ILMINSTER'S Under-11s maintained their fine start to the season in the Towergate Taunton and district league as they beat Bagborough by 68 runs in the cup.

After being asked to bat first Ilminster posted 275-4 off 16 overs.

Captain Finn Treacher top scored with 15 but as in their previous match every player made a contribution with the bat.

In reply Bagborough were 207-6. The wickets were shared out among the bowlers who all recorded excellent figures.

Michael McNee bowled three overs of leg spin, taking 1- 5 while Josh Lamb bowled took 1-4 in two overs.

Ilminster U11s got off to a flying start in their first Taunton league match with a 101 run defeat of North Curry.

Asked to bat, Ilminster posted 298-0 off 16 overs, Daisy Jeanes top scoring with 18.

In reply, North Curry were 197-8. The stand-out bowler was JT Langridge with 3-1 in three overs.

Ilminster are looking to improve on last year’s fouth place when they finished behind North Curry and two Glastonbury teams.

The structure of the League has been changed for the 2014 season, making it even stronger, with Ilminster switching from the East to the Central League, pitching them in with the Taunton teams as well as Glastonbury.

Coach Phil McNee said: “It’s not just at this age group that the youth structure at Ilminster are performing well.

“This year, we have players that have gone through our youth set up playing first team cricket at 15 and 16 years old.

There are now second, third and fourth waves of talented players coming through at U-12, U-11 and U-10 being recognised at county and district level.

“It’s amazing to think that half of the U-11 team are nine or under and one of them has only just turned eight.

“But that’s typical of all our teams, players are developing more quickly because of the opportunities, challenges and support we give them to play above their year groups.”

The whole of the youth set up has also significantly benefitted from first team player Louis Kraucamp's coaching involvement. McNee added: “There is no-one better technically in the art of coaching batting and bowling than Louis.

“That allows the other coaches and I to introduce advanced team fielding strategies and batting and bowling plans as well as helping teams take responsibility for their own warm-up routines well before these parts of the game are normally introduced.

“It makes complete sense to everyone at the cricket club. Our present and our future is bright and self-sustaining because of our investment in, and dedication to, our youth structure.”