To start their 2018 Sunday fixtures, Aldwick chose to play the inaugural Ryan Purvis Memorial Match against a team of ex-Aldwick players captained by Ryan’s close friend Ian Guppy.
Well-known Aldwick player and Rocks fan Ryan died at the age of 26 last October.
The Ryan Purvis XI batted first and Ryan Maskell (43*), Dan Robinson (27), Sean Maskell (28) and Josh Sargeant (26) produced consistent displays against the ten Aldwick bowlers.
The Purvis XI finished on 176-6 with John Young the most economical bowler with 1-10 from his overs.
In reply, Aldwick lost Alex Cooper (10) early on but opening partner Ed White (70*) carried his bat until he retired near the end. White’s batting partners found runs hard to come by in important spells by Josh Sargeant (2-6) and Josh Bingham (2-13). Aldwick finished on 126-9.
But it was a day to celebrate Ryan and support his children Annabel and Rileigh, who were present throughout and rightly proud of their dad when the trophy was presented to Ryan’s team.
Aldwick v Emsworth
Glorious weather, a friendly atmosphere and any early examination of the Aldwick strip produced a game where Emsworth were victorious after players from both sides had gained valuable early-season practice.
Batting first, Aldwick made a respectable 168-9 in their 40 overs. Star of the show was Josh Mann (47) followed by good knocks from Alex Cooper (28) and Tom Hoare (25). Pick of the bowlers for Emsworth was Paul Needham with 3-52.
Aldwick bowlers Liam Hicks (3-41) and Paul Gibbs (2-15) did their best to prevent a home defeat but Barnie James’ knock of 71 was enough to take Emsworth to victory with four overs to spare.
Lavant v Westbourne
Lavant’s groundsmen had worked very hard to prepare a pitch for the opening game of the season. However, the winter rain meant the pitch was soft and spongy and the outfield grass couldn’t be cut as short as it should be.
Both sides found batting hard, with the ball digging into the pitch and not coming on to the bat.
Westbourne won the toss and invited Lavant to bat. Only Ian Rawnsley reached double figures with 11. Extras top-scored for Lavant, accumulating 29 runs until Lavant were all out for 71.
Westbourne struggled, losing their first three wickets without scoring. Lavant’s hopes were high for a dramatic defence of their total, but Bentley hit a quick 32 and despite other wickets falling around him, he took Westbourne to the brink of victory before he was bowled by Lavant’s new captain Steve Brooker.
Westbourne completed their victory, winning by one wicket.