By Rich ‘Swampy’ Allum
A competitive and pulsating match played in glorious sunshine and an idyllic setting at Newick CC’s second ground at Temple Grove House, Herons Ghyll; with the Catholic Chapel and beautifully restored old pavilion as a backdrop. Newick CC, as ever, were fantastic hosts with the customary excellent fare at tea-time.
Newick won the toss and chose to bat in a 40-over game. The nascent Temple Grove wicket (known colloquially as the “Temple of Doom”) generally produces low-scoring games despite the short straight boundaries. The Martlets opening attack of Charles Davies and Matt Stone were miserly, restricting Newick to 21 for one in the first ten overs. To the relief of the skipper, Charles removed the notoriously dangerous Chetan Patel on the first ball of the game!
Runs were hard to come by except for an outstanding innings by James Waylett, the Newick 1st XI captain. He scored an archetypal hard-hitting yet cultured 54 until he was undone by a Swampy wrong-un – stumped by Simon “Rabbit” Warrender (the less said about the peculiar circumstances that led to the stumping, the better).
The cerebral bowling of Paul Lack (eight overs, three maidens, two for 15) strangled the run-rate and the reintroduction of Charles Davies’ late in-swing (four for 23) gave Martlets the edge. However, an unbroken tenth-wicket partnership of 23 swung the pendulum back in favour of our hosts, who reached 151 for nine, about ten runs over par at “The Temple”.
Resplendent and replete after a famous Newick tea, the Martlets set out to chase 152 runs to win. Young Jeremy Bushell, playing his first match as a fully-fledged Martlet, was our rock, with a well-crafted and stylish 44. Sadly he fell short of what would have been a well-deserved half century, bowled by a grubber.
The middle order of Matt Tucker, Stuart Ritchie and Paul Walker added valuable runs and kept us up with the rate even though batting was tricky, but wickets kept tumbling. Matt Sawyer and Joe Waylett were the pick of the Newick bowlers, claiming two for 23 and two for 18 respectively. Matt Stone gave our innings real impetus with a quick 25 to set up a tense finish. Following Matt’s contribution, the run-rate looked very gettable, but there was still a real possibility that we may be bowled out.
A nervous skipper joined Charles Davies with seven wickets down and 22 required. Once the scores were level, the skipper finished the game with a six! Martlets reaching 157 for seven from 36 overs and the unbeaten tag still intact. Thank you to Newick CC for hosting us so well again, to the tea-makers, the umpires – Hedley and Ken, and the scorers – Marion and Hilary. Same time next year?
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