score to chase the next week.
The chase started slowly losing wickets at a regular pace but our opener Alan Buckby was still there but in need of support. The support didn’t come with wickets falling at 17,24,36,46,57 and 66 and Alan on 42 when he fell, the score was 7/70. Enter Paul Keep, batting at number 9 with Captain, Kim Sidebottom, they added 24 runs when Kim lost his wicket for 15 and the score now a miserable 8/94. Number 10 batsman Jason Nairn joined Keepy and together they went on the attack with nothing to lose. They started to plunder the bowling to all parts of the ground adding a record 9th wicket partnership for the Tigers of 120 before Jason was bowled for a brilliant 49, with 5 fours and 1 six, the score now 9/214. Number 11 Neville Yovich, however was no bunny with the bat and Paul Keep was still in an aggressive mood and the runs kept coming. Another 66 runs were added for the last wicket taking the score to 9/280 and only 25 runs from an impossible victory when an unfortunate run out would end the innings with Neville making 15 and Paul Keep unbeaten on 130 with 16 fours and 1 six. It is still the highest score by a number 9 batsman and a highlight for anyone lucky enough to have seen it.
It was the awakening of the legend Tiger, Paul Keep who would go on to Captain 1st Grade for 9 seasons, winning the Cricketer of the Year 9 times and then having the award in his name. He would become a life member in 2007 and a club legend forever.
He would play in 134 games making 3503 runs at an average of 25.76 with 18 fifties and 3 centuries with a highest score of 130no. With the ball he would take 306 wickets at an average of 20.34 with 11 five wicket hauls and a best of 7/47.