MCC help West Wittering celebrate a notable century

West Wittering and the MCC line up for the match / Picture Sarah Williams Photography
West Wittering and the MCC line up for the match / Picture Sarah Williams Photography

West Wittering Cricket Club celebrated their centenary with a week of festivities for the whole community.

Peace Celebration Day - July 19, 1919 - was noted as the start of the club, thought to have been instigated by Henry Royce and his workers.

West Wittering CC's DIScoverABILITY Day

West Wittering CC's DIScoverABILITY Day

The centenary week began with a women’s softball cricket festival, in which more than 20 women played, some for the very first time, which has further developed the women’s section at the club.

Other events included T20s against club veterans and Rolls Royce, as well as a past players’ day, bringing back nearly 50 club members who have since retired or stopped playing. The club were proud to host a ‘DIScoverABILITY’ Cricket Festival with the assistance of Sussex Cricket Foundation for 70 adults with learning and physical disabilities from Apuldram Centre, Aldingbourne Trust Strawford Centre and Wrenford Centre, who all took part in a morning filled with fun cricket matches.

The finale was a magical encounter against the guardians of the laws of the game of cricket, Marylebone Cricket Club.

The sun was shining and the toss was won by club skipper Carl Tupper. The MCC were asked to bat on a track that had been in the making for three months.

The marquees were full before the first ball had been bowled and trade at the food and drink tents were in full flow. A real community event, the club welcomed near on 500 people through the gate at the Millennium Meadow to experience a fantastic game of cricket.

MCC started off their innings with ex-England fly half Rob Andrew batting with DJ Bunning. It was a slow but steady start against Harry Staight (1-35) and Joe Pink (0-32). Staight grabbing the first scalp of the day with the rugby legend and CEO of Sussex County Cricket Club back in the shed after dragging on for one. In came Surrey 2nd XI’s FDC Austint.

Bunning and Austin were solid but Kieran Baker claimed Bunning, clean bowled for 27. Ed Lowe joined the flashing blade of Austin and the score was rising, despite tight spells from youngsters Alex Fitzgerald (0-33) and Sam Caddy (0-33).

On came Mark Brien and Kevin Allsobrook – with 1000 league wickets between them and more than 70 years of senior cricket – and they slowed the scoring.

After a superb lunch Wittering took back to the field and Tupper dismissed Austin lbw for 79. Henry Don joined Lowe who went on to score 100 not out with Don,32 not out.

For Wittering, Brandon Trimmer was excellent behind the stumps with the gloves and Ben Doyle was energetic and tremendous around the square. The MCC declared on 258-3.

The opening West Wittering pair of Mark Taylor and Gareth Lendrum faced the MCC opening bowlers’ electric pace and skill and Taylor was caught for nine, then Lendrum went for 10, both off Austin.

Andy Priest was contentiously out lbw and it was 47-3 at tea and players and guests were treated to a rousing speech from club president Jim Robertson and some superb cake.

After the interval, Tupper and Trimmer moved the score on but fell for 31 and 29. Caddy and Staight ensured the score quickly rose.

Andrew took some stick with the aggressive Staight bludgeoning the ball to the rope, while Caddy stroked the ball into the gaps with skill and craft.

MCC captain Steve Salisbury brought back the impressive Austin (7-50) to trap 15-year-old Caddy for 36, then Staight edged closer to his first century. He fell for a career-best 94, leaving Wittering about 35 short of the total with two overs to go. At this point, Wittering settled in for a draw, with Baker and Pink in at the end, Wittering finished on 227-9.

It was a fantastic occasion for West Wittering and the community, and the club thanked all their supporters for their kind words and gestures across the Centenary Week.

Pictures: Sarah Williams Photography

Lavant v Boxgrove

It was touch and go whether the return derby match between these two teams would be played but the rain eased and it was decided to go ahead on a sticky Lavant wicket with a very damp, slow outfield.

Somehow Lavant ended up with 12 players and Boxgrove only ten, so Lavant’s Mark Sullivan was loaned to Boxgrove.

Boxgrove asked Lavant to bat, and Henry Anscombe defended the first ball, left the second and carted the third ball over long off, over the pavilion and into the car park for a huge six. The fourth ball was belted for four through mid wicket.

Anscombe continued in the same style to make 53 before steepling a catch to mid-on. He was ably supported by Tom Cole, Danny Berkley and Dave Burford.

Mark Sullivan tormented Lavant’s batsmen with his leg spin and being very keen to impress on his loan debut, took 4-16 in six overs as the tail of Lavant’s innings crumbled to end on 187-9.

Lavant skipper Ian Rawnsley set an attacking field which paid dividends and Boxgrove were soon 22-3. Mark Holl and Foster steadied the Boxgrove reply but once they were out, and Boxgrove were 67-5, the rest of their innings collapsed with some poor running and extravagant shots as the lower order batsmen tried to chase down the runs.

Lee Russell had a fine bowling spell returning 4-41 with Danny Berkley taking-2-9. Boxgrove were all out for 86.

Ebernoe CC v Lynchmere CC

The village’s Horn Fair was the backdrop as Ebernoe elected to bat first against Lynchmere. Aaron Carter and Drew Clark quickly put on 65 for the first wicket before Carter was caught for 24. Clark was out for 71.

The middle order contributed another 50 before captain Richard Stemp built an innings of 72 before being caught by Tim Howard. Keeper Mike Charman took four good catches,leaving Ebernoe all out in 43.4 overs for 270. Richard Saulet took 4-33 and Ed Taylor-Goodby 3-35.

Lynchmere lost two early wickets, but a steady partnership of Richard Saulet and Adam Forde saw 100 on the board, before both were caught by Carter in the same over for 64 and 42.

As the run rate slipped in the heat, Ebernoe restricted Lynchmere to 199-9 off 45 overs. Matthew Gibbs (celebrating his birthday) finished with 4-33 and Aaron Carter 2 -21.

Lord Egremont was on hand to present the Horns trophy to Stemp as the highest scoring batsman on the winning side.