Goodwood 165 (45 overs), FTE Ashworth 2-25, A Zampa 2-30, J Hayward 2-29, JA Ashworth 2-18
Sussex Martlets 166-7, E Clarke 80, T Deacon 31
Another year, another game at this delightful ground where cricket in Sussex was pioneered by the 2nd Duke of Richmond. The first set of written rules, not laws indeed, were penned for him in 1727. The ground sits below Goodwood House, and in the shadow of an enormous cedar tree. Despite this grand heritage, the wicket has always been rather slow and low, and the outfield only ever lightly mown. Low scoring games have been the norm. This year, however, Chichester Priory Park have had the use of the pitch for their 3rd XI and have injected grounds-mans’ resources in return so the playing field was somewhat more level, so to speak.
Filling a side on the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend is never the easiest of a match manager’s tasks. On Sunday morning, with the customary drop-outs recorded on Saturday night, your correspondent had 8 men at his disposal. But we live in an age of facebook, Twitter, email, mobile phones (including SMS) and so it was after some frantic communication that we took to the field at 2pm with eleven men fit and true. Goodwood won the toss and elected to bat.
Ashworth Junior and Adam Zampa opened the bowling. Zampa is contracted to New South Wales, and has already played for Australia in the Hong Kong 6’s tournament. He serves as Chichester’s overseas pro for 2012 and treated us to an extraordinary display of leg spin bowling with a googly that would make any wicket-keeper look foolish. Our stalwart servant behind the timbers, Mike Mansergh, was not spared membership of this illustrious club. Wickets were shared evenly amongst the bowlers, and tight bowling lines and impressively tight fielding restricted Goodwood to 165 in 45 overs. Particular mention must be made of Josh Hayward, a 16 year-old from Cuckfield with the Sussex Academy, who delivered 12 overs of slow left arm spin to an 8-1 field. His figures of 12-2-29-2 said everything that needed to be said about his accuracy and the stage that Martlet cricket was able to give him to practice his art. He might not have had 12 overs of an 8-1 field in league cricket.
We had a scare or two in the chase, but our anchor was another youngster, Ed Clarke, a product of Westbourne House school and currently playing for Lancing College 1sts. Troubled by bouncers early in his innings, he dug in, and then opened out, for a delightful 80. The middle order came and went, and went a little too much actually, but eventually the youngsters Frankie Ashworth and Josh Hayward saw us home to another well earned fixture against these friendly and ever-welcoming opponents.
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