WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS !!!!!
Martley 140/3 (Sweet 32*, Flower 29, Ganderton 27*, Van Tongeren 25*
Malvern A 60/3 (Ganderton 3-0-9-1, Van Tongeren 2-0-13-1)
Martley win by 80 runs
In the week that Arsene Wenger announced his retirement, another group of invincible forged their way into the history books completing the perfect 100% season.
Martley lost the toss and were asked to bat first - despite Flower's inability to win the toss of coin, nobody has challenged Martley to a chase all season! Birthday boy Martin Sweet was promoted to open the batting with Flower. The pair started at a relatively sedate pace, with Sweet keen to take on board the advice from Geoffrey Boycott following his chance meeting several years previously. Flower reached 25 in the 6th over and Sweet one over later, at which point as one spectator described it 'the real deal arrived to show how it should be done'. James Ganderton and Simon Van Tongerenweren't hanging around. Ganderton reached 25 in just 9 deliveries including an all run 5! VT was no slouch getting to retirement in only 12 balls. The pair took 45 off just 3 overs as the score accelerated to 110 off 9 overs. The one blot on VT's copy book was running out Lewis Bridges without facing a ball. Debutant Si Butler took to the game like a duck to water and briskly reached 10 before his demise, the opening pair returned to take the final total to 140.
Our opponents reply didn't get off to the best start when Simon Van Tongeren's great stop and Flower's smart take saw to the Malvern opening bat. Si Butler continued to impress with his tidy left arm spin going for just 13 from his alloted 3 overs. Ganderton came into the attack and was disappointed to see Simon Van Tongeren put down a sharp change at point. To add insult to injury Lewis Bridges then showed how it was done the very next over with a great one handed catch at mid off... however the wicket column flicked to 1 against VTs name rather than Ganderton's. Bridges took a more regulation catch the next over at mid-on to give Ganderton some scant consolation. The side were at their best in the field (VT drop aside) with no byes throughout the innings and a number of good stops to even save just 1 run.
The game petered out as Malvern meandered to 60 off their 12 overs. Even the rare appearance of Martin Sweet's off breaks could tempt them into a more aggressive approach.
As most game's have proved the season, Martley cantered to victory with the foundations built on huge totals through aggressive running, backed up by by great bowling.
Man of the Match: James Ganderton 27 off 9 balls which was a showcase of how to bat in the indoor league. A statement to the skipper that perhaps it is he who should open the batting next season!
Martley finish the season as champions with 7 wins from 7 games. They may opt not to be promoted to the top flight which features National Champions Hagley (who won at the Lords final last month). The Sunday night slot for Division 1 doesn't suit the schedules of the new parents in the side (Patrick Bibby and Martin Sweet) or the Jaegar induced recovery sessions required by mssrs Ganderton and Van Tongeren.
Thank you to everyone who represented Martley Cricket this season. Let's hope the trophy Flower and Van Tongeren will collect this evening won't be the last of 2018 for Martley Cricket