SOMERSET fans turned out in force at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Monday evening to greet their heroes, writes Richard Walsh.

The Club hosted a welcome home celebration for the squad that had lifted the Vitality Blast T20 Cup at Edgbaston 10 days earlier.

This was only the second time that the Cidermen had ever won the T20 competition and the first time in 18 years, the previous occasion being in 2005 when they beat a star studded Lancashire at the Oval.

Almost as soon as Somerset announced that there was going to be an event to welcome home the players and the trophy the 2000 free tickets that were available on a first come first served basis were snapped up and well ahead of the the time that the event was due to start supporters were queuing at the gates.

When they did come flooding in there was a huge queue of people young and old lining up to have their picture taken with the trophy.

Just after 6pm Pete Trego the master of ceremonies for the evening welcomed the Somerset players onto stage, many of who had been mingling with their fans signing autographs and posing for selfies, to the stage for a group pic, much to the delight of those present.

Peter Trego then interviewed T20 captain Lewis Gregory and Tom Abell both of who were loudly applauded after which he read out some of the startling achievements of the 2023 T20 winning squad that included them winning 15 out of 17 of their matches- a new record for the tournament, during which Somerset took 151 out of a possible 170 wickets.

The team had the two leading wicket takers in the tournament, Matt Henry with 31 scalps and Ben Green with 30,  while Craig Overton claimed 22 catches- seven more than his nearest rival.

During the competition Somerset batters hit a total of 123 sixes, while Sean Dickson’s batting heroics on Finals Day ,that were such a key part of the eventual achievement, saw him head the batting averages with 35.57.

Finally Somerset won eight consecutive matches the final one being the big one- beating Essex in the final.

All of those memories came flooding back on Monday evening and once again Somerset supporters were there to cheer their heroes and convey their thanks for their achievements.

Somerset fans were regaled in their club colours, some from the current era while others were from campaigns when the side had not been quite as successful as they had been in 2023. They  were all there to share the joy of their team winning a trophy- a memory that will stay in the minds of those present for many years to come- well at least until the next time!