Brighton College

Martlets vs Brighton College

Date: 13 Jun 2024

Venue: Brighton College, Jubilee Ground

Time/Result: Abandoned - Draw

Match Manager: Hector Loughton

Umpire: Richard Young

Scorer: Les Newcombe

Match Report

The Martlets took to the field against a strong (unbeaten) Brighton College team, with a remarkably youthful team, interdispersed with a nice seam of experience. We were also fortunately to be bolstered by a cohort of Australians, with the overseas of Hastings, West Chilts and Keymer joining some familiar Martlet names.
An inauspicious start followed – first, Luke Forster decided to forget his cricket bag (a fairly important piece of equipment) and so had to do a u-turn back to collect it. And second, the skipper decided to lose the toss, much to the disgruntlement of the team. Anyway, Martlets were bowling.
A Martlets stalwart (Dan James) opened up alongside a Martlets debutant (Dan Williams), and both found prodigious movement from the off. Williams bowled with good pace, causing problems for the College openers, whilst James extracted bounce from the pitch. Both batters had moments of luck, but also batted with great skill and played some nice shots. The Martlets breakthrough came on the final ball of Williams’ spell, a good bowl bursting through the defence of Woodage.
Max Ralph (Keymer overseas) replaced Williams at the top end, and again settled into a nice rhythm. Another Martlets stalwart, Ben Whelpton, took over from James at the bottom end – Whelpton took a couple of overs to settle in, but was soon finding some grip. It was Whelpton that made the next breakthrough, bowling number 3 Dixon for 22.
At the other end, College opener Wallis was hitting his groove, playing some fantastic shots, especially through the off side. Aside from a chance given to the skipper at slip in the 40s, Wallis didn’t put a foot wrong and deservedly brought up his half century. He was joined by Brighton’s skipper, Lategan, who showed his talent from ball 1, and the pair built their partnership. Dom Heater bowled with good accuracy and found some spin, but the batters were equal to what Martlets had to throw at them. The College lunched in a strong position, just 2 wickets down.
After lunch, the leg spinning pair of Heater and Alex Osborne continued. It would appear Wallis would make serene progress towards a ton, but on 93 Heater snuck one through to remove the opener after a fine innings. Streak came to the crease, and it was immediately clear the run rate was being upped by him and Lategan. Streak in particular took advantage of a small boundary on one side. Lategan too starting unravelling all the shots, and the pair put together a 90-run partnership in quick time. The College ended its innings on 259-3 off 46 overs.
The Martlets left the field confident in the run chase – the pitch was excellent and the line up batted deep. Sammy Hart and Forster opened up – they needed to be circumspect against some tight seam bowling, before being able to unfurl some shots. Hart hit a couple of glorious cover drives before being caught of the bowling of Dixon. Forster followed soon after, a fine yorker from Rees removing him. Peter Lamb and Osborne were now at the crease – with dark clouds now beginning to gather overhead. A bit of a partnership began to emerge, before the introduction of Lategan brought the edge of Osborne’s bat, smartly caught at slip for 17. Freddie Ferro soon followed, caught behind off a good ball off Saunders.
At the other end, Lamb was batting beautifully (in his usual way), hitting with great power and precision. Williams provided a good foil at the other end, allowing Lamb to play the plethora of shots. But the rate was rising and at the commencement of the last hour, Martlets needed around 180 to win. Lamb did his best to up the rate and reached a fine half century. Unfortunately rain began to fall and the light really closed in, bringing a premature end to the Martlets’ innings, still 160 behind.
An inopportune end to a fantastic day – the College looked after us and our spectators very well. The College team are a very good outfit with some serious talent – it us easy to see why they are unbeaten this year. A big thank you to Mark Davies – the Martlets will be back next year looking for that win.

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