Report by John Bettridge
Sussex Martlets (283-6d; D Rebbetts 105*) drew with Junior Martlets (222-8; J Gilligan 69)
Michael Murray won the toss and elected to bat so the Juniors took the field as they knew they would! Happy in the thought that chasing a total has been their forte at Arundel in recent years. The opening bowlers Ross Whyte and James Brehaut kept a tight hold on affairs with only 30 runs being conceded in the first 12 overs during which James captured the valuable scalp of Joe Ludlow through a sharp catch behind by Jo Gilligan.
By lunch the score had reached 141 for 4 and the leg spin of Will Collard had captured 2 wickets with the medium pace of Greg Iago having removed Toby Pullan. Also by this time the off spin of secret weapon, Bertie Foreman, had entered the equation. He is a young player of considerable promise, whose flighted deliveries demanded respect from the batsmen. Darryl Rebbetts batted with style for the rest of the innings to complete a fine century. Possibly the moment of the afternoon was when Bertie got his man when he bowled Hector Loughton round his legs! Couldn’t have been better really as they both play at St James as do a fair number of other players on both sides!
Jonny Wills had his cameo moment at the end and the Martlets declared on 283. Perhaps one of the features of the Junior Martlets fielding was the keeping of Jo Gilligan. Not only did he take three catches but he also completed a fine stumping to dismiss Sam Carter.
At the start it looked as if the Juniors were going to be pushed for time if they were to reach the target but the spin attack made sure that over rate was sympathetic to the situation.
The innings was opened by the captain, Harry Rollings, and Will Futcher. Sadly Harry was dismissed in the fifth over but Will, a naturally forceful bat, played within himself to help establish a possible launching platform with Ash Kumar. They added over 50 before Ash fell to the wily intent of Mark Trubshaw. Will played some fine shots in order to reach his fifty but sadly was tempted once too often to fall as soon as he had reached that milestone. He had been joined by Jo Gilligan, whose inventive free stroke play immediately began to force the pace. Between them they could have narrowed the gap at a considerable rate.
Mason Robinson, also a free scorer, joined Jo and between them moved the score along, although it was going to be a real stretch to lay hands on the final goal. Wickets fell in the attempt; Jo was run out for an outstanding 69, while Ross Whyte, Toby Shepperson and Greg Iago all tried to keep hopes alive. On the fourth ball of the final over Greg holed out to the eager hands of Michael Murray and so we came to what Desmond and I reckoned was the perfect “Victorian School Story” scenario….. “Bertie Sees them through”!
Bertie, not a tall young man at the moment, strode to the wicket to join Will Collard. Two to play and the match to save….. Rebbetts (the school bully, well he had scored a 100 against us!) bowls, Bertie lifts his bat and through it goes to the keeper to the chorus of “fine leave” from the boundary! One more ball to come; Rebbetts steamed in off his short run (poetic licence here!) and Bertie strokes him away into the covers with ease. Game saved and the Geoff Wills Trophy shared again.
Finally my thanks to the Junior Martlet players who across our season have been a happy band of talented cricketers. A number move on to higher things and I thank them for their loyalty over the years, particularly Jo Gilligan, Harry Rollings, James Brehaut and “overseas player” Ross Whyte, our man from the Isle of Wight.
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