Brighton College X1: J.Appleton (D. 1979-84) (capt.), C.Gates (R. 1985-90), F.Jordan (S. 2004-09), B.Hansford (S. 2003-09), A.Frank (R. 1995-97), S.Howse (A. 1997-2002), K.Stevenson (S.2000-05), Evan Owen-Powell (L. 1989-99), M.Clarke (D. 1988-93), S.Middleton (H. 1986-91) (wk), J.Barr (H. 1997-2002).
The College and other teams were welcomed by Raj Maru (Hampshire CCC) the new coach at Lancing. The draw was done and the College first game would be against Lancing, unfortunately not on the main pitch. Having lost the toss we were inserted. Chris Gates (R. 1985-90) and Alwyn Frank (R. 1995-97) opened the innings for Brighton. As the first ball whizzed pass Chris’ nose from just short of a length we new we were in for a lively pitch. Brighton decided to take the offensive and dealt mainly in boundaries from the top order. Wickets tumbled every few overs but each new batter maintained the scoring rate. We hit 12 sixes altogether in the innings, the largest being a straight blow from Karl Stevenson (S. 2000-05) which went as high as it went long. Ben Hansford (S. 2002-07) bludgeoned his way to 48 with 5 maximums. While all were coming and going the opener Alwyn Frank (R. 1995-97) was quietly going about his business dropping ones here and there to put the big hitters back on strike. He deserved to carry his bat but was out in the penultimate over for gritty 35. The College finished on 183.
The Lancing innings started with a bang for us as their opener edged the first ball from Jools Barr (H. 1997-2002) to keeper Simon Middleton (H. 1986-91) (the first catch of four victims for the gloveman). The first 8 overs proceeded well and we had them on the racks at 54 – 4. This left them needing to score at nearly 11 an over to reach our total. At this point however their captain a left hander began to start striking the boundary at regular intervals. The seamers were becoming cannon fodder to his flashing blade. The Captain turned to himself and Chris Gates (R. 1985-90) for a bit of “it spin” and with some great work behind the stumps by Simon we seamed to have stemmed the tide. Jools Barr (H. 1997-2002) then came back for his final spell to remove their captain with his first ball. Game over it seamed. Unfortunately for us the strong wind kept turning over the runs column on the Lancing scoreboard and with no scorer and an Umpire who seemed more concerned with counting the number of fielders rather than the score, we somehow entered the last over with Lancing needing 13 with the last pair at the wicket. The first three balls only managed singles and with 10 needed off the last three balls it appeared game over again. Two fine shots later this became 2 off the last. The field was split, ½ on the edge of the circle and ½ just off the boundary. Off drive out to extra Evan Owen-Powell charges to the ball clean pick up and throw to Simon who takes the bails off we all turn to the square leg umpire for the decision expecting to celebrate a tie which would put us through to the final on less wickets lost. But not surprisingly the Lancing player standing in as square leg umpire says not out immediately and walks off. Lancing Rovers win by 1 wicket. What makes this even more galling is that during the break between matches we ask Lancing for their book to write up the score only to find that it doesn’t balance by 17 runs between batsmen and extras total.
The cup is gone and we move onto the Plate Final with the losers of the other match Old Blues.
The Captain reverses the batting order with the instructions of go for it. 11.3 overs later be are all out for 137. A fine total in that time with 112 of those runs coming in boundaries. Ben Hansford (S. 2003-09) (70) topped scored in a large stand with Karl Stevenson (S.2000-05) (31).We opened our bowling attack with Alwyn who can’t remember the last time he bowled in a match. Everyone got at least one over before they reached the target. Evan came into the attack with Old Blues needing only 2 runs to reach the target and nearly completed a maiden. The captain wished he had bowled him earlier in the day.
For the records, Eastbourne won the final against Lancing by 25 runs and became the inaugural winners of the competition. The Old Brightonians had a great day and enthusiastically look forward to some better luck and a fulltime scorer or umpire with a run counter for next year.
Old Brightonians v. Lancing Rovers
OBCC 183 – 6 (20 overs) B.Hansford 48 A.Frank 35
Lancing 184 – 9 (20 overs) J.Barr 4-26
Lancing won by 1 wicket
Old Brightonians v. Old Blues
OBCC 137 – 10 (11.3 overs) B.Hansford 70 K.Stevenson 31
Old Blues 138 – 6 (16.5 overs) F.Jordan 2-15
Old Blues won by 4 wickets