Sussex Martlets 239 – 4, Brandon Hanley 75*, Will Rydon 72*, Kevin Smith 43
Goodwood 78, James Lamb 5 – 9, Brandon Hanley 3 – 27
Despite the magnificence of the setting and the spirit between these two teams, this is a fixture which has eluded the Martlet’s grasp over the last five years when we’ve recorded only draws or losses. Through no lack of effort we have generally struggled to score more than 150-160 and then generally struggled to defend the runs. This in part has been due to canny bowling by Goodwood taking advantage of a slow, low pitch and a slow outfield that offers limited value for a visiting batsman’s shots. With this in mind, we were determined to maintain the spirit of the fixture but reverse the result.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, our batsmen performed simply magnificently. Opener Kevin Smith (43) gave another batting master-class in front of his current and former charges from Westbourne House school. His partner Simon Warrender is clearly a classy player but was unlucky to have one stop on him resulting in a chip to mid-on before scoring. This ushered in Jonathan Haynes who stroked the ball beautifully for 20 watched by his grandfather Colin Sharman, a great Martlet himself. His demise to a sharp leg-side catch by the keeper brought the ever reliable Will Rydon to the crease to develop the good work that Kevin had started. The latter’s low clip to square leg saw Will develop two outstanding partnerships with Stuart Ritchie (22) and then Martlet candidate Brandon Hanley (75*). With wickets in had they were able to ‘have a go’ having ‘had a look’ and we accelerated from 135 at 3.45pm to a declaration of 239-4 at 4.30pm. Brandon’s hitting in particular was long and clean as befits a man 6’7” tall and blessed with superb timing. John Hartridge did magnificently to keep the scoresheet up to date in the last 5 overs.
Sadly, Goodwood’s evergreen and productive opener Tony Gammon had ripped an Achilles tendon the previous week and this left them bereft of ambition. Whilst it was clear that they’d never chase our total, the need to make a game of it sat uneasily with the ambition of taking ten wickets on a track that offered little to the bowlers. Only Hanley’s height would suggest he’d command real lift (from a remarkably languid action) but the bowlers bowled a perfect line forcing Goodwood to get themselves out. Hough made the breakthrough after a slow start, Hanley responded and the introduction of Lamb into the attack brought immediate rewards as batsman after batsman was determined to hit him across the line having been pressured by Hanley and then Ross at the top end. Umpire Ron Pateman was asked to adjudicate – and gave – an unusually high, but fair, number of LBW decisions.
It was a great sight to see so many players’ families and spectators on the day, amongst them Martlet grandees Nigel Russell, Brian O’Gorman and Colin Sharman.
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