Match Report 2024

2024 Match Report

Lavant v Lynchmere Match Report – Sun 27th Apr

After a long and wet winter finally the first game of the new season was upon us vs Lynchmere at home. Although it would seem, based on the conditions, winter wasn’t quite ready to move aside just yet. Due to the terrible forecast, it was agreed (in an effort to play some sort of game in the window available) that we would play a reduced over game (30 over a side with tea at the end) to give us the best chance to get some sort of result.

The new skipper started things off well by demonstrating his tossing skills and winning a crucial toss and inserting Lynchmere into bat hoping to exploit the soggy conditions (special mention for Tam who tried to cover the wicket the night before with tarps).

Lavant started proceedings by keeping things tight and bowling with an extremely frugal nature. As it felt like runs were going to be at a premium on a soggy and slow wicket it was important to keep the total down and the opening bowlers delivered a solid start bowling tight lines. Tam at one end backing up his bowling partner the pressure eventually brought the first wicket with Chris cleaning up one of the openers with a great delivery (Chris finishing with figures of 1-15 off his overs).

Once the opening bowlers had completed their spells there would be huge pressure on the first change bowlers to continue the good work. Obviously there was only one man for the job….the current club players player Dave Burford who not only announced before the game he was still using the terrible patch work shoes but also his trousers where not working.

Shoes and trousers aside it didn’t seem to matter as he tore into the top order picking up 3 wickets in one over alone and finishing with figures of 4-13. Amazing work! I have no idea what he was doing in Thailand (obviously not buying cricket equipment) but the rumour is he was seen visiting a Taiwanese shaman….

A special not for some early charges for the catching trophies with some solid grabs in the field from Tam and Phil! Normally a weakness for Lavant it was very pleasing to see and long may it continue.

We won’t talk about the ‘catch’ from Steve and the missed stumping from the wicket keeper…..

At the other end was out resident ‘James Bond’ who kept things really nice and tidy (ending with 0-15) and, on another day could have had a haul but today kept things ‘on the money’ as always.

The team then turned to debutant Richard to get into the game and he bowled brilliantly and with intelligence using flight and guile to exploit the conditions and keep the batters in check and picking up important wickets when Lynchmere were looking to push on (finishing with 3-18). A very welcome addition to the team. Richard took the team home and stood up to the task with the number 11 (who at one point was almost standing half way down the wicket).

At the other end Justin bowled with zip and cunning and continued to shut down any efforts to push the scoring along and was unlucky not to pick up an edge (even with a full stocked slip cordon)! Ending with figures of 0-8 it was a solid start to the season.

The first innings finished with Lavant bowling out Lynchmere for 97 and with a very quick turnaround (as the rain was imminent) the Lavant openers took to the field looking to chase down a tricky total.

Tragically the team got off to a bad start with mini collapse from the top order with Justin, Harry and Steve falling cheaply. Soon after Richard fell too and with 4 down the opposition looked encouraged that they could get over the line.

However, the Lavant batting order was extremely deep (with Dave and Iain down at 10 and 11) so there was still plenty of fight to come. I was personally so very pleased (after a crap last year) to see Jim back out and playing on the cricket field and when he got out to the middle, he was integral in steadying the ship and played a great knock by keeping the scoreboard moving, rotating the strike not taking too many risks.

BUT for every classic shot maker you always need a biffer and the resident team ‘master blaster’ Chris was at the other end! Chris got swiftly into his work by hammering the ball to all parts (apparently the locals thought there was cannon fire going on)!

The innings from Chris was crucial to not only move the game on quickly but also to dampen the spirits of the opposition whose thoughts of winning started to slip away.

It was a shame Jim wasn’t able to take the team home (getting out on 21) but Tam entered the scene and kept things calm and the game was won (albeit in the pouring rain) with a couple overs to spare. [Won by 4 wickets with couple of overs left to bowl]

Man of the match goes to Chris for top bowling figures (and keeping things tight at the start of the game) but also for the crucial knock (43 not out). Well done Chris.

Champagne moment should be Steve foxing the opposition batters into running by cleverly allowing a dolly of a catch to hit him in the chest so he could execute a run out but I think it should go to Phil for two very solid (and crucial) catches.

A special thank you should go to Lynchmere for not only agreeing to start early but being sporting enough to play a large portion of the game (whilst bowling) in the pouring rain.

Also a big thank you for Mark S for umpiring in terrible conditions (thankfully the pub was nice and warm). So onto to the next game! Well done everyone!

Lavant v Westbourne Match Report – Sun 5th May

After a week of hope and teasing from the UK Met Office Lavant was expecting good things for the second game of the season and after a glorious Saturday the day before woke up ready to go. However, being a bank holiday, it of course rained before the start of the game and with a chill in the air the enthusiasm levels were low.

Thankfully one man braved the weather to set up coverings over the pitch and this action made sure the wicket was ready come start time (big thanks once again to ‘Tam Tarps’)!

The burst of rain made the choice of toss interesting and the Lavant captain trudged out to the middle muttering ‘might be a good one to lose’ showing an undecided mindset. Alas being the best tosser in Lavant he won and elected to bowl first (with the hope of making the most of the damp conditions).

Tam ‘saw off the opener’ (by finding a very odd amount of bounce from a damp pitch) and the unfortunate opening bat being hit in the head and having to be taken to hospital. I’ve been in contact with the opposition captain and have been informed he’s ok and has put his name down for next week’s game. We obviously wish him well and I personally would advise the wearing of a helmet next week!

Lavant started amazingly well keeping things very tightly. After an issue of trying to find someone to open the bowling at the pavilion end, only one man put his hand up (after his arm being a little twisted by the captain). That’s right….our own resident sheriff of Nottingham Dave ‘the shoes’ Burford. As per normal the ever-reliable man didn’t let the team down keeping the finances….err…I mean runs down and, in conjunction with Richard working his magic at the other end, had Westbourne stuck with very little runs on the board and not going anywhere fast. A captain’s dream. Well bowled to both men.

Once Dave had finished his spell Lavant welcomed back James C to the fold and this leaner and meaner version didn’t let us down and continued the tight bowling and kept things tidy (good to have you back James)! On another day could (and probably should) have more rewards for his efforts.

Lavant had a debutant in the ranks and making his first appearance was a bit of a baptism of fire for Matt. Asked to bowl from the river end he found it hard to blow away the cobwebs from a long time not playing. I’m taking responsibility for the barrage of double bouncing deliveries as I asked Matt to embrace the dam busters’ spirit (I just wasn’t expecting that it would be more Barnes Wallis than 17 Squadron). I think we can all sympathise with how tough it can be to get back up to speed but I want to highlight that there were some really good deliveries in amongst the bouncing barrage and also, we can only thank Matt for the effort and energy in the field.

After a long period of control, the turning point came when Westbourne sent out a middle order player who started launching everyone to all parts (and one point hitting the pavilion).

With the Lavant captain desperately trying to keep control of the run rate (whilst also keeping the dangerous player) off strike he was looking around the field for volunteers but observed many people looking at clouds, counting the leaves on the trees and tying shoelaces (or glueing in Dave’s case) to avoid making eye contact.

Lavant ended up turning to Will and Justin to close the game out (which they were both very happy about). Both men stood up to the task and bowled beautifully and started to reign things in. Justin kept tying up the batters and didn’t allow them space to get the ball away and was rewarded with picking up the prized wicket with an appeal that continued until tea time.

Tragically after last week’s sharp catching this week saw the return of the Lavant catching curse with multiple catches going down from Will (who certainly deserved wickets for his efforts).

Westbourne finished with 173-4 setting a very above par total for the conditions.

Tea was served (many thanks to Rob for a great spread), drinks were drunk, bananas/strawberries/grapes were eaten and Lavant returned to the field looking for glory.

Disaster struck in the first over with the captain (after hitting the exact same delivery for 2 the ball before) managed to miss the next ball and kicked it onto his stumps. Richard then followed (being bowled) and a collapse looked to be on the cards until Rob came to the crease and showed a good fight and a dogged defence to keep his team in the fight. The loudest cheer of the day came when Rob finally hit his first runs!

Rob’s defences were finally broken when he unfortunately missed a full toss. There was a small amount of descent (complaining to the umpire it was a no ball) but I think Rob maybe just had his trousers pulled up too much to think it was above waist high.

Through the carnage one man stood tall at the other end. Justin has managed to rebuild the innings while facing taxing bowling (particularly a leg spinner who was spinning it both ways). It was a solid performance and he only really got out in an attempt to push the score along in the final hour of play in the hope to try to get the team in a position to win. I thank him for his efforts and batting for the team (as he could have easily just sat at one end not scoring). TBH, I think we were just all glad he wasn’t out early again so we all had to hear him moaning for another week….

Once the final hour/20 overs had started (and the platform Justin had built) Lavant were able to unleash their powerhouse middle order starting with Phil who helped change the dynamic of the game by taking the attack to the Westbourne bowlers. Everyone was gutted to see him having to retire hurt (after tweaking a muscle pushing off for a run) as it looked like he was just getting into his stride but it was great to see his batting potential shine through.

Tam also entered the fray and started to dispatch his trademark lusty blows in an attempt to push the scoreboard on as did Will and Mark S whose eyes clearly lit up and tried to smash the ball into Chichester but didn’t quite get hold of it (this time).

With the match coming to a close Dave B decided to see the game out for a draw by charging the Westbourne leg spinner shouting ‘I’ll show you’ and ‘you’re not bowling that to me’. A worthy battle cry to finish the game with a hard-earned draw (with Lavant 40 – 50 runs short).

It was a hard-fought game with a lot of positives and the draw (considering the total and the loss of early wickets) was a good result for Lavant.

Man of the match (MOTM) goes to Justin for a tidy spell of bowling (particularly at a set batsman looking to tee off) and a crucial batting performance which set up even a sniff of a run chase and then the option to bat out the draw.

Champagne moment goes to Will for showing an amazing amount of grace, control and team unity for not going ballistic from several drops off his bowling in quick succession! Well done everyone for the well-earned draw and onto the next game!

Findon v Lavant Match Report – Sun 12th May

The first away game of the season was met with clear blue skies and warm and sunny conditions which was a nice change of scenery from the cold and wet conditions. The mighty Lavant arrived and Findon with a patched up 11 with a mixture of injury and illness but spirits were good.

The Lavant captain was keen to prove that he was the best tosser in Findon and was able to keep his fine form going by winning the toss and choosing not to put the rag tag bowling attack into a position to have to bowl in the warm conditions. So Lavant were to bat first in their first 40 over game of the season.

After a solid start from Harry and Iain (and a decent platform created from the opening pair) things took a sharp turn for the worse. I’m getting the impression that either the team preferred to bask in the sunshine on the patio in front of the pavilion (like Lizards) rather than bat due to the speed they were returning from the middle. Either that or actually they are all vampires and couldn’t be in the sun for very long so got out ASAP so they could retreat to the safety of the darkness of the changing room….after all Tam and Dave both had plasters on the same arm in the same place….

Not much can be said about how the Lavant innings went….not without getting into trouble and the club having to deploy our diplomatic envoy (Steve B) to smooth things over.

Needless to say Lavant were bowled out for 123 off 27 overs. Notable mentions should go to Harry (20) and Chris, continuing his good form with the bat, (33).

After tea Lavant took to the field and, after a Churchillian speech from the captain, the team agreed not to go down without a fight.

And what a response! Chris manfully started proceedings at one end and bowled beautifully (considering he had decided it was a good idea to run a 10K in the morning before an important game). I guess he can just about be forgiven after being top scorer and bowling so well? Perhaps this is the start of a new pre-game routine??? Chris kept things tight and picked up 2 wickets from his 6 over spell for 27. A fine effort.

After Dave B had a tough start at the other end (perhaps he shouldn’t have changed those shoes after all) the captain turned to Tam who, I think it has been fair to say, had been a little off form recently but came roaring back into form just at the right moment. After his first over the high bar was set and suddenly things just clicked and Tam was getting the ball down at pace and on a nagging length that was foxing the batters time and time again. The amount of times he passed the edge was incredible and on another day could have picked up a haul of wickets but it turned out he was bowling too well for anyone to get near it (let alone edge one)! Thankfully he did get his reward for bowling so well by removing the set number 3 batsman, who was looking settled, clean bowling him. Tam finished with 1 wicket for 29 off his 8 over spell. Well done Tam ang great to see.

At the other end Richard was yet proving how valuable asset he has become to the side. He had obviously decided to channel his disappointment from his batting into his bowling. Richard started out in a contained way (bowling around the wicket firing ball after ball into the batsman’s legs and tying them down) and kept the scoring all but stationary. Then after looking settled and loose agreed with the captain to come over the wicket to attack and he caused havoc by tearing into the Findo middle order picking 3 wickets! Richard finished with 3 wickets for 11 off his over spell (2 of his 3 maidens were wicket maidens). A truly remarkable effort. Well done.

Unfortunately the danger man was the Findon number 6 and after trying everything he was to become the thorn in the side. As much as the team tried their best to frustrate and stifle could not make the breakthrough needed however the team should be proud of the ground field efforts and, to a man, working hard for the cause.

The only blemish was, yet again, the catching with crucial drops going down. As the ‘tossing the ball up to each other at the start of the game’ method clearly isn’t working I think we need to start looking at ‘alternative’ training methods.

In an attempt to improve the catching standards of the side I have been thinking of a radical improvement training drill which will be based on the Inspector Clouseau / Kato relationship where, at any point during the day / week, I will appear out of the blue and throw a cricket ball at one of the team and shout ‘CATCH’ at them. This could happen at any time…day or night…so beware of the shadows….If that doesn’t work then I’m out of ideas!

One special mention must go to John for taking the only outfield catch. It was fair to say our own ‘million-dollar man’ had not had the greatest of weeks (falling ill abroad and having to come home early) but didn’t want to let the side down by not playing. I think someone had said he was returning from the latest T20 franchise auction and had picked up Dehli belly?

I don’t know if the illness had inspired the wonderful gazelle skip and hop before catching the ball but I’ve not seen such grace since 1984 in Sarajevo.

As the game was moving to its climax the improbable win for Lavant’s bowling efforts were slipping away. The team turned to the double J’s (James and Justin) who had bravely agreed to come on for the final overs (with the still set #6 batsman and not many runs to defend). Both men stood up to the task and did everything they could and did not at all let the side down but alas the damage had already been done.

Special mention also has to go to Justin for holding his nerve (after being hit for 6 after his first ball) and after bowling a nagging line he was rewarded with picking up the prized wicket of the Findon batsman by getting a ball to just nip away and take the edge into the keepers’ gloves.

They say it’s the hope that kills you and after a heroic effect from Lavant in the field Findon had chased down the total and ended the match 126-8 off 30 overs. Obviously the first innings score was way below par (50 / 60s runs short). BUT what an amazing effort to not only get them 8 down but to take the game to the 30th over.

Man of the match (as I feel it was too hard to split them) goes to Chris and Richard. Chris for top scoring with the bat and bowling so well and Richard for bowling the best spell under pressure I’ve seen in a while.

Champagne moment has to go to John not only for the crucial and stylistic catch but also being able not to have an ‘accident’ when he caught it. I think he was last seen bouncing around in the woods with the rest of the baby deers….

I have to repeat what I said to the team at the end of the game that I was proud of everyone for the never say die attitude and the effort the whole group put into the fielding effort when (for a lot of the time) it looked unlikely we could get something from the game.

I’m too competitive to believe in such a thing as ‘a good loss’ but if I were I think this would be a good example of it.

Thanks to everyone and onto the next game!

West Ashling v Lavant Midweek Match Report – Wed 15th May

First T20 of the season. Lavant 165-4 off 20 overs.

Great batting performance with Iain, Joe, Chris and Will all having to retire at 25. Ashling 65 all out in 16.1 overs.

Top bowlers Tam (3 for 6) and Will (3 for 0).

Lavant won by 100 runs.

Ashling scoreboard

Lavant scoreboard

Lavant v St. James’ Casuals Match Report – Sun 19th May

A patched up Lavant team (welcoming 4 debutants) arrived on a glorious, warm and sun stoked Sunday afternoon to welcome St. James’ Casuals (who turned out to be anything but). There was a feeling that this could be yet again another David VS Goliath match….

With the park surrounded by a healthy Lavant crowd it was nice to see people had popped out to see how this ‘village’ cricket game was to unfold.

The skipper headed out to the middle and won the toss and elected to bat.

Once introductions were made, kit was distributed and the safeguarding was explained it was game on!

There was a very ‘experimental’ feel to the Lavant batting line up. One of the main challenges of being Lavant skipper is the team is mostly made up with people who want to only bat at 5 which makes it very hard to pick a 1 to 4! With the captain always happy to lead from the front at 1, the rest of the line up fell into place to take on the challenge of an endless supply of young, accurate quick bowlers.

Not much can be said of the innings apart from Lavant dug in and showed a lot of fight to not collapse and at least bat through the end. The captain at one end embraced his best inner Geoffrey Boycott trying to grind out a score and hold the innings together whilst the rest of the Lavant batting line up did their best to help support. But, alas, for all the hard effort and fight from the team Lavant could only manage 100 runs (for which there was a ripple of applause from the crowd for the home team reaching 3 figures)!

Tea was taken (interesting contrast of team chat from the opposition players comparing notes on how they got on in their match on Saturday to Lavant’s ‘I did a bit of gardening’ or ‘was playing with the kids’ or ‘I had a nice nap and read the paper’) which perhaps slightly highlighted the miss match…

One thing is for sure Lavant will not go down without a fight and took to the field determined to not allow the run chase to be an easy affair.

Tam and Dave started proceedings and did their very best to keep things in check and both missed the edge on several occasions but couldn’t find the breakthrough. With the scoreboard ticking over the skipper turned to Lee and Mark to turn their arms over. Considering the situation of the match and the lack of bowling time it was a big ask for both men (with not many runs left to defend) but they both stuck to the task as well as they could and didn’t let anyone down. Lee managed to pick up the only wicket of the game (removing the set batsman 2 runs before his 50).

Special mention should go to the 4 new players (Lloyd, Nathan, Rupert and Ylan) who all got stuck in and showed a lot of good effort and willingness in the field making some crucial stops and chasing down balls before they got to the boundary.

However…..even with the hard work and fight shown by the home side the inevitable loss came with the opposition number 3 coming in and smashing a 4 and two 6’s to finish the game early.

I’d just like to say even though most knew that we would probably lose not one head from Lavant dropped, there was no sulking or anger. I was pleased (and happy) that everyone just tried their very best, made the most of it and enjoyed it as best they could and it was great to see.

Even though it felt like Average Joe’s VS Globo Gym Purple Cobras (look up the movie dodgeball if you don’t get the reference) it certainly felt like Lavant had embraced the underdog spirit of Average Joe’s gym.

I’m starting to think Dave could definitely be ‘Steve the Pirate’ based on the way he seems to be happy when he can plunder people’s money now, he’s got that card reader working!!

And best of all…I’ve not even mentioned the dropped catches this week….

Men of the match got to Lloyd, Nathan, Rupert and Ylan for getting stuck in and showing willing and effort in the field (even in the face of it being a loss cause).

Champagne moment goes to Phil for a dynamic bit of fielding (swooping across the ground, scooping up the ball and hitting the stumps at the bowler’s end)!

Thanks to everyone, well done and onto the next game.

Lavant scoreboard

St. James’ Casuals scoreboard

Elsted v Lavant Match Report – Sun 26th May

After a nervous overnight wait to see how the weather looked in the morning the mighty Lavant travelled away to the picturesque ground in Elsted. After weeks of having to ask people in the street / people in the park / people walking their dog on the seafront the Lavant captain was in a strange position to be able to select a strong 11 to the away game (huge thank you for the people who kindly stood aside for the good of the team).

After losing the toss Elsted elected to bat first so Lavant took to the field looking to bowl tight and get stuck into the opposition batting unit. Game on!

And boy…did the team deliver! Starting the proceedings was Tam and Will who didn’t bowl skinny jeans tight….or ducks butt tight…but submarine tight! Sticking to the plan and making the most of conditions and offering nothing to the Elsted batting unit.

At one end Will kept tucking up the batters’ time and time again offering nothing allowing the captain to go with some attacking (and at times funky) field settings as was the sheer dominance of his bowling finishing with an amazing 1 wicket off 7 overs going for measly runs! Top work Will.

At the other end was the ever-dependable Tam. The Lavant ‘overseas’ had to travel miles from his home (in Chichester) to keep the other end shut down, frustrating the batting side. On other days Tam has beaten the edge so much without much reward but today was well rewarded with his bowling performance picking up 3 wickets from his 7 overs for only 5 runs! I heard a game of backyard cricket the day before helped sharpen his skills in readiness for this game!

The opening bowling partnership was so good and honestly a joy to watch from the best viewing position from behind the stumps and they both made setting a field incredibly easy. A very well done to both men.

It’s never an easy job for a first change bowler to follow that start but on this occasion the team were safe in the knowledge that it was able to deploy the other premier left-handed bowler Chris and the Wiley fox James C.

Chris must have had some sort of ‘local’ knowledge from his good mate (who was playing for Elsted) because he decides to serve up a half tracker to ‘allow’ the set batter to smash the ball into the field so it would get lost obviously knowing that the replacement ball would go round corners…and so it did because he was able to dispatch the batsman with a great in-swinging ball to clean them up! Chris finished with 1 wicket for 12 off his 5 overs. Top job.

At the other end James C (who had been keeping a keen eye on proceedings) was doing what we have all expected from him. Keeping it tight and frustrating the hell out of batmen with his flight and guile! After a sustained period, James was able to snare the important wicket of the dangerous looking set Elsted opener. He toiled away brilliantly and finished with 3 wickets off his 4 overs for 7.

HOWEVER

It must be mentioned that one of those wickets was a 11-year-old kid who just wanted to come out and have some fun. Chris kindly stood down to allow the young man a fair chance (who had dreams of playing cricket and had probably been looking forward to the game all week while at school) …James had different ideas. James clean bowled the young man’s first ball (that the team had decided was a ‘no ball’ and the Lavant captain had also retracted any form of appeal) …. but James was having NONE of that and decided he had seen enough and caught and bowled the young man the very next ball.

It was probably a little harsh giving him a send-off, nicking his lunch money and telling him to go and do his homework….;0)

Well done though James. Sort of. You big bully (lol). Finishing with 2 wickets (I’m not giving him the 3rd wicket) for 7 runs off 4 overs.

With the young man coming and going the team switched back on and turned to the very dependable Richard to fire up his off spin and yet again bowled so well giving nothing away finishing with 1 wicket off his 4 over spell going for 7 runs.

After James had been removed and set to stand in the field and think about what had just done the captain threw the ball to Phil to come one first his first spell of the season. Considering the lack of bowling he did a good job with a mixture of delivery’s but overall, a decent run out. It was great to see the joy in the side for Phil (a much liked and respected member of the team) pick up his first wicket of the season!

The damage had been done before the side could even turn to Dave and Justin.

Normally I come to the part where I had to mention the dropped catches but not this week. The fielding performance was brilliant today not only keeping things solid in the field (stopping runs) but nearly all chances were taken! So, I’m going to list them.

Chris ‘can’t catch a cold’ Mac took a wonderful grab off James (a big straight skier that swirled around). Dave took a great catch after being moved into position and the batsmen fell into the tope edging it up to him to scoop it up with his safe as ever hands Steve had the job of poaching the catch for Phil’s first wicket by speeding in and catching at full stretch (even with hearing me thundering towards him going for the same ball). And the best of the lot was Justin pulling off a worldly one-handed catch when he was in a close cover position and the ball was nailed (and past him) to haul it in! It was great to see and all contributed to the amazing effort of bowling out Elsted for 62 off 30 overs!

Tea was taken. Muscles were stretched and the run chase was on.

After a little persuasion (and arm bending) the Lavant captain (with one eye on the rest of the season and keen to get him back into the flow of batting) managed to convince the club’s other ‘overseas’ player from Scotland Steve ‘Mc’Brooker to open the batting with him. After he scoffed down his haggis, washed it down with an iron bru and warmed up his arms tossing a caber walked out to the middle.

Both men set to their tasks well looking to set a platform for the small but tricky run chase and all was going well until the dopey captain decided to shoulder arms to the straight ball and get cleaned bowled.

Steve on the other hand continued in his normal way (like he hadn’t been away) by being solid and keeping the scoreboard moving. Some might say that he had already walked 500 miles so was happy to walk 500 more for the team.

Although I’m not sure every time he hit the ball he had to shout ‘Da-da da da (Da-da da da)’ and then ‘Da-da dum diddy dum diddy dum diddy da da da’ when he was running between the wickets …. a bit odd….

Super-gran Steve finished with a not out 16 and played an important role glueing the innings together.

Richard walked to the middle to steady the ship and so he did…for many overs until we hit the drinks break and after a little chat cut loose and everyone got to see the shot making skills of someone, we had all hoped would see. Suddenly he looked a different player and started to find the middle of the bat and hitting the boundary rope. Once the damage was done and the urn chase was under control Richard kindly decided to retire (getting 28 runs) to allow others to get some time in the middle.

Special note to Lloyd who is still finding his feet in cricket and had performed great in the field but was bowled facing his second delivery. I think we can all remember what it was like starting out but this is all good experience and I know the Lavant team will help support and assist him going forward.

After that Will entered the scene and steady the ship and took us home.

The mood after the game was joyful and buoyant and a much-deserved victory after a couple of tough fixtures. A big thanks to everyone for a great game and an even better result.

Man of the match (and I’m sorry but I’m going to be boring and pick two again) but I simply could not split Will or Tam. As per batting bowling also works in partnerships and the dove trailing between both men was amazing to watch and as good an opening spell I’ve seen in a long time.

Champagne movement has to go to our (still JUST 39-year-old) Justin for an incredible catch. I probably had the best view of it from behind the stumps and it was past him before he stuck out a bit paw and grabbed it (at a crucial time in the game).

A very very well done to everyone and onto the next game!

Elsted scoreboard

Lavant scoreboard

Lavant v Chidham Midweek Match Report – Thu 30th May

The dust has settled, all casualties have been accounted for and can now reflect on an interesting evening’s cricket.

Firstly, accidentally and rather bizarrely I laid a boundary more suited to an U9’s game of wind ball. “Off the square” generally meant 4 or 6, which meant we were always going to be in for a high scoring affair.

Richard Benaud once said: “The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time. “With an unsettled weather radar this was certainly the toss to win. Some people call it chance, but as Richie suggests, it’s great skill. So…the Chidham captain lost the toss and I put us into bat! Scoring in excess of an over we finished the innings at 163/6. Iain, Joe, Chris and Will all make it past the milestone 25 marker. Special mention to the “sexiest six” which came from Joe, still rising as it cleared the boundary (unsurprisingly) and would have clattered into the back seats of the Compton Stand. A joy to watch.

We would have probably scored a lot more has we not had a mid-innings deluge. The wicket very quickly became a very different beast – credit to the guys who continued to battle through, especially James C who scored a quickfire 13 at the end.

Change of innings and there was hope on the horizon, blue sky was spotted, but it was dark overhead and very greasy. This was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t moment and I’m sure Mr Benaud would have some pearls of wisdom to say about the decision making, but in hindsight we probably should have gone to the pub at this stage. Instead, we donned our cajoles and headed out into the middle – keen to give the oppo a chance to bat. To be fair, they started extremely well, going at 9 an over I found myself nervously wishing I had a light meter. But then the two openers retired and it was all change. In quite a surreal 20-minute period, Will, who must have strategically parked his car with the full beam behind his arm, just picked them off like rabbits. Batsmen cam and went, without troubling the scorer; the middle stump was taking a bettering, 3 times in a row in fact. Will, off 2 paces, was enjoying one of the best spells I’ve seen, yet the whole thing was strangely muted, bizarre. My bowling choices were limited to anyone with spikes (which sadly was only about half the team), yet this bought a very reluctant James Allen to the fray who was sensational, as expected, after his African training camp. In the end we closed them out for 111 and another great victory for the T20 side.

Chidham scoreboard

Lavant scoreboard

Ferring v Lavant Match Report – Sun 2nd Jun

On a bright and sunny day, the mighty Lavant travelled to the lovely ground at Ferring CC. After many of the Lavant players were caught out by traffic there was a definite village feel to the start of proceedings. After a LOT of rain in the previous weeks the Ferring track looked like a beauty and gave the captains a headache at the toss as it could be a high scoring game.

After losing the toss the decision fell to the opposition captain who decided to ask Lavant to bat. GAME ON!!

Lavant knew they had to try and build a commanding total to give them every chance of defending during the run chase.

The two Lavant openers got stuck into their work quickly and were able to find the boundaries and rotate the strike passing 70 runs for no loss of wicket at a decent rate. The Lavant captain (carrying on his good Sunday and T20 form) picked up his first 50 of the seasons (even though the stand-in scores only clapped it when he reached 60).

At the other end Justin was keeping things steady selflessly trying score when possible and getting the skipper back on strike as much as possible and was able to contribute to building a commanding opening partnership with the captain being out with 62 off 49 balls (strike rate of 126) and Justin 36 off 33 (strike rate of 109) it was just what was needed.

Following the openers was Richard who was able to cash in on his rhythm and form from the previous week and didn’t take long to get into his stride by moving through the gears and looking to build on the solid foundation set up by the openers. Although he fell 2 short of his Lavant maiden 50 he scored quickly and made sure the scoring did not stagnate.

At the other end (after tragically Steve got out chasing a wide ball after smashing his first ball for 4) was Lloyd who, after being new to the club and cricket, was able to not only score his first run for the club but also his first boundary, his first 2-digit score and a not out! He maybe new to the game but has already got down the idea of batting for his average ;0).

I think the team took great pleasure in seeing Lloyd doing so well (as we all remember how hard it was starting out and having to learn how to play during games) and when he hit his first 4 it evoked the biggest cheer of the day!

With the score nearing 200…. well, we think it was as the Lavant captain had taken a 5 min crash course in scoring (come back soon please Sheila) …. Phil and Tam took to the middle looking to push hard for the final few overs with Tam finishing with a blazing 15 taking the Lavant total to 209 for 5 off 35 overs.

The Lavant players returned to the changing room pleased with their efforts but cautious that on such a good track and outfield that the chase couldn’t be taken lightly.

Tea was eaten, batting stories were exchanged, a massage gun was used and Lavant returned to the field looking to defend their total.

Looking to keep things tight for the start didn’t quite go to plan. I wouldn’t say Tam and Justin bowled that badly but it started to become clear quickly that pace on was playing right into the hands of the Ferring opening batters as any willow on leather was racing away to the boundary rope, which gave the opposition a solid start and a sinking feeling started to spread around the Lavant side.

After 6 overs Lavant quickly changed gears and started to look to their slower bowlers to take pace off the ball and wrestle back control of the game before the scoreboard and run rate started to get out of control.

As has been customary this season the team looked to ‘King’ Richard in their hour of need and yet again he delivered bowling dot ball after dot ball and frustrating the Ferring batsmen who suddenly found it much harder to score. After his crusade Richard ended his spell with figures of 1 for 20 runs off 7 overs.

At the other end the skipper turned to ‘Super’ Stevie Brooker who after getting his bowling eye in by playing in the pouring rain on Thursday night (an act of genius from the T20 skipper) took on the tough task of holding up the other end. Even though Stevie was nursing a debilitating dose of ‘gardener’s groin’ found a way of keeping his lines tight and ended with figures of 1 for 30 runs of his 7 overs.

With the game in the balance the Lavant skipper had to make a tough choice to continue the pace off plan and turned to Phil and Mark S. At such a crucial part of the game there was a feeling that this could be the turning point and it was not lost on the Lavant team the task ahead and pressure the two men would be under to try and continue the good work.

Phil and Mark both bowled beautifully. With plenty of boundary riders both men bowled to the plan with flight and guile hanging the ball outside the off stump and looking to frustrate the Ferring batters as much as possible. They say stats don’t lie but Phil bowled 4 overs for 18 runs and Mark 4 overs for 19 runs which, given the state of the game, was a brilliant effort. Well done both.

With the game coming to the close (and the run rate climbing) Lavant now turned back to Tam and Justin to see the tam home and both were able to capitalise on the hard efforts of the team and tear into the batting order.

With game nearly done the Ferring youth player came out to bat so the Lavant skipper stood down the opening bowlers and asked Phil to take the last over as the team this week was missing James ‘The Child Slayer’ Cartman.

With the final over bowled Lavant were able to restrict Ferring to 166 for 6 off their 35 overs and take a very hard-fought win!

Everyone in the field put in a real shift considering the changing of fielding positions to try and restrict the Ferring batsmen and keep the boundaries out. It was a real team effort in the field by everyone with bodies being put on the line to stop runs wherever possible!

A very special mention must go out to Damien, Rob and James A who were not able to bat or bowl due to the nature of how the game unfolded but all three put in very crucial yards in the field and were extremely important cogs in the Lavant machine to get the win over the line and kept up with the team spirit throughout the day. A big thank you.

Man of the match goes to ‘King’ Richard for his 48 runs (to build upon the solid start) and his tremendous bowling performance to wrestle back the initiative for the side.

Champagne moment goes to Lloyd when he got away his first boundary. After a couple of chats and bits of advice I felt like a proud father when it happened and hoping there is plenty more to come.

All in all, a great victory by the team. To get such a big first innings score was a great effort but the defence of the total from the team, when under pressure, was the most pleasing aspect. There were some tired and sore bodies in the changing room but a great atmosphere. Onto the next!

Lavant scores (35 overs)

Lavant scoreboard

Ferring scoreboard

West Meon v Lavant Match Report – Sun 9th Jun

The mighty Lavant headed out for a long trek to the beautiful ground at West Meon (which did feel like it was in the middle of nowhere with Sat Navs and directions testing the Lavant XI).

The Lavant skipper won the toss and, as it was a timed game, elected to bowl first to allow for both a win and draw to be on the table for Lavant in the second half of the game (more on that later) …

The team got ready and took to the field a man down as Rob was running late and taking his time to park in front of the only place in the car park which had big signs saying ‘Emergency Exit – Do not park here’.

With Tam injured Justin had to fill the large hole left by Lavant’s premier opening bowling and didn’t disappoint. Holding onto a great line and length he remained disciplined throughout his spell fizzing the ball down and keeping the runs down. He picked up a much-deserved wicket (clean bowling the opening bat). There was even a moment where he had the keeper up to the stumps which seemed to please the watching crowd. Justin finished with 1-10 off 8 overs.

At the other end Will was, as per normal, doing Will things. Putting the ball on a nagging line and length (and getting the occasional ball to lift) bamboozling the West Meon batsmen and not allowing them anything to hit. Will also picked up a much-deserved wicket ending with 1-12 off 8 overs.

As is now becoming customary ‘King’ Richard came on as first change (replacing Justin) and also got quickly into his work. As always he bowled balls consistently in challenging areas and extracting turn and bounce. With the West Meon #4 batsmen looking set and dangerous Richard was able to pick up his wicket at a crucial point of the game (plus also being able to hang on a caught and bowled which was hit back and hit him with venom). The King ended his reign for the day with 2-22 off 8 overs.

At the other end James C was having a mixed day. After being subjected to some serious tap from the dangerous #4 batmen (and the Lavant captain looking to take him out of the attack), James held his nerve to take a good catch from Richard to help dismiss the #4. After this he was able to settle back into his work and pick up wickets and regain control of the game. James finished with 2 wickets (albeit for an expensive 40 runs) from 7 overs.

John, after being missing in action for a few weeks doing his duty for king and country abroad, decided to holster his Walther PPK and return to the fray. After a solid start (and nursing sore palms) ensured the tough task of needing to contain the set batsmen who were looking to push the score on in the last half an hour. His first 4 overs returned a wicket for 9 runs but the last two overs got away from the team leaving with John on 1-33 off 6 overs.

At the other end was Lavant’s resident ‘John McClane’ who was looking to try and bring down the West Meon partnership. Like John B his opening overs started well but then found it hard to contain the set batters finishing with 29-0 off 5 overs.

With a slightly comical run out (or an act of genius from Jim tempting the batsmen to pinch another single) the first innings finished with West Meon getting a decent total of 153 for 8. There was a feeling that Lavant had allowed the good start to slip away. It felt like a good score on a wicket offering plenty for the bowlers and would be tough chase.

Tea was taken, food was eaten, dogs were cuddled and a foam roller was used. Time for the Lavant chase.

Buoyed by his recent good form in Sunday and T20 the Lavant skipper perhaps got a little carried away (wanting to get the team off to a quick and solid start). After crashing the opening bowler to the extra cover boundary for 4 was outfoxed and missed a straight one being clean bowled for 5.

Harry joined Justin in the middle and looked to build a solid foundation for the team against some very tight and tidy bowling by the West Meon bowlers. After the other opening bowler was brutally dispatched by Justin and removed from the attack after one over the first change bowler kept things tight and extremely challenging for the first hour’s play. Justin and Harry stuck to their task to keep Lavant in the game and it was an absorbing battle.

Both men should be very proud by doing their job of seeing off the tough bowling (and in gloomy conditions) to keep Lavant in the game but both fell to the West Meon leg spinner.

Will and Chris walked to the middle and knew they had to capitalise on the great work from Harry and Justin and both men got into their work quickly. Running singles and picking up boundaries where possible. Will showing the ‘Gower’ style and grace we have come to enjoy and Chris ‘Captain Boshington’ doing what Chris does (he’s like the Hulk smash of our Lavant Avengers team)!!

Due to the efforts of the top order Lavant were able to move into striking distance of a good win however once Chris and Will were out the tide turned with the Lavant middle order collapsing under the pressure of the West Meon captain / leg spinner. It came down to Rob to survive the last few balls of the penultimate over to perhaps leave a chance for John in the next over to snatch a famous win.

With everyone’s nerves shredded and the gloom of the day getting darker (reflecting the mood of the watching Lavant players) the game moved into the final over with all results still being possible!

The last over required 1 wicket for a West Meon win, 6 runs for an Lavant win or (with the last two Lavant batsmen at the crease) the option to try and hold out for the draw.

John was on strike. 1st ball…dot! Second ball…DOT! Third ball…massive inside edge down to fine leg.

Rob scurrying through for a single. Fourth ball…. John calls Rob through for another single.

Two balls to go…4 for a win!

Fifth ball….DOT!

Last ball of the game… A WIDE! 3 to win. West Meon made sure all fielders who were patrolling the boundary were ready and switched on.

Last ball of the game (take 2) …. A DOT!!

An amazing end to the game with Lavant finishing with 151 for 9 with the game ending as a DRAW.

A big thank you to West Meon for hosting us. I hope I speak for everyone on the Lavant side that we were made to feel extremely welcomed by not only the West Meon team but all of their loyal followers who were watching from the pavilion. There was a lovely and engaging atmosphere the whole day and it was great to be part of it.

Special mention must go to Mark S for stepping in at the last minute. To travel that distance for the good of the club, work hard in the field and umpire is a credit to the man and someone who will selflessly do what is needed for the good of the club. A huge thank you.

Man of the match goes to Will for (yet another) amazing display with the ball and a solid effort with the bat to get the team into a winning position.

Champagne moment goes to James C for held on to a fingertip catch from the crucial #4 West Meon batsman who was starting to go through the gears.

Thank you to everyone.

West Meon scoreboard

Lavant scoreboard

Lavant scores (20 overs)

Lavant survival of fitness (last two batters) to get a draw result! Phew!!!

Lavant v Arundel Castle Match Report – Sun 16th Jun

On a warm (but windy) Sunday the mighty Lavant arrived at the ground feeling hopeful that the heavy rain and the stomping of many feet from the village fete had left the hallowed turf in a good enough condition for the game against Arundel Castle.

Thankfully the good folk kept off the square and Tam’s Tarps had done the crucial job of protecting the wicket and allowing it to be prepared and set up. With a quick mow of the wicket (thanks Justin) and some crowd control from the skipper to move back the enthusiastic crowd beyond the boundary line (who had obviously gathered to catch a glimpse of the fine Lavant cricketing specimens) it was time to get on with proceedings.

Against current form the Lavant skipper lost the toss and Arundel Castle elected to bowl first (looking to make the most of any moisture). GAME ON!!!

Justin and the Lavant captain walked to the crease with the skipper keen to continue his role of getting the team off to a good start and Justin remaining solid and building an innings. Things started great with the skipper taking no time getting into his work pouncing on anything short and driving anything full to move the scoring along quickly and not allowing the Arundel bowlers to settle. In a moment of overconfidence, the skipper was out (looking to smash a delivery into Singleton) but missed out and was bowled (via his foot).

With the platform set Justin continued his good work by remaining watchful and determined not to give his wicket away to be the glue to hold the innings together while the Arundel Castle bowlers got into their stride and bowled challenging lines and lengths (with nip and swing).

This allowed the middle order to come in and help build the innings and keep the scoreboard ticking over with solid contributions from Richard, Chris, Phil and Martin even while the ball continued to misbehave (Tam was caught after one popped off a length and caught the rubber at the top of his bat handle)!!

Another debut this year came from Martin (who kindly filled in at the last moment) and the team was very pleased to see him score his first run considering it wasn’t the easiest of games or conditions to play your first game!

With the score slightly stalling Dave B came to the middle and after picking a fight with a cricket ball in a recent T20 seemed to have a score to settle with all cricket balls in general because he looked like he wanted to punish the red thing at every opportunity (either that or he was just made thinking about how the card reader never seems to connect now-a-days). Who knows…. but Dave was able to help kick the score on with a rapid 28.

During this period Justin was still standing firm, holding the line like spartan and timed it perfectly when looking to move through the gears and cut loose and was a fine effort to record his first 50 of the seasons.

With the game coming to a close a special mention to Rob who has been finding batting tough going of late but it was great to see him get bat on ball and get a few runs under his belt (in quick fashion). Hopefully something to build on!

With the innings coming to an end Lavant posted a very competitive 174 and had given the bowlers something to defend.

Tea was taken, carrot cake was eaten and an extra banana was eaten (thanks James). Lavant returned to the field looking to defend their total against a decent looking batting line up.

After a lot of deliberation, the Lavant skipper threw the ball to Justin and Chris to open up proceedings hoping they could make the most of conditions and keep the batsmen contained.

Chris ‘Die hard’ Mac took no time at all knocking over one of the opening batsmen for a duck!

With the Arundel batters looking to walk down the wicket Justin and Chris (with the keeper up) stood up to the challenge and kept both batsmen stuck in their creases whilst bowling ball after ball with swing and nip passing the edge time and time again.

However, there was a moment of concern when John B heroically threw himself in an attempt to stop a boundary and landed awkwardly. Initial cheers from his teammates for such a great effort soon turned to worry as one of his fingers appeared to be pointing in the wrong direction. John was quickly taken off the field to get some ice on his hand / fingers and put his feet up for the rest of the game.

After plenty of dot balls and maidens the pressure finally brought wickets with both men ripping into the middle order and breaking the back of the Arundel innings. Once drinks were taken Chris finished with figures of 3 for 17 off overs (and was unfortunate not to get more considering how much he beat the edge)!!

Lucky for Lavant Mark H had popped down to say hello and catch up with everyone and kindly offered to come on as a replacement fielder. I can’t tell you how grateful we all were because in a tight run chase being a man down could have been the difference between winning and losing. Mark got stuck in and was soon stopping and chasing to help the team out. Big thank you to Mark.

With drinks taken Lavant were in a decent position but knew they couldn’t let up as suddenly a counter attack was deployed from Arundel in the form of their #7 batsmen.

King Richard came on and bowled well considering the onslaught that was coming his way from the Arundel Castle #7 who didn’t seem fazed and was looking to smash anything that came his way over the boundary (clearing carefully positioned fielders) whilst the opening batsmen at the other end was remaining solid and giving the strike over whenever possible. Although Richard had a mixed day, he was still able to remove one of the dangerous middle order players finishing the day with figures of 1 for 48 off 7 overs.

At the other end Tam was keeping things as tight as possible and contained the counter attack. With a touch of class, we have all come to expect from the Lavant premier strike bowler Tam held his nerve to clean bowl the dogged Arundel Castle opening batsmen and finished with figures of 1 for 31 off 5 overs.

With the game finely in the balance the Lavant skipper toyed with what to do next in the final overs of the game to try and wrestle back the momentum. He decided that pace off was the way to go (in the hope it would frustrate and slow the counter attack) and turned to James C…. and boy did he deliver.

I have to give a special mention to James. He stood near me most of the game and we chatted often about the game situation. Even after doing tea and batting 11 he was quite prepared (for the good of the team) not to bowl if the game situation meant it wasn’t plausible and for long periods it looked to be the case. I think the willingness to do what is required for what is best for the team and the game situation is something that should be applauded and admired.

However, the Lavant skipper did at this particular moment fell like James C was the way to go and boy did he deliver! Holding his nerve James was able to frustrate and clean bowl the dangerous #7 batsman! James C finished with 2 for 21 off his 5 overs and was able swing the game back into Lavant’s favour.

At the other end the Lavant skipper (again after much deliberation) threw the ball to Dave. After seeing his anger at cricket balls (after being assaulted by one) the feeling was that he might like the thought of throwing one into the ground to let it know not to take him on ever again.

Set with aggressive fields (and looking for the win) Dave not only held his nerve in the final overs of the game and delivered the two crucial wickets to get Lavant over the line for an amazing win (Dave finishing with 2 for 13 off 3 overs)!

With Arundel Castle 161 all out Lavant had held their nerve to hold out for an amazing victory against strong opponents.

It was another great game of cricket and was amazing to witness the Lavant team spirit in full force. Everyone stuck together and kept going and encouraged all the way throughout. It’s easy to do this when things are going well and the runs are being kept in check but to do it when the momentum had clearly shifted and a loss was looking more likely was even more special.

This means the man of the match and champagne moments are probably the hardest to decide this week as honestly there are so many stand out things that come to mind but …

Man of the match goes to Justin for standing up in the face of good bowling and playing an important role in glueing the innings together and building an important platform against tough bowling conditions whilst looking to go through the gear later. Then to come out and bowl so well and keep the opening batsmen contained.

Champagne moment Dave B for grabbing onto a low, hard catch from a ball that was travelling from the set #3 batsman at a critical point of the game. I had the best view of it and it was some catch (even though Dave didn’t seem too bothered about it …maybe he really doesn’t like cricket balls now).

Very well done everyone. On to the next!!

Lavant scoreboard

Arundel scoreboard

Walberton v Lavant Midweek Match Report – Wed 19th Jun

On a glorious sunny evening in West Sussex, the unbeaten Mid-week Warriors travelled to Walberton with hopes of continuing their great start to the summer. The team, which included some LCC T20 debutantes (Lloyd, Nathan and Martin) was a strong one and expectations were high. However, mentally (and literally) I was somewhere between a night out in Cardiff and my bed. And it showed, when I let my concentration slip and stupidly called heads instead of tails. I rue that error of judgement as I’m left wondering what could have been.

Walberton elected to bat first on a dry, bouncy wicket, with the sun high in the sky and a new ball that just flew off the bat, despite the dogged determination of Lavant’s 5 seam bowlers. We weren’t bowling badly, but they were good, and comfortably picking off 10/over. We mixed it up, spread the field, but they kept finding the gaps (or going over the top) and despite 3 of them retiring and Lavant picking up 2 wickets, their batting quality went deep into the line-up. A real treat for me was watching Martin David Ford (aged 45 & 191 days – as Cricinfo states), coming in off 2 paces and bowling twice as fast as me, (a spiritedly 42 yrs. old, galloping in off 18 paces fuelled by the previous night’s Aperol spritz’s). As mentioned, we got a brace of wickets, both fine catches from our other two T20 debutantes, Nathan and Lloyd, and towards the end we did manage to haul the run rate back in and Walberton ended their innings on 170/2, just 8.5 an over.

With a dose of Lavant optimism, Joe and Jim strode out to the middle to commence our reply. Jim, despite having as he claims “a solid stretching session”, pulled a hammy running a second and got run out. Fortunately, he made it back to the pavilion before the vet and screens were called on, but it does continue our terrible injury run of form we’re having at the moment. And I hope you make a swift recovery Jim!

Iain took his place and looked to score fast, but was picked off by a great catch.

Martin was the next to go lbw.

Then sadly Nathan was also caught before we enjoyed a moment of resilience and hope from Will (30).

All this time at the other end, Joe had been casually going about his business, picking off the bad balls and batting solidly to get to 25 and retire.

Rob stuck around and notched up a useful 9, guided entirely through the slip cauldron, before leaving me and Lloyd to finish the Lavant innings off with a few big heaves down to cow corner.

We got to 125 in the end, some distance off competing but not humiliating.

Tricky conditions as well as the Walberton ground is orientated to have the sun set right behind the bowler’s arm which at 8pm is no easy challenge! Well played though to all, against a very strong village T20 team. We just need to ‘shake it off’ and go again.

Walberton scoreboard

Lavant scoreboard

Walberton v Lavant Match Report – Sun 23rd Jun

On the 23rd June something amazing happened… the English summer finally arrived!

After a change in fixture the mighty Lavant travelled to Walberton on a warm day to play a 35 over game knowing it could be a tough game against a Walberton side stocked with young and fit cricketers.

However, there can be no replacement for ‘experience’ and the Lavant side was bursting at the seams with ‘experience’ so the team remained calm and focused. The Lavant captain lost the toss and Walberton decided to have a bowl.

After waking up… I mean… breaking the news to the Lavant team the top order strapped on the batting pads and headed out to the middle looking to post a competitive total. GAME ON!

The innings started in the same fashion that the club has started to become accustomed to with Justin looking to stand firm and build an innings while the Lavant captain at the other end trying to take the attack to the opening bowlers and get the team off to a good start.

However, disaster struck when Justin blocked a ball then hit inside of his foot and rolled onto the stump with just enough of a nudge to displace a bail being bowled for 5.

After scoring a quick fire 19 the Lavant skipper was also removed getting carried away trying to smash a length ball into the pavilion and being cleaned up. Not the start the team was hoping for.

Harry took to the middle and was, as always, able to bring some calm and class to the innings and get things back on track.

At the other end ‘super’ Steve Brooker (back into the side after an intense recovery period) returned to the fold from the ever-growing Lavant injury list.

After steadying the ship (and playing some lovely shots) Harry fell to a good catch for 29 which brought Will to the middle.

Will and Steve both took on the task of moving the innings forward and both batted extremely well with a perfect balance of hitting gaps, running hard and pouncing anything loose to dispatch it to the boundary. With the Lavant team debating what would be a good score both batsmen did the critical thing of keeping the scoreboard ticking before upping the ante at the right stage to push the scoring along.

Both men picked up deserved first half centuries of the season (and Will’s first for the club) with Steve ending with 62 not out and Will with 64. There was one negative from the terrific partnership (and all the twos and singles they both ran) that Will pulled up sharply during a run. The team hoped it was just cramp but at tea it looked like the Lavant injury curse had struck again.

Barely being able to run, Will was inevitably run out which allowed Lloyd to come in for a brief cameo to push the Lavant total for 204 for 4 off their 35 overs.

Even though it appeared to be a good score the team knew the quality of the Walberton batting from 1 to 6 and that they were very capable of chasing any total.

Tea was taken, discussions about the euros/cricket world cup happened and wind was broken (it must be the bananas) … Lavant returned to the field looking to keep the run rate under control.

With Will struggling he decided to only bowl off a couple of steps and yes… he is one of those annoying types who can still put the ball where he wants without much of a run up. Not like anyone was complaining mind! Will certainly set the tone keeping the ball in areas that were hard to hit and tying up an end.

At the other end James C (with a change in role/responsibility) took the other opening bowling slot and for 3 overs continued the good work keeping the runs down and giving the Lavant captain control of the game.

However, once Will had removed one of the opening batsmen it was clear the directive from Walberton was to go on the attack and push the scoring on.

With the Lavant captain shuffling his bowling attack to get through the overs it came to the ‘King’ Richard, Phil ‘Safe hands’ Allen and Dave ‘The Shoes’ Burford to enter the attack and try to keep the Walberton batters contained. All three came on during a tough period of the game with the Walberton powerhouse batsmen up and running and looking to smash the ball to all parts. With the plan to try and take the game as deep as possible all three stuck to their tasks brilliantly and didn’t fold under the pressure of batsmen going hard at them.

With the game momentum in Walberton’s favour (being 105 for 1 with 16 overs left) Dave came up with a critical wicket to remove the set opening batsmen (with a very smart catch from Lloyd running in from the deep).

With the next Walberton batsmen coming in and getting up to speed quickly Lavant captain turned to Justin to try and make the breakthrough and wrestle the momentum back and was certainly rewarded!

Justin rose to the challenge and came steaming in hitting the pitch hard and started to ask questions of the batsmen. And then came the crucial breakthrough of taking the wicket of the set #3 (who has passed 50 and was looking comfortable) forcing him to hit a shot in the air straight to Richard who snaffled a great catch low down at extra cover.

With boundaries starting to be hard to find Will returned and was also able to pick up another crucial top order batsman being hit plumb in front of all three.

Suddenly the door was open and the Lavant team could sense it in the field. The encouragement and effort from everyone rose which appeared to spur Justin on who tore into the middle order. Finding his radar quickly Justin zoned in on the stumps and was able to dispatch 3 batsmen by bowling them all.

At the other end Dave had returned and also straight away got back into the action picking up two wickets in one over. With Walberton needing 25 off the last two overs Justin finished the game off taking the last wicket taking the edge through to the keeper (with the famous bowled Murray caught Blow going in the score book).

Lavant had managed to wrap up a brilliant win against a strong side and the post-match atmosphere/banter in the changing room and at the pub afterwards was great to be a part of.

The only negative was Lavant picking up YET ANOTHER injury. I guess this is what happens when you have such an ‘experienced’ side. With the current long Lavant injury list (and so many people on the treatment table right now) rumours that Phil has a new job… becoming the Lavant Chief Healer/Physio! Certainly, we could keep him busy right now.

And if payment is a concern the club could fund Phils salary by maybe selling a charity Lavant calendar (I’ll be Mr July). We could all wear our new club hats… if they ever arrive.

Has anyone seen Will… I think I saw him leaving in a new car wearing a Rolex.

Failing that I’m sure the club can find the money from somewhere… surely Dave’s got a lot of life left in those shoes…

After so many great performances across the board from batting to bowling to fielding the man of the match goes to Will for a brilliant knock of 64 and also being able to bowl practically on one leg and do his best in the field.

As much as I would like to give the champagne moment to myself for my snake hips gyrating to get a stumping off my box, I think everyone knows as captain I don’t agree with awarding these accolades to myself… So, this week’s champagne moment goes to Richard’s catch off Justin. Not only was it such a great grab from a ball that was seriously travelling but mainly in the context of the game it was a vital moment that swung the momentum back in our favour. Once again well done everyone and onto the next one!

Lavant scoreboard

Walberton scoreboard

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