A blitzkrieg from Sam Meier clinched victory for Fernhurst's Sunday XI in this match at lovely Lodsworth. Fernhurst, as holders of the 'Frostbite Trophy', took the mighty penguin with them on their short road trip across the Lickfold badlands. Previous September encounters had been distinctly chilly but for this edition there was warm sunshine. Fernhurst won the toss and elected to bowl on a green track. Sam opened the attack alongside another star of the Fernhurst youth system, Sussex U13 all-rounder Louis Eden. The latter bowled two maidens on his way to figures of 1-5 in four overs. Sam was also in great form with just ten runs off his first five overs. Ed Vass and Geoff Howe made useful contributions while Louis's brother, Henry, bowled many dot balls in an assured 'senior cricket' debut. Keeper Simon Vigar took two catches off the bowling of Paul Eden and Mark Langridge and it meant Loddy's run rate never really accelerated. Langridge closed with figures of of 3-17 off seven overs while Simon Ralfe's death bowling again drew gasps of wonder. The hosts set a winning target of 137.
Armed with the knowledge that they were duking it out for the 2019 batting average honours, Chris Williams and Matt Westley again opened for Fernhurst. Both scored three boundaries before losing their wickets. There followed an all too familiar collapse with FCC at 44-7 and on life support in the 15th over. Two things then swung it in the favour of the Green Army - Loddy's skipper said 'We've got this in the bag' just as Sam Meier strode to the crease. Sam proceeded to give his teammates a Stokesian master class in power hitting and shot placement. His batting partner was a resolute but injured Mark Langridge who required a runner. Louis swiftly padded up and was sent back out to do the legwork. Along with boundaries, the calling and running of the ones and twos was a treat. Fernhurst crossed the line in the 32nd over: Langridge 18 not out and Meier 65.
On this ground in 2017 Fernhurst had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 2019 was a very welcome reverse. Now we travel to Goodwood and Lynchmere for our final two fixtures.