Sussex Martlets 265, Michael Chapman 109, Sam Carter 55, Tom Chamberlain 5 – 50
Junior Martlets 225 – 6, Jay Barclay 79, James Chapman 62, Darryl Rebbetts 52*
A match manager’s lot is not always an easy one, raising a balanced side of quality batsmen and bowlers, including the best of local talent, but with an eye to the transfer and overseas markets.
Thus the first job of the day was to go to Gatwick to meet the overseas signing – sort any visa or customs difficulties etc etc. And who was this colossus? Fresh from two recent 40 ball tons and a now a holiday in France – Mike Harrison.
Meanwhile, at Arundel, things were getting underway. The prodigal son had returned, transferred from the obscurity of East Anglia – yes, Johnny Wills was back. Rather than killing the fatted calf (but more of that later) the manager opted to give him the captaincy for the day. It would have been otherwise rather messy and not quite Arundel.
When manager & overseas player made the ground around noon all was well in the Martlet firmament. True there had been early alarms and excursions. Richard Iago had managed to get run out for the second year in succession. Having come all the way from Somerset for the pleasure, it does reinforce my theory that the further you come, the fewer runs/wickets you get. Not to worry, at least Richard comfortably won the “Best turned out Martlet” award for his extremely natty suit.
I digress. Ed Macgregor also departed early, claiming to have been victim to one of the best catches of the season. This brought together senior pro Sam Carter and a promoted player from last year’s Junior Martlet academy, Michael Chapman. From 17-2, they took the score at lunch to 169-2, with Michael scoring a 69 ball hundred. I would like to have been able to say it was chanceless, but he was dropped twice in the gully, off successive balls. The fact that the opposition player in question was his own brother was deemed to be totally irrelevant.
Lunch saw a full pavilion, with Martlets past, present and (hopefully) future enjoying the usual good fare. On the V.Ps’ table all hearing aids were at full volume as matters past and present were clinically dissected. One recent past president was rash enough, given the state of the game, to question Chris Snell’s future as manager of the Junior Martlets.
Maybe it was something Chris then said to his team, the Arundel lunch, or perhaps the Seniors felt the need to mirror England’s collapse occurring simultaneously at the Oval. Whichever way, from 169-2, we were 265 all out with Tom Chamberlain taking 5-50. What of our overseas player? He claimed he got one of the best balls of the day…
Nonetheless, this brought the innings to an end at the right time with a good target for a strong Juniors batting side. As with the Seniors, the Juniors top order got off to an excellent start. The opening stand of 147 off 177 balls was outstanding. James Chapman restored his reputation with 62 and Jay Barclay scored 79. Together with Darryl Rebbets (52*) they made 193 of the 225 scored. Martlet match managers take note – three excellent players to have in your teams.
The Martlet bowling attack maybe did not have a lot of luck (well, that was what Patrick Goodwin said). Michael Chapman chipped in with 2-20 off his four overs. Johnny Wills bowled himself to a standstill – well, until the fatted calf suffered a pulled muscle and he had to be chaired (rather than cheered) off the field. Mike Murray orchestrated the final overs, keeping the Juniors in the hunt, and by the end the Seniors had picked up 6 wickets.
Thus a high scoring game with 490 runs scored saw an honourable draw. Chris Snell was rightly very proud of the Juniors’ performance, whilst the recent past president slipped quietly away before the end…
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