2pm start, 6pm & 20 overs finish, declaration cricket.
Sussex Martlets 182-5 dec (W Rydon 80*, A Barnes 57, M Geffen 7-4-9-2)
Goodwood 185-9 (T Gammon 44, C Pring 10-0-40-4)
Goodwood won by 1 wicket.
If you have to lose, this is the way to do it! The Martlets won the toss and elected to bat on a strangely sunny day at Goodwood. The track looked flatter than normal, if a little green, but the outfield mower, once again, seemed suspiciously to have been out of action. Opening bowlers Geffen and Heaven (from Chichester Priory’s 1st and 2nd XI opening attacks respectively) contained our openers to a consolidatory 2 an over for the first hour. The loss of Warrender heralded a technical master class in sound defence and then gradual acceleration from England over-60’s Andy Barnes and Will Rydon. Straight drives were held up in the long grass, but Will, in particular, took advantage of the short slope down to the pavilion boundary with a selection of elegant cuts in his undefeated 80. With middle order pinch-hitting support in the latter stages from Treasurer Ritchie, we could afford to finally declare at 4.35pm with 183 to defend having been bowled a rather impressive 47 overs.
Louis Ramsay, a Junior Martlet graduate from Newick, opened our attack with Mark Chapple. They contained the openers and tested them without luck, and a bowling change to introduce left-arm seamer and Martlet debutant Chris Pring brought a much needed breakthrough in the 17th over. This heralded a couple of run-outs off Ashworth’s bowling from some sharp fielding, and the subsequent rotation of leg and off spinners Watkins and Walker from the Cathedral End coupled with continued pressure from Pring at the Hill Climb End drew regular wickets with some outstanding out-fielding (notably Ramsay, Deacon and Pring) and catching (notably Rydon) from the Martlets. All results were still possible with an over to go, but Goodwood’s final pair brought their chase successfully home to end their lengthy drought of victories over the Martlets.
Despite the outcome, we saw a really promising Martlet debut for Ramsay and Pring; a welcome return for Barnes, on a day when everyone had either a bat or a bowl in a game that went right down to the wire. Many thanks to Colin Shaw for umpiring and Yolanada Hinton for scoring, and congratulations to jug earners Barnes for his 57, and doubly Rydon for his 80* and 4 catches. All of this was rounded off with delightful (and liquid) socialising with our hosts as the sun set warmly on the upper branches of the old cedar tree. Proper Sunday cricket!
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