Sussex Martlets v Ardingly College 1st XI
at Ardingly College on 25 May 2023
The much anticipated schools cricket match with Ardingly College took place in late May. The boys gathered progressively in the hour before the start time, reflecting that some of them would have been taking exams that morning.
It was agreed that the game would be a time game rather than overs as in recent years. The college indicated a preference to bat first, contrary to the traditions of the Martlets. Non playing match manager Stuart Ritchie won the toss and elected to bowl.
Ardingly made a steady start with most batters getting into double figures, notably Knot (their keeper) finishing with 55 n.o. and Sheldon with 36 out lbw. Cormac Hodson, a Kiwi gappie working at Ardingly, took a screecher of a catch above his head one handed to remove one of the openers. Just after lunch, the venerable Sam Carter took a blinder of a catch low to his right off the bowling of Mark Trubshaw. Ardingly College declared on 223 runs for 9 wickets after 51 overs.
Martlets’ reply was muted with both Luke Forster and Sam Carter perishing for five runs each early. In came Tom Naish of Eastbourne who accumulated runs steadily. Other than Scott Warren, each Martlet made a start but never pressed on. It was left to Tom Naish to carry the batting towards the death, with the notable help of Scott, and also Jake Riddell and at the end Mark Trubshaw, finishing on an unbeaten 129 scoring the winning shot, a 4 from a bouncer through the covers from the last ball of the game.
The Martlets were understandably joyous at the result, having not won recent matches at Ardingly College. The boys similarly were downcast, but in the overall scheme of things, it added to Ardingly’s strapline “World Ready”.
The Martlets were extremely grateful to Ardingly College for this day of cricket and for their generosity throughout, particularly at lunch and at tea. Speeches were made by both Keith Wright and Stuart Ritchie, praising the efforts of the groundsmen in preparing the wicket in difficult conditions, the caterers for an excellent offering, and the officials on the day.
It is of note that Keith Wright retires from Ardingly College this June, having served the school for some 12 years with dedication and success. He is succeeded by Sussex Martlet Jordan Rollings. Keith hopes to travel a bit with his son Luke now an England selector and watch a little bit of cricket in his retirement. It is relatively certain that Martlets will see Keith around the grounds of Sussex from time to time. Cricket at Ardingly College is in good hands.
26 May 2023
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