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The Brunswick v The Sussex Martlets

(Friday 29 July 2016)

Brighton Brunswick 234-7. Sussex Martlets 208-10

The Sussex Martlets won the toss and put the Brunswick into bat in a 40 over match on a hard fast and true wicket in the middle of the square at the Sussex County Cricket Ground Hove. According to Greg Denton, Deputy Head Groundsman, there were plenty of runs in a wicket which had been hardly used in the rain effected T20 Sussex match against Glamorgan in the abandoned match the night before and had been top rated by the Umpires.

And so it proved to be, with the Brunswick putting up a score of 234 runs off its 40 allotted overs.

Top scorer was Brad Gayler who batting at number 4 provided the backbone of the Brunswick innings with a fine 75 runs. He came to the crease together with Connor Golding after the opening batsmen Chris Grammer and Dan Phillips had been dismissed with 56 on the board off 12 overs. All the Brunswick batsmen provided invaluable support to Gayler as he plundered the Martlets bowling. Golding with 25, Victor Davies 32, Jonny Phelps a quick hard hit 38, Mike Rose 13 and Carl Simon 23 off 11 balls, kept up the scoring momentum against a tight Martlets bowling attack. But it was Gayler who masterminded the Brunswick final total of 234, with a well-controlled and mature innings which contained four 4s and two 6s.

But the feature of the Martlets was not their bowling but their wonderful fielding. This certainly restricted the Brunswick's final score of 234 by at least 30 runs. A good crowd of Brunswick members and supporters were treated to a feast of incredulous Martlets catches amongst which the most outstanding was that which dismissed Callum Smith. Smith hitting a leg-side full toss to what everyone thought was a certain boundary saw Darryl Rebbetts sprint around the boundary to take a catch one-handed and at full stretch only inches from the ground.

The Martlets opening batsmen Dan Smith and Marcus Campopiano struggled against the opening Brunswick fast bowling attack of Carl Simon and Victor Davies. With Simon restricting them to only 3 runs off his first 5 overs and Davies sending both opening batsmen back for 14 and 1 apiece, the Martlets were soon behind the clock with their scoring rate at 27 for 2 off 10 overs.

The Brunswick captain Callum Smith rang his bowling changes well and with the introduction of the spin of Josh Beeslee and Becca Silk, while the batsmen’s scoring rate accelerated, they were never in total control of the bowling or achieved the needed score rate. Batsmen Darryl Rebbetts and Walter Hutchu, when appearing capable of accelerating the scoring rate, saw Hatchu mistime a well flighted ball from Beeslee and spooned a catch to Davies at mid-wicket for 28. 68-3 off 17 overs.

Mike Rose, left arm spin replaced Becca Silk from the sea end and he soon had the batsmen in trouble, bowling Jack-Fletcher-Price for 24, having Vish Patel LBW for 0 and Joe Pockington caught by Callum Smith in the slips for only 2 the Martlets were reduced to 127-6 off 28 overs.

Matt Reynolds joined Rebbetts and with only 12 over left and another 107 required, these two started to farm the Brunswick bowling. Rebbetts reached a fine 50 with quick single off Jonny Phelps. But with the score on 168 and a possible, although distant victory in sight, on 58 he was out to the second spectacular catch of the day. Pulling a short ball from the spin of Jonny Phelps around to square leg, the ball spearing only inches from the ground found the safe hands of Becca Silk who bravely took a cannon ball catch stretching forwards only inches from the ground. With all the Brunswick players gathered around congratulating Becca with “high-fives” and she oblivious to anything more than the sting of the catch, she suddenly found the force of the ball had split her hand and had to be taken hospital. Safe to say that after treatment with glue to a nasty gash, she is well today. But the damage to the Martlets innings was now complete.

Although, spirited innings by Matt Reynolds 28 N.O. and Ben Davies 37 took the score to over 200, the return of Carl Simon and introduction of the medium fast bowling of Connor Golding, saw these two take the final three wickets in 4 overs. With Golding 2-12 and Simon 1-8 the Martlets were dismissed for 208 runs, 27 runs short of their final target with only 8 balls to go.

This was a great cricket match played by both sides in the true spirit of the game and most importantly in the wonderful home of Sussex cricket at the County Ground in Hove. A ground where the Brunswick has many happy memories of matches played there and hopefully many more in the future.

Thanks must go to all the staff of the County Ground for all their support on the day and especially to Andy Mackay, Head Groundsman, his Deputy Greg Denton and their ground-staff for providing such an excellent cricket wicket.

Man of the match goes to Brunswick's Brad Gayler for his fine innings of 75 and his wicket-keeping.

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