pic: FCC top scorer Bill Gourlay delights the crowd with his high elbow.
Lillee & Thommo, Trueman & Statham, Holding & Marshall. Great bowling partnerships which are now joined in the pantheon by Howe & Williams. A combined blitzkrieg of 7-27 ensured victory for Fernhurst in a welcome return of this fixture at Petworth Park. It is to the enormous credit of the hosts that the cricket field has been restored here following years of neglect. Fernhurst, who are notoriously lazy, needed an away fixture this weekend due to the annual stoolball tournament on the Rec. At least we assumed it happened, following the not-mentioned-that-often 2018 'no show'.
In beautiful Spring sunshine, FCC won the toss and elected to bat. Vice Captain Matt Westley hit three successive fours against the posh sponsored boundaries. He looked in good touch before being trapped LBW by Hassan for 13. Skipper Vigar got 20 while Steve Tytler hit his customary lusty six as part of his 17. Debutant Tom Kent scored an assured 13 while FCC Vice President Bill Gourlay hit five boundaries on his way to 26. Not satisfied with that he also ran out Simon Ralfe in a slow motion moment of pure sadism. With the help of fellow VP Geoff Howe, Fernhurst made 136 but were all out within 29 overs.
The pitch was slow and low and, ironically, given Petworth House's most famous guest, not a Turner. Sam Meier took out his revision frustrations on the hosts to bowl an astounding four over spell of 0-9. There were a couple of excellent appeals but, sadly, the umpire did not agree. Let us all hope the matriculation boards are kinder. From the House end, Rob Unwin was also in excellent form, bowling all seven overs at 1-26. Not to be outdone Tytler matched those figures while throwing in a maiden as Petworth skipper Adam Downing homed in on his 50.
But he didn't get there. In some of the finest death bowling ever seen this side of Mumbai, Geoff Howe and Chris Williams stifled the hosts. They were at 70 off 18 overs and only 89 going into the 28th. Bails were sent flying on four occasions and, finally, Petworth were all out for 110 off 32 overs. Howe 6-2-16-4, Williams 5-2-11-3. It was a treat just to witness it in such a wonderful setting.
Men of the Match (and dropped) Howe & Williams.