St James’s Montefiore XI – 217 all out (Adam Davies 125, Dom Keats 4 for 25)
Sussex Martlets XI – 185 all out (Darryl Rebbetts 54, Owain Jones 47, Michael Murray 4 for 61)
On a beautiful, sunny day at Arundel Castle, the Martlets held the upper hand for large parts of the encounter against St James’s Montefiore, but it was two Martlets in the oppo’s ranks who tilted the game in favour of the Sussex League side.
Much to everyone’s disappointment, Martlets’ match manager Nick Creed was unable to play in the fixture, so, upon losing the toss, Brad Gayler led an unusually dynamic-looking Martlets XI into the field, with a number of recent Hurst College graduates and a couple of first-class players in the XI. The Martlets were quickly on top, thanks to some excellent bowling by Dom Keats, Owain Jones, and Jamie Hutchings, backed up by outstanding fielding – the catch by Marcus Campopiano at short mid-wicket off a full-blooded pull being the most memorable example. At lunch, the Martlets had reduced St James’s to 108 for 7, and the SJM captain, Michael Murray, was getting his excuses ready!
However, Adam Davies, so often the saviour for the Martlets, batted beautifully to rescue the St James’s innings. Coming in at #6, his innings of 125 came from just 122 balls, and when he was last man out, the Martlets were left facing a much more respectable, though by no means daunting, target of 218 for victory.
The Martlets innings got off to a slightly stuttering start, with Sean Heather, Joe Ludlow, Peter Bromley, & Campopiano back in the pavilion in the first 20 overs with just 58 on the board. Darryl Rebbetts was then joined at the crease by Owain Jones, and these two went on the offensive, striking the ball cleanly to all parts of the ground. They looked entirely untroubled during a partnership of 70, and victory seemed there for the taking, but both fell in quick succession to a Murray-Davies combination – Rebbetts caught behind for a well-made 54 & Jones smartly stumped for a hard-hitting 47. Skipper Gayler kept hopes alive with a battling innings of 33, but he ran out of partners & when he was last man out to give Murray his 4th wkt, the Martlets were still 32 runs short.
As ever at Arundel, despite the result, a great day’s cricket enjoyed by all.
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