Reunited Junior Martlets side hammer Hurstpierpoint College
Sussex Martlets: 293 for 5 dec. (E Fairfax 69*, H Rollings 54, J Gilligan 37, S Cooper 34, T Pullan 28, J O’Gorman 28; W Collard 3 for 87)
Hurstpierpoint College: 170 all out (W Tunley-Lo 41, M. Seroka 31*, G Mills 23; J. Hutchings 3 for 32, J. Brehaut 3 for 47, J. Troak 2 for 44)
Sussex Martlets won by 123 runs
The Martlets, at relatively short notice, gathered a young and strong XI by taking advantage having a large number of university students available as they took refuge from their studies in Sussex for the Summer. It was something of a reunion as the whole side had at one time played in Junior Martlet sides of the past together. The School fielded a young side as the last exams of the term and two calls from the Sussex 2nd XI kept some regulars away.
On what was promising to be a very hot day Jack Troak passed his first test as captain by winning the toss and deciding to bat. Harry Rollings and Sam Cooper were sent out into the sun to open while the rest basked in the shade of the pavilion. Knowing their duty they stayed out there to put on 90 for the first wicket, although the young opening attack made sure they did not have it all their own way. Both demonstrated class with their flowing shots. Harry reached his fifty and shortly afterwards Sam lofted one but not far enough.
Hurst’s most experienced bowler is Will Collard and his leg breaks have already had him playing for the county 2nd XI this Summer and he accounted for Harry early in his spell. Toby Pullan and Joe O’Gorman had instructions to see it out till lunch. Rightly though, they looked for runs too and were comfortable in their selection of shots until they went for the “early lunch option” by succumbing to the wiles of the Collard spin and flight. Cheers from the pavilion heralded Joe Gilligan’s avoidance of a 5th duck on the trot or, as Jamie Hutchings put it, his “collection of the Olympic rings”! And so came lunch with the score on 154 for 4.
The post lunch period saw the bat in the ascendant thanks to Joe, Ed Fairfax and towards the end Rob Cope. When the declaration came Ed Fairfax remained unbeaten with a fine 69 runs to his name and the final score was 293 for 5.
A fine opening spell from James Brehaut accounted for the top three of school’s batsmen. The superb catch by Greg Wisdom, the oldest man on the pitch (!), to dismiss the opener was the first of several by the Martlets. We were a hungry side in the field. Jack Troak handled the bowling changes well and he proved that he still had full control of the leg spinner’s art. The school put in some stubborn resistance but found it hard to keep up with the required rate. The left arm spin of Joe O’Gorman added to the variety of the attack. Jamie Hutchings returned to polish off much of the tail, including a wicket from an outstanding short-leg catch by Rob Cope. A flurry of runs came from the last-wicket partnership but it seemed right that when the end came it should have been at the hands of the captain.
So the Martlets ended with a comfortable victory. My thanks go to Ian Farrell and Paul Baker, who left the field having quite clearly enjoyed the day and to Nigel Smith in the scorebox. The spirit both on the field and around the boundary said much for the way the game was played. I would add that probably never has a match manager had it so good! The eleven was made up from the original twelve selected and when the typical response was, “Oh I’d love to play”, I am left feeling that I might be tempted to have another foray into senior managership….maybe! My final thanks go to captain Jack whose zest and enthusiasm does go a long way to carrying on the Martlet tradition.
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