Sussex Martlets 204 – 6 (40 overs)
Shopwycke Strollers 160
Team with batting order and bowling figures
1. Ed McGregor – 0 runs. 3-20-2
2. Will Ryden – 43 runs . 1-2-0
3. Rob Walker – 19 runs did not bowl
4. Mike Murray – 82 runs 5-21-3
5. Josh Burrows – 39 runs 5-24-1
6. Paul Walker – 2 runs 0.4-3-2
7. Paul Lack – 10 runs 8-40-1
8. Nick Hiley – 1 run did not bowl
9. Jon Cummins – dnb 8-28-1
10. Chris Tucker – dnb 6-25-0
11. Matt Walker – dnb (wkt)
This game was moved at the last minute from its usual home at Priory Park to Westbourne House School. No insurer was willing to risk paying out once word got out that McGregor would be spraying sixes all over central Chichester. Kevin Smith, a Martlet to boot, stepped in, very late in the day, not only to provide the alternative venue but also to captain the Strollers. Much credit must go to Kevin and his family for providing an excellent tea at such short notice.
When the 2 skippers were discussing the alternatives in midweek, once Priory Park was no longer an option, serious thought was given to a cancellation. The Strollers had 8 confirmed, the Martlets 9, the weather forecast was dire and the wicket was plastic. We persevered and were rewarded with a great game, played in good spirit on a lovely summer day. (Obviously the skipper had held back informing the boys of the plastic track until we marched out for fear of further cry-offs).
A 40-over format was agreed upon and we batted (as our keeper was still making the bacon sarnies at Chichester`s finest eatery). McGregor didn`t trouble the School`s insurers or the scorer (Midge). Credit due to Mr Martin by the way. He not only scored for both sides but came along despite locking his keys in his flat and knowing that a night of non-stop clubbing in Brighton`s fleshpots awaited him until he could re-gain entry on Monday morning.
Ryden and Walker (R) got the show on the road with some classy stroke play. Rob`s modesty and snail-like pace of getting his pads on prevented him obeying his long lost son, Walker (P) `s, order to open. However, 3 balls later he was entertaining us all with a remarkable display of batting. Some sledging by John Ashworth, another Strolling Martlet, failed to take the gloss off a vintage innings. Murray joined Ryden for a wonderful partnership and Burrows struck a quick-fire 39. Walker (P) unselfishly ran himself out soon after realising he could not hit the ball off the square, allowing a Lack cameo and Hiley to grace the score sheet.
Despite some tight early bowling from Tucker, Lack and Burrows, the Strollers began their reply with aplomb. Cummins slowed the run rate down with an admirable 8 overs for the loss of only 28 runs, but at 157-3 things were looking bleak. Then a miracle. McGregor teased Kevin Smith into an almighty slog and the skipper ran in from deep mid-off hopefully, then back-peddled desperately and then flung up his right hand. He came back down to earth with a cricket ball in his hand! We had hope.
After quick wickets for Murray and some inspired fielding, (special mention must go to Hiley and Walker (M) we were on top. Walker (P) bagged Ryden Junior (after Ryden senior had roughed Henry up the over before) and then bowled an even younger 11th man. We had won.
Celebratory beers in the makeshift changing-room, then off to the Gribble in Oving for more drinks with the Strollers. It had been a wonderful, memorable, Martlet day.
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