Bill Andrews (cricketer) - First Spell For Somerset

First Spell For Somerset

Early in 1930 Andrews had applied, along with 140 other, for the post of Professional and Groundsman for East Coker near Yeovil. He got the job, left his job at the solicitor's office and moved to East Coker. Soon afterwards he received an invitation to a trial match at Taunton and although his performance in this match was poor, he did receive an invitation to play for Somerset in their first four county matches of the 1930 season. He left the East Coker ground in the capable hands of his brother Jack.

These four matches brought Andrews 13 wickets at an average of over 30 and he returned to East Coker. He played in 6 more matches in 1930 including one match against Yorkshire in Bradford when he only received a telegram the morning of the match and consequently missed the entire first day. These 6 matches only produced 5 wickets and he finished the season with a bowling average over 40 and a batting average under 5.

He must have sufficiently impressed because he was given a contract for the 1931 season. He played 19 of the 28 Championship matches and took 27 wickets at an average of about 35. He rarely has a chance batting since he was generally number 10 or 11. In danger of losing his contract he was eventually taken on for another season in preference to George Hunt. He played 20 of the 28 Championship matches and both his bowling and batting were showing signs of improvement. Somerset were however stretched financially and Andrews was sacked at the end of the season.

He took 5 wickets in an innings just once in these 3 seasons, 5-52 against Kent at Canterbury in 1931, a match in which Tich Freeman took match figures of 15-94 and Somerset were beaten by 8 wickets.

Andrews himself believed that he was primarily used for away matches particularly against tough opposition. The evidence doesn't entirely support this since of his 49 matches in these 3 seasons 22 were at home and 27 were away, although these included the 3 matches away to Yorkshire. It was true, however, that priority was often given to Amateurs and since they were most often available in the summer holidays in August when Somerset played many of their home games, he was likely to play more often away that at home.

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