Cuckfield 221 – 6
Martlets 222 – 6, Rob Rydon 119*
Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bat. This didn’t worry the captain unduly as his bowling line up had a fine mix of young raw pace and mature wile and guile, though he was slightly concerned when the Cuckfield openers were 48 of 6 overs. However, their rocket start was extinguished by Frankie Ashworth who, once he had found the correct end to bowl at, showed signs of real pace. The breaks were then applied with some accurate spin from Paul Walker and Simon Leefe. Our overseas senior professional, Jaap Vogelaar, and young pretender, Henry Rydon, also bowler steadily but the Cuckfield opener, Dom Keats matched our attack and scored a well deserved century. John Ashworth and Rob Rydon finished our time in the field with us bowling 44 overs in our allotted time. It must be noted that of the six wickets taken all were caught bar one tidy stumping from Greg West and not one chance dropped. Champagne moment would be Paul Walker’s catch, running in from the midwicket boundary he launched himself forward to gather the ball inches from the turf – unfortunately it was totally lost on his newly recruited 21 year old Italian nanny .
Set 222 to win the captain was not unduly worried as his batting order had a fine mix of young raw talent and mature experience, though he was slightly concerned when the Martlets found themselves 32 for 5. The senior pros of Greg West, Peter Hartland and Paul Walker bore the brunt of the openers and the youth succumbed to a couple of fine deliveries leaving Rob Rydon and Simon Leefe at the crease. Needing 190 from 22 overs the remaining batsmen and crowd of dedicated supporters felt it was a bit of a lost cause but once Rob and Simon started seeing the ball disappear over trees and into the next parish a glimmer of hope arose, soon to be dashed by a ripping sound from Simon’s trousers, not his tailored whites but a torn hamstring. Always exciting having a runner on the pitch the two carried on and the runs flowed again. Simon finally fell for 42 having completed a 105 partnership. John Ashworth joined Rob who batted quite sublimely and the two of them calmly closed of the run chase with ten balls remaining, John ending with 23* and Rob 119*. This ended our run of defeats at Cuckfield and I left the beautiful ground a happy skipper.
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