Four weeks had passed since the cool dampness of tour as the over40s assembled at the sun drenched Heathfield Park for the traditional first regular fixture. A time game was agreed, the coin went up, AN called correctly and the Martlets were batting. Kapadia and Boulter started briskly before Deepak was bowled for 19, Dave Mann then came in for a cameo 16 , including the now obligatory running issues with Willy. In his departure, debutant Stu Hook, recruited by Lackie, came in. Hailing from Adelaide via Finland and now Estonia squad member, it was more a case of pull rather than hook, as gradually Stu accelerated whilst Willy adopted his inner Boycott.A fifty partnership took the Martlets to 106 off 19 overs when Willy became the third victim of the youthful David Rippengal. Stu and Dave Christmas rattled on another 77 , if which DC contributed a modest proportion, at this Stu holed out for 83. DC was the last to fall at 193 before Sam Collyer (30*) and another debutant Rob Willsdon(35*) added an unbroken 67 before the declaration at 260 after 37 overs. This is possibly a record total…
Tea followed courtesy of the Shell/Tesco/M&S deli depending on your budget!
With one Rippengal Having to depart to do some coaching, having opened the bowling for HPCC, David Rippengal faced Guy Keeling back from a 2 season injury absence. Second ball full toss slapped straight to Deepak at mid off, however the umpires deemed it was above waist height. That was in hindsight the decisive moment. David then proceeded to cause carnage and although Guy produced ball of the day to bowl the left hander opener , we could do little to stop the flow of runs. Skipper Martin Wise came in at 3 and after a start that gave us hope he then settled and the partnership grew. At 161, David reached his ton and retired, putting us back in with a chance. By this time Paul Lack was into his metronomic spell and picked up 4-90 in 15 overs including an outstanding one handed c&b. Unfortunately with the fast outfield and slow fielders it was always a challenge to keep the run rate under control and whilst there were several poor attempts, the outstanding effort was from DC who lifted his foot at mid wicket in ice skating style with pirouette to allow a boundary. We did manage to take it to their 40th (and last) over before they won, with Dan James wearing his HPCC hat rather than his Martlet one! Ian (dad) Rippengal also an occasional Martlet with a chanceless 44* made the game beyond reach at the end. Fielding plaudits went to Sam, Stu and Rob for patrolling the downhill side , Deepak for generally being solid and Dave for his continual chirping behind the stumps, at least he knew what he was on about! The less said about Willy’s drop , the better (that doesn’t quite sound right).
Many thanks to those who played, to the umpires Andy Shanks and Trevor Burchell, scorer Hazel and Heathfield for their hospitality and finally getting the weather right! Thanks also to Nigel for dropping by and Degsy for his support. Apologies due to Nick Foster for his TFC , blaming Degsy for inaccurate information…
An enjoyable day out despite the result, to be repeated next year hopefully with the return of the legendary teas!
Stu will be returning from Estonia later in the season, already signed up for the Hogs game!
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