Rovers week 2017
Sunday 10th July
Controversially, it was decided that the 2017 Rovers Tour should commence in the Red Lion the night before the Sussex Martlets match. There were a dozen Rovers on parade come Sunday night, surely a record of sorts.
A good evening was had by all, especially Sabina, the French teacher that Freany 'picked-up' at the Sussex Pad on his way down. We retired to the Pad, which would be our home for the 'week', under strict instructions not to upset anyone or break anything! We nearly managed it too!
Monday 11th July
So Sussex Martlets were up first on Monday morning, a team we hadn't beaten for a good few years. George H lost the toss, and we found ourselves in the field on a gloriously sunny day at 'HQ'. At drinks, after 13 overs, the Martlets found themselves in all sorts at 33-4. Ballas Jnr and George W with a couple apiece, thanks to some fine catching in the office by Clarkey, welcome on-board squire. We didn't manage another wicket before lunch, which came at 98-4. After lunch though we tore through them, taking their last six wickets for 66 runs, Bettsy's occasional pies doing the damage, as he finished with 4-25 off 9.
So 172 to win, and at 124-3 you'd think that would be plain sailing, but after sprightly twenties from Freano and Ali Hares, and with the score on 170-6, they bought on a 14 year old. With the President offering odds of 10-1 against the nipper getting Bettsy out, he was on 59, he was caught and bowled, then Benji W inexplicably smashed his own stumps, and all of a sudden, it's 170-8. Fortunately the skipper was at the crease, and we nudged over the line.
Beers and a BBQ followed in the early evening sunshine, before retiring to the Amsterdam public house, where we discovered the combo platter!
Tuesday 12th July
Once the youngsters had got in from a night in Brighton, at around 4.30am, we prepared ourselves for the visit of Uppingham. Unfortunately, as the good weather eased, so did our performances. Once again, George lost the toss, and once again, we found ourselves chasing leather. The forecast was horrendous, so it was agreed to play a T20. Ballas Jnr, fresh from some club or other, took a wicket 3rd ball, but the 2nd wicket didn't come until the 7th over, with the score on 46. Bettsy, plod and Ballas took a couple of wickets each, as the Upps posted 129-7, which considering they were 76-2 at the halfway stage, was a good comeback.
Wickets fell regularly during the chase, but at 62-4 after 10, and with George looking good,a rare victory against Uppingham looked possible. George and Freany put on 63 for the 5th wicket, and with just 13 needed off the last two overs surely....we went down by just 3 runs, close but no cigar as they say, maybe next year. Shout out to Doddsy, playing his first game for us for over a decade, but missing a straight one first ball, welcome back mate.
Wednesday 13th July
So our last fixture was against our friends from Steyning CC, always a fun fixture, and with a BBQ arranged between the 40 overs, apart from the weather, things were looking good for a fun day. George lost the toss to complete his hat-trick, but this time we were asked to bat first. Clarkey opened up with Smet, who, after three days of looking, finally found his watch, and the former showed his class with another assured half century, but once again 'threw it away' with a bit of a reckless shot. Smet scored a fine 35 too, but no one else, with the exception of the President, managed to make double figures, and we finished up with 130 all out. Steyning decided to reverse their batting order to make sure everyone got a game, and it almost backfired. At 64-7 they were in all sorts, Henry L, Pricey and George W doing the damage, but that was as good as it was going to get. Their 8 and 9 both scored unbeaten 30s and saw them home with five overs to spare.
So another close loss in what was, once again, a fantastic 'week'. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Dave Mann for his continued support of the club - it really is greatly appreciated. The new caterers at the College came up trumps too - a massive improvement in quality and cost - and thanks to a lot of hard bargaining from a number of people, we finally got some accommodation in the Pad. While we appreciate the College is a business, and extremely busy and full during the summer holidays, as former pupils, we think we deserve the right to be looked after back at Lancing, so fingers crossed for next year.
It was great to see so many recent leavers donning the baggy royal, chocolate and cerise, and some of the older guys coming back. Mason Crane popped by to say g'day, not sure we'll have him at our disposal for sometime, but you never know, and with Will Fazakerley making his first class debut, things are definitely on the up.
The club, thanks in no small part to the efforts made by George Holman, amongst others, is in a great position, and we're exploring the possibility of expanding our fixture list next year, so watch this space.
As George would say.....Up the Rovers!
Lancing Rovers President