THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON SEES MARTLETS SECURE MAXIMUM (Thanks Ian Flower)
On a beautiful afternoon in Martley, Dom Jones won the toss and elected to bat with James Ganderton making his first league appearance back at Jewry Field in seven years. The hungover bat said he concentrated better with a few whiskeys in him, and who could argue at 4pm. A devastating opening partnership with Richard Birchley saw them take the score to 131-0 off 24 hours before Birch was caught for 32. Tom Vale's previous week's efforts were quickly forgotten as he perished without troubling the scorers after drifting out of his crease and wofting at one before Alexander Basford(16) was bowled and skipper Dom Jones (15) was snaffled by the Rushwick keeper whose sharp hands brought another stumping. At 203-4 off 37, Martley had had a slight collapse but Ganderton held tight, dispatching the bowling to all parts as he cruised to his ton before slamming one back at the bowler who took a decent catch to remove the main man for 119. Ian Flower made a surprise appearance and added 13 before being bowled but in came the steroid-induced Dan Johnson to bash three big sixes on his way to 61 not out as Daniel Mayfield(10) and Simon Van Tongeren(4) helped him steer the total to one better than last week at 319-8.
Top-of-the-league Rushwick struggled from the off as Mark Johnson and brother Dan strangled the openers before both got their reward as the visitors faced a daunting task at 30-2 from 11. Dan Johnson needed a break after a brilliant 2-24 in 7 and in came man-of-the-match Gandy (4-59 in 17) who searched for a breakthrough. He needed just one ball to get his first wicket, bowling L Hooper. James Alison Francis (until he joins Facebook I think Alison should be his nickname) came in for a quick spell and despite a few long hops and full tosses, he removed D Metcalf for 24 to finish with 1-24 in 3 and Simon Van Tongeren chipped in to take a wicket as Rushwick's hopes of reaching even three quarters of the score were rapidly diminishing. At 188-9 and nine overs to go, strike bowler Mark Johnson (1-92 in 15) couldn't find the final wicket and an entertaining dolly drop by Mayfs had Martley thinking "Surely we can't cock up another one".
L Probert (52no) and C Jones (24) blasted a 57-run tenth-wicket partnership as they defied the odds to get Rushwick past the three-quarters mark, and a deflated-looking Martley were sensing deja vu as the visitors looked set for an unlikely losing draw. However, up stepped the hillbilly Si Van Tongeren to bowl the penultimate over. He may not know how to wash his clothes, do his hair, or get anything right when it comes to general hygiene, but nobody could keep their hands off of him when, with his last ball, of the 49th over, he yorked the number 11 to earn the Martley boys a well-deserved 24 points.
A class performance and a prime example of why you never, ever give up. Great to have Ian Flower back on the pitch with bags of energy, would be great to see him on a more regular basis, but Gandy stole the show with his all-round display. Maybe get a few more whiskeys in you next Friday night so you get a 5-for?!
The Goose turns the
other cheek in Martley win
A warm, sunny day greeted the Martley lads to Penlu, home of Tenbury CC and after Jon Magahan won the toss and asked Tenbury to bat working on the basis that what ever they gave umpiring will set the precedent. The first 5 overs did not go to plan with Tenbury 57 without loss, with Ben Court taking most of the punishment in fact a less lenient umpire could of ended his afternoons bowling after 1 over, but he struck back to take the first wicket and with Tej Daniels chipping in at the other end Martley started to claw things back. With Si Butler brought into the attack for a miserly spell, no doubt spurred on by the purchase of a new pair of boots, the run rate started to reduce dramatically. Will Edwards on his first appearance of the summer also bowled a tidy off side line taking a wicket in his first over, the edge being snaffled behind by Tom Butler. There then followed a stubborn 5th wicket stand of 80 that put Tenbury in the driving seat but better fielding and tighter bowling from Mad Dog Ganderton (3/20) saw the home side restricted to 222 for 8 (Richie Benauds favourite)
The Martlets reply got off to a steady start with both openers wary of the slow low pitch. Magahan was first to perish driving a catch to mid on this brought Martin Sweet to the crease bristling with intent after his indoor endeavours and after edging two consecutive fours between the keeper and first slip swore blind they were late cuts and were a consequence of indoor batting. Following some lusty blow’s the introduction of the pie throwers saw Sweet perish for 30, meanwhile Jim Basford was moving along serenely at the other end and things looked fine for the visitors but two quick wickets meant there was work to be done. An intact Rob Ganderton joined Basford in the middle and the veteran duo set about the home attack until on 185 Basford’s lack of fitness and need of a beer saw him stumped for 87 aiming into the neighbouring housing estate. The loss of Butler snr saw Butler jnr(16no) enter the fray who along with the Goose took Martley to the brink of victory. There is a twist, Ganderton attempted to pull a waist high full toss into the trees but only succeeded in top edging it into his cheek bone narrowly missing his glasses. A dramatic gush of blood saw the ageing slogger retire to the hospital next door later to reappear with an ice pack and no break, but the ball was kept in for observation. Meanwhile back at the ranch the 2 runs needed were knocked off and Martley could celebrate their first win of the year
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