ETON RAMBLERS v SUSSEX MARTLETS
Upper Club, Eton
Sunday 27 August, 2017
Eton Ramblers 182 all out
(M Murray 3-25, J Heaven 2-30, J Barker 2-40, J O’Gorman 2-42)
Sussex Martlets 183 – 8
(P Lamb 33, J Heaven 66, H Loughton 39, D Horsham 22*)
Martlets won by 2 wickets
A Martlet victory crafted on the Playing Fields of Eton. Just up the Duke of Wellington’s street. Just up Johnny Barclay’s street, too. The great man played for the Eton XI in all of his five years here, and today’s game was the first to be played for the newly endowed JRT Barclay Cup in commemoration of his extraordinary contributions to cricket for Eton, Sussex, Arundel and the Martlets.
Match preparations provided three umpires, no scorer, and two father/son combinations. Iago Major (Richard) and Minor (Greg) paired up for the Martlets, while Ashworth Major (John) and Minor (Frankie) were opposing match-managers, the former delegating captaincy duties to Mike Murray, who promptly lost the toss. The Martlets were invited to field under clear blue skies (good) and temperatures in the high 20s (not so good).
Hector Loughton and Johnny Heaven opened tightly on a road of all roads with an immediate break though off Heaven – a sharp catch in the gully by 13-year-old James Barker who’d enjoyed a successful summer of cricket at Westbourne House School and for the Sussex Western Warriors. Derek Horsham and young Barker replaced the openers and runs and wickets ticked along with Will Gordon Lennox (who had captained Eton against Harrow at Lords three years previously) looking particularly well organised. Perry Mould, despite an uncertain start, impressed by top-scoring with the bat ably supported by Alex McDonald. Despite a post-lunch mid-innings collapse (Murray hitting top of middle twice in an over), the Ramblers rallied to 182. Murray, Heaven, O’Gorman and Barker had all bowled beautifully.
Peter Lamb (33) anchored the reply which required Loughton (39) to stabilise. The Iagos, Bushell, O’Gorman and Ashworth all came and went without seriously taxing the stand-in scorer, so it fell again to Johnny Heaven (66) – as he had against the Downside Wanderers earlier in the season – to seize the initiative and carry us home with Degsie (and his midnight runners, 22*) providing the support to see us home. Charlie Settrington was the pick of the Ramblers bowlers.
A word of thanks to Mark Williams, the third umpire who scored for us at short notice. Mark was a popular maths and cricket beak to all of the young Ramblers side, and a fine cricketer himself (having scored a century of centuries in league cricket). Last year he supervised the recent Law changes at the MCC.
Johnny Barclay joined us for the afternoon and we made a fuss of him at tea (outstanding catering all day). He enjoyed the tough, competitive cricket played in fine spirit on a ground he’d first graced nearly 50 years ago. The players retired to Datchet for a pint afterwards to reflect on a day of the very best in Old Boy and Wandering cricket.
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