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Rovers week 2016

Monday 11th July


Monday saw the start of Cricket Week 2016, and our annual fixture with the Sussex Martlets. Jordan Sriharan took the captain's armband and, having won the toss, decided to bat in reasonably sunny conditions. Jamie Betts opened up with Darren Sriharan and proceeded to put on 76 for the first wicket - the week was off to a flyer. Unfortunately, Jamie's 66 was to be the top score by some margin. Darren got 23, George Holman 19, and a 10th wicket stand of 27 between the President Tim Mackenzie (14) and George Welsby (16*) helped us stumble to 167 all out!

At 15-2 in reply, the Martlets were on the ropes, however 78* from one of their openers and 43 from their number 4 pretty much got them home by 4 wickets. Things might have been different if Darren S had held on to a steepling chance at long off instead of breaking his collar-bone whilst dropping it! With club chairman Yosef Salameh in a rush to get home for feeding time and volunteering to take Darren to hospital, the game meandered to its inevitable conclusion with a couple of subs adding to the onfield banter.

After a couple of beers with the oppo, we meandered to the Red Lion before moving on to a local, largely unknown, brewery for the night...cheers Dave.

Tuesday 12th July

Tuesday saw the arrival of the Uppingham Rovers - a team that are where we want to be i.e. in the Cricketer Cup. We haven't beaten them for many a year, but with a strong team out could today be the day?

We agreed to play a 45 over game, and when George Holman, skipper for the day, won the toss we decided to bat first again. With heavy showers forecast for late afternoon, it seemed the 'appropriate' thing to do. 

After yesterday's 66, Jamie Betts was doomed to failure and he went for 12. Sadly this was not before Dave Mann had already departed for 4 and so we were 27-2 off 10. This brought Hector Loughton MP and Nick Ballamy to the crease, as we looked to rebuild the innings. Nick didn't stay around too long, missing a straight one for 4, but skipper Holman then kept things going with a brisk 35 (5 x 4s 1 x 6). When Holman departed, Phil Canavan, stepping in for the injured Darren, followed in quick succession - departing for a nicely worked duck. This meant Hector and Yosef returned to the pavilion for lunch with the score at 151-5 off 33.

No-one is quite sure what George put in his lunch, but after a rain delay of around 90 minutes it was decided that we would bat for 38 overs and UR would get 32 back. To cut a long story short, Hector and Yo put on 74 in those last five overs. The latter finished with 24* and Hector agonisingly on 99* having hit four sixes off the last over (he scored 52 after lunch). So a decent target set, 206 to win.

Nick B and George W opened up and kept them down to 56-4 after 7 overs with 2 wickets apiece - game on. With the constant menace of light showers and heavy ones threatening, fielding became a tad tricky and sadly a number of catches were put down. But when we found ourselves about to start the final over, Uppingham were 204-9, two to win, or 1 wicket for the Rovers.


Two dot balls then a bye, brought number 11 on strike...two more dot balls followed and all of a sudden an unlikely tie was on the cards. Alas, it wasn't to be and a four through point off the last ball of the day saw Uppingham home.

Close, but no cigar as they say, very disappointing.

Wednesday 13th July

And so to Steyning CC on the last day of Cricket 'Week'. We were due a win, and depending on which Steyning side turned up, this could be our opportunity. For a third day in a row the Rovers won the toss and decided to bat first, this time under Jamie Betts. This was due to be a 50 over game, but yet again, the weather forecast was poopenhausen.

Hector once again shone with the bat, scoring 38, but top scorer today was Nick B with a fine 47, as wickets fell all around him. A couple of 21s from the dashing Rob Clarke, and unconventional Ali Hares saw us all out for 169. Unfortunately the rain came with a vengeance with Steyning struggling at 56-4 (effectively 5 as they were a man down). Nick B with 3-27 off his 7 and Joe 'The Welsh Wizard' Naughalty with 1-20 off 6.4.

While we waited for the rain to pass we took them on at football and won - huzzah! - and so when the game was finally called off, with puddles forming on the square, the records show that the Rovers won by a football match and 15 runs (using the Duckworth Lewis method).

A successful week nonetheless, thanks to a lot of hard work put in by a number of people, but none more so than George Holman. And with a number of debutantes on show, here's to the continued resurgence of the Lancing Rovers.

Thanks to all that helped with the lunches and teas. Despite collecting £100 less in match fees than last year, due to subsidies, and protecting the Steyning fixture, we turned a tour loss in 2015 of £500, into a 'profit' of £100, so well done all. Finally, thanks to Sarah Swales from the Foundation Office, for showing an interest in Rovers cricket again, it's much appreciated.

Tim Mackenzie

Lancing Rovers President 

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