MCC help Walberton celebrate - now they're heading for West Wittering

Walberton and the MCC
Walberton and the MCC

On the most perfect of mid-summer days, the MCC visited Walberton to play the village side in an all-day match, marking the club’s 150th anniversary.

They won the toss and batted first. Despite having first choice of an easy-paced wicket, they made a shaky start against the lively pace bowling of cousins Josh and Ben Kemp and after 20 minutes they were 8-2.

The Hilliers at Priory Park

The Hilliers at Priory Park

They recovered and at lunch they were 106-3. The early afternoon period was dominated by D Winder who went on to score a century and in doing so won £100 in vouchers from the sponsors Hilton Avisford Park Hotel. The MCC eventually declared at 260-5.

Josh Kemp was the most successful Walberton bowler with 2-38.

In reply Walberton were always struggling against high-class pace and spin bowling and were eventually dismissed for a creditable 118, losing by 142 runs. The main scorers were Jonny Maynard with 31 and Richard Lockwood with 22.

Not surprisingly Winder was made man of the match with a trophy presented by the Mellor Practice, the other match sponsor.

The occasion was thought to be the biggest sporting event to have ever taken place in Walberton and during course of the day nearly 250 people visited the ground.

The MCC impressed all who attended with their immaculate dress and impeccable manners together with the high level of sportsmanship one would expected from the biggest and most famous cricket club in the world.

It was a day to remember for all who participated on and off the field.

* West Wittering Cricket Club are inviting the whole community to share in their 100th birthday celebrations as they host a match against the illustrious Marylebone Cricket Club this Sunday.

With players such as Sussex Cricket CEO and England rugby legend Rob Andrew, as well as a team full of first-class cricketers, it should be a fantastic spectacle.

There will be food and drink trucks to keep guests fed and watered and there will be a silent auction with lots including a week’s stay in the French Alps.

The club’s celebrations have included a womens softball festival, school cricket match, a number of T20s and a disability cricket festival, which involved 60 participants from four local centres enjoying cricket at the Millennium Meadow.

The club are inviting all past players’ to come along this Saturday from 1pm, as West Wittering’s first XI take on Southwater, with already 50-plus past players confirmed.

Entry to the MCC match on Sunday is freeE and parking will be available. There is a kids’ coaching session from 10am and the match begins at 11.30am.

* Cricket and friendship were the winners at Priory Park, Chichester, when Nathan Hillier became the fourth generation of his family to play at the ground.

It was a fantastic day for past players, officials and supporters of Chichester Priory Park – with time to reminisce and remember games past as well as watching some fine cricket from the New South Wales Combinbed High Schools team and their CPP hosts.

The visitors gained the spoils, chasing down 270 or so runs to win but the result was secondary, with new friendships forged.

After a toss overseen by Jamie Hall, former CPPCC and Sussex opening batsman, the home side decided to bat. Fine innings by James Stemp, Geof Price and Elliott Scott saw an imposing total formed.

Nathan Hillier steamed in to bowl to his brother Jack, who returned fire with a delightful tuck off his pads for four on his way to 17. Nathan returned 1-10 off his four overs on his debut at Priory Park, where, as we reported last week, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all played.

The home team tried their best to defend their total but a number of the tourists showed their talent with the bat under the hot sun.

Old CPPCC team mates and officials looked on in a real celebration of the clubs past.

Paul Hillier, dad of Nathan, who moved to Australia many years ago, said: “It was a memorable and emotional day - catching up again a number of my team-mates from the 1990s including Jamie Hall, David Briance, John Edwards and Mike Alder.

“Mick Page presented the park in outstanding order and it was a real highlight to catch up with the likes of Richard Briance and Nigel Smith, who oversaw much of the club’s success in that period.

“Sue Price and her helpers provided all with an afternoon tea. A special mention must go to one of the great characters in my time at the club, Murray Lee-Smith, who traveled down from Leicester to be at the game.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Barnes and Hillier families for making the day possible as well as Graeme Bennison of the current club committee and the umpires and scorers.

“The boys will have unforgettable memories of the day. The rematch has already been booked in for 2021!”

* The ECB women’s soft-ball cricket festival takes place at Godowood CC this Sunday but Sussex Women are now able to play Goodwood.

Goodwood will now play Stirlands instead. The ECB women’s softball festival starts at 10am and Alexia Walker (Sussex coach) and three other county players) will be there to assist.

Goodwood v Burpham

Goodwood lost the toss and Burpham decided to bat.

Derek Price was Goodwood’s star fielder, also taking a good catch almost out of the hands of bowler Graeme Bennison.

Dan Brown opened the bowling and picked up an early wicket. He ended with figures of 1-24. Mike Smith (1-49) picked up a wicket in his second over and at one stage Burpham were 26-2.

Bain (87) and Horne (46) put on 108 for the third wicket. Peter Lamb bowled two spells, ending with 2-49.

Graeme and Matt Bennison kept things tighter, Graeme taking 2-22. Stanley Mayne (3-48) was the pick of the bowlers again. Burpham finished on 226-9.

Graeme Bennison was unlucky not to get 50, falling on 48. Mike Smith struck 15 but wickets fell at regular intervals.

Dan Brown (28) and Whitby (19) played their shots but Goodwood finished short on 186-9 – with a few late hold-ups while the players checked how a rather bigger game taking place on Sunday was going.