On what was a beautiful bank holiday monday, the Sussex Martlets took on the Junior Martlets! Everyone was truly grateful to Arundel for being able to host such a wonderful event despite the current climate. There were an excellent number of spectators (socially distancing of course), spread round the beautiful castle grounds to witness the epic battle that is Juniors vs Seniors. Juniors won the toss and elected to field in cloudy conditions as veterans Sam Carter and John Ashworth opened the batting due to the lateness of opener Toby Pullan who was hitching a lift with Derek Horsham! We reached 31 without loss before Ashworth edged behind for 8. Carter fell shortly after leaving the Martlets 51/2 with the arrival of Rebbetts to accompany the ever improving batsman Jordan Shaw. Rebbetts did the unthinkable and chipped his second delivery straight to square leg to fall for 0, putting the Martlets in trouble at 54/3. Ben Davies arrived and steadied the ship thanks to a good partnership with Shaw. Two excellent stroke makers at the crease also increased the run rate. Unfortunately, Shaw was adjudged LBW for an excellent 42 before Davies edged behind for 26. This looked like a day for starts for the seniors as plenty got in but then got out. Being 5 down at lunch was seldom comfortable for the Seniors but after the arrival of Pullan and steady Eddy , Mike Murray, at the crease gave some hope for the Seniors. Murray got a rare roller from leg spinner and captain of the Juniors this year, Ryan Trotter. The arrival of the outgoing chairman Stuart Ritchie was well received by all. He also started an excellent partnership with Pullan, as he flat batted the ball to the cover boundary on many occasions. They put on 75 as Pullan hit 6 huge sixes in an excellent innings of 57 off just 42 balls as the Martlets moved to 216/6. Ritchie ended unbeaten on 23 as Martlets declared on 219/6.
The generous declaration from Rebbetts gave the juniors 47 overs to chase down 220 for victory. Rebbetts and Murray opened the bowling and Murray once again showed immaculate line and length and trapped Anish early for 0. Rebbetts was second to strike with an outswinger catching Clark LBW for 15. Ben Davies took over from Rebbetts and struck early as Martlets continued to take regular wickets as he bowled Jago-Lewis for 18. He followed that up with another wicket immediately, leaving the juniors 46/4. Derek Horsham and Jon Wills continued to bowl tightly without much reward as the juniors showed excellent resilience to move toward the 100 mark without another wicket being lost. However as the partnership reached 52, Jon Wills found the outside edge of Liebers for 28. This started an excellent spell for the martlets but also Jordan Shaw behind the stumps showing his talents also lie with the wicket keeping gloves on in addition to his fast bowling! Shaw then caught behind the set batsmen Willis for 44 as young Harry Walker; a 13 year old tearaway fast bowler bowled excellently bowled a rising delivery that left Willis. Shaw then caught Hamilton as Toby Pullan got in on the act to take the 8th wicket! But with the overs reducing quickly, Rebbetts turned back to his most effective bowlers so far, Murray and Davies. Ben Davies found the edge once more giving Shaw his fourth victim of the innings to accompany Davies on 4 wickets. Could one of them or both get to their 5fers and wrap up the victory for the Seniors? The answer was no, the Juniors fought in the last 3 overs excellently. Captain Ryan Trotter kept Murray at bay to finish on 7 not out to force the draw. The Juniors ended on 171/9, ending an excellent day’s cricket enjoyed by all in attendance. Everyone associated with Sussex Martlets Cricket Cub and Arundel Castle Cricket foundation can be proud of the wonderful event on show. The Seniors will be as motivated as ever to win back the trophy next season.
Highlights of the day:
Toby Pullan 57
Jordan Shaw 42
Ben Davies 4/35 off 9 overs
Mike Murray 1 / 8 off 10 overs
Aiden Drew 2/33 off 9 overs
Rafe Liebers 2/21 off 5.
Joe Willis 44
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