Martlets secure hard fought draw at West Sussex
With a 5 year wait for a victory at West Sussex, the Martlets opened the first fixture of their season with a strong side on damp April day. For the record, the abysmal weather for the previous three months will go down in history books, but the recently offered new home of the Martlets was in amazing condition.
First blood in the fixture went to the opening pairing of Forster and White who took the scalp of the incoming WS Club captain. Next in was Richard Foster, back from a long break, and his partner Patrick Hole, cruising to a brutal 5 and 4 victory. With John Nixon and partner Steve Pook, our new 5 handicap edition to the Martlets sharing a half, we were starting to feel like it could be our day.
New match manager Bowden and Bailie Hamilton gained a sweet 3 and 2 win over WS captain Jupp and Elliot and another 2 halves from Sabey and Tod and Whitty and Spink were enough to give us a clear point advantage by lunch, 4.5 v 3.5.
As is always the case at West Sussex, the lunch, the stories and the kummel flowed with the usual generosity of our hosts. It was therefore with mixed feelings that we all put our wet clothes back on and ventured out for the second session.
The Martlets had drafted in 2 new stalwarts for the second 18, in the form of Ben Burrows and James Goddard. Both made a big effort in agreeing to play, James coming back from his holiday early and Ben bravely coming back from illness early to make the commitment. And both came good for the Martlets, with wins partners Stuart Ritchie and Robert Forster respectively. With another point from Nixon and Foster, yes 2 wins from 2 for Forster and Foster,….we were nearly there. Another half point from Pook and White and all we needed from our 3 last games was another half and we were there….
Alas, the conditions got the better of the remainder of the team, but ultimately we defiantly came back with a halved match.
Hats off to all those others involved including John Stapleton, and to John Guess who jumped ship for the second round in favour of the oppo only to whip Bowden and Boone in the final stages of the game. Thanks again to everyone for their support.
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