Sussex Martlets (Over ’40s) vs. Forty Club 25 July 2023
It is always a pleasure to play on the main square at Horsham, a Sussex outground in years gone by, and still a very good square, supported by excellent changing facilities and the best showers in the county (by popular acclaim !).
Having won the two previous encounters with the Forty Club, we arrived confident of continuing the run.
Match manager Dave Messenger negotiated a 70-over game with side batting first to face a maximum of 37 – which we promptly did, having to recover from 16-3 and then 43-4!
Messrs Boulter, Walker and Collyer were out cheaply; Bush lasted not much longer, but fortunately Simon Warrender, having opened, batted very sensibly for 35 out of 86 when he was out, to bring David Mann and Oscar, his 18 year old son, together. David batted very well, not for the first time this season, and Oscar took the bowling on with a quick fire 29 off 23 balls, including four 4s and a 6 – once he was out, Dad tried his best to marshal the tail, but David Pugh was unluckily adjudged LBW after looking good, and Deepak unfortunately nicked one second ball, walking immediately.
It was left to Jeremy McGahan to keep Mann Snr company for 20 minutes and elevate the score to 188-8 after 37 overs, David finishing on a really excellent 92 not out off 96 balls, full of hard hit boundaries, sensible running and true Aussie grit !
We felt the score was competitive, on an outfield which was not as fast as usual, and with a useful Vets bowling attack, spearheaded by Sam Collyer, bowling true medium pace, and the ever reliable and accurate Deepak. After 10 overs, at 38-0, we were
slightly nonplussed, before the openers were both run out in quick succession, thanks to, first, a great throw from Oscar (allied to a poor call!), and secondly an excellent direct hit from the MM at cover, after an even worse call ! However, a fine younger player (fair enough since we also had an 18 year old in the ranks!) named Barnes came in and played well, drinks being taken at 75-2 after 18 overs. We thought that was a 50/50 position to be in, since Forty Club only had 15 overs remaining to
score 114 runs – in the event it only took them 11 overs and 2 balls !
Barnes, having been relatively subdued before drinks and possibly spurred on
by a word from the Forty Club’s genial convenor, Richard Bennett, opened his shoulders and, blessed with an excellent eye and powerful arms, hit eleven 4s and three 6s, punishing almost all the bowlers, although Dave Messenger managed to get him to give one very difficult chance. At the other end, Sam and Jeremy had one success each, and the Chairman nipped in with two wickets, but Barnes finished 90 not out, with their skipper (all the way from Sheffield) hitting the winning boundary, 6 wickets down. Coming off the field we were greeted by Lackie, who had dropped by not wanting to miss another Vets defeat …
Another excellent game, well managed and played in fantastic spirit as normal – just the results continue to go against the Vets !
We made the most of Horsham’s bar facilities (within the constraints of the law of course!) and conversation turned to tour planning as it often does. Still six games to go in the summer though ! Many thanks to the ever-friendly Forty Club, the umpires, Norman Jones and Trevor Burchell, and our super efficient scorer, Alison Skinner.
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