Perfect day’s cricket at Petworth Park
Report by Paul Walker
Massive plaudits must go to Allan Newman for finding this wonderful fixture. At the most beautiful of settings on a glorious Sunday afternoon, the Over 40s came mighty close to a victory. Alas that pleasure just slipped through our fingers, but in a commendable battle royale, we made some new friends, enjoyed a lovely tea and hopefully laid the foundations for many more visits here.
The skipper lost the toss and felt rather melancholy. It was boiling, the Martlets (especially the seniors) love to bat first and the oppo only had 8 players present, as a car load of London mercenaries were stuck in traffic. Fearing the arrival of three semi-pros and with a new found competitive edge born of the annual Goodwood disasters, the chief would have been minded, mercilessly, to invite his hosts to bowl. The sight of her majesty peering up from the sunburnt track spared him any sporting pangs of guilt. Of course we would have fielded anyway…..maybe!
Mark Chapple and Andy Cantrell opened the bowling and did so with gusto. PPCC struggled to score and we bagged 2 early wickets. AC bowled 10 consecutive overs in the searing heat and MC managed 8. Then came Rydon and Walker. The run rate increased, but further wickets fell.
Julian Hunt joined the party as did his son Alex (our underage ringer). Both bowled well and if dad had have been 3 or 4 inches taller Alex`s 2 wicket haul would have been doubled. Enthusiastic fielding from long lost….but now reinvigorated Patrick Jackson, tidy keeping from Phil Savage, semi-intelligent chuntering from Goodacre and a fantastic one handed diving effort from Allan were the other highlights from decent show in the scorched field. Petworth House from mid-wicket was stunning.
After a pleasant tea, Messrs Neil Bushell and Julian Hunt set about the PPCC opening bowlers with aplomb. Bushall cruised past his 50 and we were very handily placed.
Alas once Bushell had walked, in honourable Martlet style (slightly unusual in that the appeal was for LBW – in mitigation it was very hot) on 61, we wobbled. Jackson looked well placed for a big score, but got slightly carried away. The same story with Farmer Will. Then an unfortunate leg before accounted for Newman (he did not walk). We’d conspired to go from 80-1 (in barely half an hour and 7 overs) to 99 for 5 after an hour!
Goodacre showed style, with a quartet of classy boundaries, but couldn’t quite muster the substance. Savage gave us hope. But once Hunt junior had departed for an attractive 16 (identical score to his father, but son took twice as many wickets) and Chapple holed out, there was only Walker to come. Cantrell took matters into his own hands and committed hari kari before the skipper could add further embarrassment.
We had fallen short.
However, a lovely afternoon was had and we all lingered for beers with our charming hosts. Let’s hope we are invited back soon.
Many thanks to Adam and Alex from Petworth and to Les Newscombe for his impeccable scoring. Well done KC Lee for – as ever – his judicious umpiring. Thank you Evette for attending and kindly offering to play….your work out in the net (and help with the scoring) was inspirational (almost).
Go back to all fixtures in 2018
For detailed information on each venue, please visit our Venues page