Rovers week 2021
After 2020 saw all fixtures lost to the pandemic, our long anticipated return to the top table, the Cricketer Cup, finally came around on June 6th…
Sunday June 6th – Old Cliftonians (Cricketer Cup ‘preliminary round’)
Lancing Rovers 397-9 (Ryan Maskell 150, Ollie John 57, Hector Loughton 36, Steve Crosby 33)
Old Cliftonians 145 (Henry Gane 5-58, James Allen 2-23)
Well Ryan started as he’d finished the 2019 season, dispatching the first ball of the day to the boundary. Ably supported by AJ they put on 51 for the 1st wicket but when Ballas went first ball, 51-2 didn’t look quite so flash. But Hec strode to the crease and helped put on 194 for the 3rd wicket with Ryan who departed for a fine 150. The momentum continued with run a ball cameos from Steve and OJ which saw us post an imposing 397 off our 50 overs.
The OCs were never in the hunt, their top order all got 30+ but they were well behind the run rate and the fall of the 3rd wicket with the score on 114 in the 20th over that signalled a steady trickle of wickets until Plod came on and took five in as many overs to bowl them out for 145.
A great return to the competition, but Millfield awaited us in the next round.
Sunday 13th June – Old Millfieldians (Cricketer Cup 1st round)
Lancing Rovers 140 (George Holman 39, Jamie Wood 25)
Old Millfieldians 144-2 (Hec 2-36)
Well we almost had an international incident at the end of the 1st over when Ryan was cleaned up by an ex Kent pro who got quite excited and gave him a bit of a send off. They had clearly done their homework and probably thought getting Ryan out cheaply would be massive plus for them. Anyway some unnecessary chirping ensued but with another ex Kent pro at the other end we struggled to gain any momentum in the game. The openers bowled 18 overs between them for just 61 runs. At 66-6 in the 21st over we looked down and out, but the skipper and Jamie Wood put on 54 for the 7th wicket, and we managed to survive into the 46th over, scraping together 140 valuable runs.
It was never going to be enough, but halfway through the 2nd over we had them 2-2, stranger things have happened I hear you say, but not today unfortunately. That was as good as it got, they reached their target in the 25th over.
The OMs are the only team to have beaten us in the Cup or Trophy since 2017!
Rovers’ Week 2021
They said football was “coming home”, well cricket certainly did as Rovers’ Week returned to Lancing after a year’s COVID-19 induced hiatus.
Sunday July 4th
The advance guard settled in to the Crown & Anchor for a few pre-tour bevvies before retiring to the Airbnb for the quietest night of the tour. We had arrived.
Monday July 5th – Uppingham Rovers (40 overs)
Lancing Rovers 238 (Disco 103, Rohan Ryan 84)
Uppingham Rovers 238
None of us can remember the last time we beat the ‘Upps’, in recent years we’ve lost by a run or a wicket on a few occasions and were very keen to stop the rot, for the first time we played a limited overs match.
Having won the toss we decided to bat first, Disco and Ballas got us off to a cracking start to the tour, and when Nick went for a breezy 22, Rohan Ryan, a late covid call up put on 177 for the 2nd wicket before falling for a splendid 84. Disco went on to notch up a superb century before our innings closed with a competitive 238. Matt and Lewis Franklin took the new ball but it was Joe Naughalty who took the 1st wicket with the score on 75. Uppingham chipped away but were always behind the rate until we lost Steve to a nasty dislocated finger halfway through their knock, and off he went to Worthing Hospital. With just 4 overs left the Upps still needed 37, surely this was our year. With 17 required off the last over we contrived to concede 16 no less and tied the match! Nick and Rohan the pick of the bowlers with a couple each, but everyone contributed. Not a bad start to the week but will we ever beat Uppingham!
So only one thing for it, retire to the Crown & Anchor to claim our pre-ordered table, such were the current restrictions etc. I believe a good time was had by all and around 11pm we decided to see how many we could squeeze into the Airbnb, unfortunately the President tried to get into the flat on the floor below but no harm done. So Matt slept on an airbed in the kitchen, there was another airbed in the lounge, with a mattress on the floor and the sofa…It would appear that after the President retired, our bio-secure bubble was burst when ‘Smithy’, one of Ballas’ mates delivered some emergency Budweisers, whether that was before or after the two ton of take-aways is unknown. Two empty bottles of Baileys tells its own story, a tour first I think!
Tuesday July 6th – Sussex Martlets (Declaration)
Sussex Martlets 178-9d (Ballas 4-44, Hec 3-37, Freano 2-34)
Lancing Rovers 159 (Ballas 66, AJ 27)
Much to everyone’s disgust, Robin Frean lost the toss and the Rovers were invited to bowl on a wet and blustery morning. Matt and Joe opened up without success and it wasn’t until Hec and Ballas came on that the first wicket fell on 67. Wickets fell regularly after that and the Martlets were all out for 178 Hec finishing with 3-37 off 14, Nick 4-44 off 16, and the skipper 2-34 off 6. Unfortunately during the latter stages Pete Rayward, diving to save a boundary, dislocated his shoulder and retired to Worthing Hospital.
AJ, fresh from a day at Wimbledon opened up with a fluent 27, but it was only Ballas who made any impression with the bat scoring a fine 66, and apart from Joe’s 21 no one else got into double figures as we were bowled out for 159, a narrow loss by 19 runs.
Italy v Spain Euro semi-final
A few of us decided to watch the match nearer to home in the Riverside, but with Ballas waiting for a menu he missed the 8pm kitchen cut-off, AJ on the other hand had used the app and tucked in. There was no atmosphere in the pub, I think we doubled the numbers when we arrived, so we pegged it over to the Crown & Anchor for the rest of the match. And what a match it was, so I found out the following morning, but extra time and pens always goes down well, and some good banter was had with our fellow attendees, a much better venue.
Wednesday July 7th – Day ‘at leisure’
Everyone went their separate ways for a much needed day off in preparation for England’s Euro semi-final. Disco and the President enjoyed a quiet evening in the Airbnb watching the game, well played England, maybe it is actually coming home after all.
Thursday July 8th – Oundle Rovers (40 overs)
Lancing Rovers 204 (Pedro 46, Hec 29, Matt 29, Lewis 27)
Oundle Rovers 193
You wouldn’t think it possible, but it would appear that the Oundle boys managed to party harder and longer than ours after England’s win the previous evening, this was a massive toss to win. To everyone’s delight Matt did just that and we batted first. Hec and AJ opened up and put on 43 for the first wicket, our ‘overseas pro’ Rohan went cheaply for 4, but our Spanish International Jack ‘Pedro’ Perman scored a fine 46. Our middle order fired for once, as Joe (24), Isaac Abatan (14 on debut), Lewis (27) and Matt (29) helped us to set a decent score given the state of the opposition, of 204.
Matt (2-20 off 8) and Lewis (1-22 off 8) set the tone as we took regular wickets. The game appeared to be up when we had them 108-7 after 31, but if we learnt anything from Monday it’s that anything can happen in ‘white ball cricket’. Their 8th wicket put on 70 but they were always slightly behind the rate and ended up on 193-8. Nick also took 1-21, Hector 2-24 and Joe 1-30, first home win of the tour, who’s up for a curry?
Thursday night is curry night.
It was Ballas’ idea I think, we spent a good while with the Oundle guys after the game then set the wheels in motion to get us all down to the Indian Cottage for some decent grub. I think it’s fair to say that various members of the party were quite drunk when we arrived judging by some of the tomfoolery, but I think someone might have overstepped the mark when either a phall or a vindaloo appeared, it was quite spicey whatever it was. Matt then decided he hadn’t had enough to drink so tucked into some large G&Ts before popping outside to “get some air”, an interesting way to describe turning your stomach inside out!
And so back to the Airbnb it was, but not before Matt decided he wanted to sprint across the Adur Ferry Bridge with a traffic cone on his head which impeded his eyesight. He made a good fist of it but unfortunately didn’t see the barrier at the end of his 100m sprint!
Friday July 9th – The Ivy (40 overs)
Lancing Rovers 188 (AJ 66, Isaac 22)
The Ivy 126 (Hec 3-17, Ballas 2-17, Matt 2-19, Isaac 1-6, Piers 1-27)
Definitely the highlight of the tour as Ralph Brunjes OL brings his Ivy team down to Lancing, the most leisurely, relaxed and sporting fixture of the week.
After the shenanigans in the Indian Cottage the previous night this was another huge toss to win, fortunately Ralph was happy for us to bat first anyway, much to everyone’s relief. Isaac, fresh from his Rovers debut yesterday opened up with AJ, and they put on 65 for the 1st wicket before the former went for a fine 22, AJ third out for a handy 66. Piers Williams, always a delight to have on tour chipped in with 20, Joe 13, and Matt ran himself out off the last ball for 20 with the President unmoved at the non-stroker’s end, Rovers ending up all out for 188.
Joe and Hector took the new ball, the latter finishing with 3-17, and wickets fell at regular intervals, only Phillips (36) and skipper Brunjes (22) really troubling the scorers. Matt (2-19), Ballas (2-17), Piers (1-27) and Isaac (1-6) backed up Hector’s effort, but it was the President who stole the show with 0-23 off 4.2 including 6 wides and 4 no balls before being removed from the attack for bowling two (extremely slow and harmless) beamers, them’s the rules! The Ivy were all out for 126, a Rovers win by 62 runs.
Mentioned in dispatches (i.e. did more than the President but didn’t really ‘trouble the scorers’)
Ollie John (contributed more in the Crown & Anchor), Nick Hayday (rolled back the years by donning the gloves, way too long since his last appearance), Pete Rayward (dislocated a shoulder for the cause), Louis Glasser (Steve’s flat mate, called in as ‘covid cover’, embraced the Rovers ethos magnificently), George Welsby (great company and drinking partner), Will and Felix Aylett (always great to have them on board, unfortunately couldn’t make the same impact they did two years ago), thank you all for keeping the President’s Arms buzzing. Oh, and Joe Shinners who played for the Ivy Club without getting permission from the committee to play against the Rovers!!
Played 4, won 2, lost 1 tied 1, a hugely successful and enjoyable week.
Along with Isaac we were looking forward to having his follow leavers Barney Hall and Jacob Coupe on tour but unfortunately they were forced to isolate due to COVID-19, we very much hope to see all three of them next year.
Barney would have been presented with the Rovers Trophy on Founders Day but having not gone ahead we were going to present it to him on tour! Barney spent three years in the ones, the last as captain and was a respected, committed and organised member of the team, a worthy winner of this most prestigious award, congratulations young man.
Many thanks to all those that made the tour possible, club skipper George who did all the admin but due to work commitments sadly couldn’t make it, Midge Martin for scoring meticulously, Raj and the ground staff, Hannah and her team for the catering, Sarah and the Foundation Office for their support and all those that showed an interest in the Rovers including the Headmaster, and our most enthusiastic supporter Dickie Dutton OL. Oh and the staff at Worthing Hospital for patching up Steve and Pete!
Wednesday July 14th – Old Cranleighans (A) (Declaration)
Lancing Rovers 225-8d (Pedro 86, AJ 53, OJ 30)
Old Cranleighans 228-2 (Rohan 2-57)
This fixture will alternate home and away and will fill the vacant Wednesday slot we had this year. It’s a fixture that goes way back, and I’m not too sure why we stopped playing it, but it’s back, and good to have another Cricketer Cup team in our fixture list.
It’s always been a road at Cranleigh and you’ve never really got enough, I once captained the Rovers there when we lost comfortably having set 340odd, but we felt 225 was competitive. It was good to see AJ continue his good form, and Pedro, ‘our’ Spanish international looked like he knew what he was doing. Rohan took the only wickets to fall with his offies, but we didn’t really look like taking any others if truth be known as they chased down our total with relative ease, another 20 runs/four overs batting from us would have made it very interesting. I don’t think any of the others had played at Cranleigh before so one for them to tick off, a good game though, which is always important when you resurrect a fixture, we look forward to inviting them down to Lancing next year.
And it was great that Max Devaux and Jacob Coupe finally made their Rovers debuts, along with Isaac, and Barney to come, the future’s looking bright.
Thanks of course to everyone who made it such a successful week including the catering and groundstaff, umpires, scorers and the support we get from the Foundation Office.
Up the Rovers