Rollings turns tables on former school with first Martlets century of the season
Martlets 227-6 dec (H Rollings 108, M Bennison 55, P Lamb 33, D Morgan 3-44)
Ardingly College 201-9 (J Richardson 35, D Morgan 26*, P Walker 3-56, M Trubshaw 2-33)
Report by John Ashworth
It takes a different kind of match-management incompetence to end up with 13 players. Yours truly thus dropped poor Will Rydon to 13th man (sorry, Will) and himself to 12th. This meant that Harry Rollings, in his first year as an Ardingly College alumnus, and Matt Bennison, as a Martlet candidate and Chichester PPCC 1st XI batsman, secured their place in the side. If only we could count on them making a difference.
As with all student matches, the visitors created a formidable vibe with their on-time arrival, pre-match fielding drills and jolly fancy equipment, all ably and professionally abetted by Keith (father of Luke) Wright and Mark (brother of Chris) Nash.
With the match-manager now rather enjoying his enforced redundancy, George Read caught the armband for his captaincy debut at Arundel on a day off from pretending to read a humanity at Southampton University – he’s actually playing cricket just about every day of the week instead – and passed his first oral exam by correctly calling the toss and choosing to bat under blue skies and a hot sun.
Peter Lamb, or Jimmy Lamberson as the Chichester Observer now recognises him, strode out with Harry Rollings and settled immediately into an elegant if languid partnership that punished anything slightly short, full or wide. With an impressive 63-0 on the board, Jimmy launched into a trademark uppish cover drive to be caught at extra cover for a sadly trademark dismissal. Debutant Matt Bennison arrived and dropped anchor, taking no risks, but looking outstandingly solid in defence. This enabled Harry to kick on, with some astonishingly powerful but seemingly effortless back foot drives. Superb timing indeed, but I suppose it helps if you’re 6’ 5” and there’s talent in the blood.
Lunch (at 98-1) came and went courtesy of the brilliant new caterers and the members’ post-prandial siesta was only disturbed by an accelerated run rate. Matt didn’t force anything, relying instead on natural timing, and fully deserved his maiden half-century (‘can I roll up this pitch and take it with me?’) before being caught for 55. Harry kicked on with, by now, considerable power and raised his bat for a fantastic ton, having taken one off the Martlets as a student in the corresponding fixture last year. ‘Oh what a wonderful privilege to be stuck out here witnessing such a masterclass’, the fielders didn’t particularly think to themselves, but a pleasing murmur of members let applause rip from under their tartan rugs instead.
Jonathan Hughes (a Martlet making his Arundel debut), Nick Ratcliffe, Johnny Heaven and Mark Trubshaw all chipped in before the sporting declaration at 49 overs came with 227 on the board. Dom Morgan (Zimbabwe U-19) and Jarryd Richardson were the pick of the College bowlers on a customarily unforgiving Arundel road.
The College reply was workmanlike and jittery in equal measure. Despite Daniel James and George Read opening with impressive accuracy if not searing pace, a muddled run-out created the first wicket. George bowled their No 3 in the final over of his and DJ’s opening 14 overs-each spell to make way for Mark Trubshaw and Paul ‘Rich House, Poor House’ Walker. Much of the lunch and tea intervals was spent interrogating Paul as to which side of the trade his new-found TV celebrity sat on, but he answered his mirthful critics with 3-56 at one end whilst the Trubster grunted Sharapovianly at the other for his 2-33. Johnny ‘Eric Bristow’ Heaven threw some darts from the oche but try as we might, the rear-guard pairing of Morgan (26) and Jaine (30 with a good eye but not obviously natural cricketing talent) offered sufficient resistance to bring the final man to the crease with not much time to play out. And they duly survived for a probably-the-right-result kind of draw.
Contemplations and reparations took place at The Rabbit where we were joined by our Chairman. Another wonderful day at The Castle, and many thanks to umpire Ian Farrell and scorer John Betts.
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