To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Walberton CC, the MCC, the most famous cricket club in the world, have agreed to visit on Sunday, June 30, to play the village club in a special match.
Play commences at 11.30am and to ensure this is a major community event, admission is free.
It is being sponsored by The Mellor Practice, a firm of independent financial advisers who have offices at Arundel and Worthing.
Sims Williams, the local estate agents, have designed a special shirt for all the Walberton players and The Hilton Avisford Park Hotel have sponsored a commemorative match handbook featuring the history of the club in addition to a flyer which will be delivered to most residences in the village.
To celebrate the Hilton’s 100-year anniversary the hotel will award £100 of vouchers to the player who scores the first century in the match. The new Walberton Place Care Home are trying to locate the oldest living ex-Walberton player with the offer of lunch for him and his family.
Cricket has been played at Walberton in all of the past 150 years, war years apart, with the village green its home. In the post-war years when Avisford Park was a private school the club used to play their August home games on the school grounds during the summer holiday closure.
From 1948, the Jackson family dominated Walberton cricket. Roy Jackson, who lived opposite the ground all his married life, served the club as captain, chairman and president for 70 years. He died on Boxing Day last year.
His late wife Joan was the club’s tea lady for more than 50 years with her 50th anniversary receiving extensive media coverage.
Roy’s son Christopher has also lifelong connections as a player as did his grandson Nicholas, a former captain, until his recent retirement from the game.
A look at the Sussex League top scorers
Walberton CC have always prided themselves on a commitment to playing in the true spirit of village cricket and for more than 30 years have chosen to play Sunday recreational cricket in preference to Saturday league cricket.
This remains popular with many of their traditional opponents, many of whom come from afar to play on the village Green and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and the hospitality of a sit-down tea.
Sussex League round-up
It is hoped that blessed with decent weather the MCC match will attract a good-sized crowd. VIP representatives from West Sussex County Council, Arun District Council and Walberton Parish Council have been invited.
Many ex-Walberton players are being contacted in the hope of forming an old players’ reunion.
The match starts at 11.30am with lunch 1.30pm to 2.30pm and tea scheduled from 4.40pm to 5pm. At the expected conclusion, around 6.30pm, Laurie Mellor of The Mellor Practice will make a presentation to the man of the match.
Around the grounds
Bognor Ladies v Henfield Ladies
T20 League Group 2
Bognor’s ladies took centre stage at the Regis Oval against Henfield in a T20 double-header.
Fielding first in game one, Bognor’s ladies contained Henfield to 65-6, Keira Nanson and Gemma Halford grabbing two wickets apiece for Bognor.
The Duchesses started strongly and led by Sandra Yee with 23 not out, Bognor’s ladies won by seven wickets.
In game two, Henfield upped the ante to finish on 96-2; however the no-nonsense pairing of Yee and Becky Landy led the charge as Bognor’s ladies won by ten wickets. The victories keep them in second place.
Elsted v Ashling
Ashling found runs very hard to come by on their visit to Elsted as a combination of a damp pitch and accurate pace bowling restricted their innings to 91-8.
Only Nic Loubser, who batted throughout the innings to grind out 39, and Ian Craig, who contributed a late 21, made any real impression on the home bowlers. Archie Wadey and Andy White took three wickets each.
With the sun out and the pitch drying, Elsted were always going to be in a strong position to chase down the required runs, and despite wickets from Steve Harvey and Adam Shaul, dropped catches in the field kept the pressure off the home team.
Elsted won comfortably by eight wickets with an unbroken third-wicket partnership between Archie Wadey (32*) and Ellams (28*) seeing them home.
Goodwood v Steyning 1
Under the Festival of Speed Ferris Wheel Goodwood entertained Steyning.
James Mayne won the toss and decided to bat. Mike Smith carved away a brisk 38 but nobody stuck around long enough and it was only when Graeme Bennison (32) and Matt Geffen (32*) put some runs on the board that Goodwood had a semi-defendable total, finishing on 167 after 40 overs.
Steyning made steady and comparable progress and at drinks they were 82-2. Smith conceded only 16 runs in his eight overs.
Runs came from LD Chapman (32), GWM Issacs (30*) and TH Chalmers (15*). Notable bowling contributions came from James Mayne (4-31), Matt de Lacey (2-38) and Tim Pitman (1-30).
A great catch by Geffen coming in from deep enabled James Mayne to take the wicket of Chalmers. Goodwood’s fielding tightened up but Steyning knocked off the runs with just more than an over to spare.