The Saints go Marching In.
Having been over subscribed with the selectors axe being sharpened, as usual in these circumstances the team levelled out at 11 with no need to select. Overnight and early morning rain did however prompt a flurry of phone calls but the game was on albeit with a slightly damp outfield.
Winning the toss, SJM were inserted on the basis the Martlets only had 4 frontline bowlers for the 35 over contest. Beginning with Cantrell and Christmas , the Martlets made a good start restricting SJM to 27-2 off the first 10 , both wickets falling to Christmas , he also had the no 3 LBW first ball but we were too polite to appeal ,discovering later it would have been given. He went on to make44 before retiring.
The rate accelerated as the engine room of the team got going although Paul Lack (2-31) and debutant Mike Beardall (1-32) returned commendable figures. With the main runs coming off our fifth bowler (Phil Rimmer and Ken Fallon) SJM’s innings closed on 180-7 ,a runout on the last ball.
After floating between playing for the Martlets and SJM , Neil Bushell had stepped back from the game in order to concentrate on preparing the excellent tea as that would induce praise from both camps , rather than from only one or neither by playing!
Sadly the Martlets didn’t make a good start with the Chairman opening with our ‘overseas’ Willy Boulter (having jetted in from India) and at 31-4 off 12 overs it was looking difficult. A recovery was due and it came in the form(s) of Phil Savage (31) and new boy Mike Beardall (36). The rate was maintained by Paul Lack (16) and Evette Burton (12) but by now 8 an over were required. The final coup de grace was administered for the second match running by the introduction of the grenade tactic as 3 wickets fell to the SJM skipper leaving the Martlets 31 short.
There was a thought that this was the first time SJM had won this fixture, we await the verdict of the archivist on that one! All in all another well fought match played in excellent spirit to be repeated next year. Note to MMS – ensure you have 5 regular bowlers for Over40s matches.
1) Successful negotiation of the Hurstpierpoint diversion by all those travelling from the west. More unsuitable roads in Sussex must have been hard for the authorities to find…
2) The number of dogs attending must be an all time high, an agility class was likely to happen at any moment.
3) In the run out off the last ball , the additional signal of ‘one short’ resulting in no runs added for 2 runs attempted!
4) Evette crashing the ball back over the bowler for a one bounce four.
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