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Captain's Report 2014.
Here is the Captain's Report as delivered at the AGM...

The season began with a bang in a haze of poppadums, chutney, rice, curry and naan at the The Charterhouse Hooden the site for the newly rebranded pre-season party. It was a very successful evening and certainly fitted the intention of being less formal in place of the traditional cocktail party.

Unfortunately a very wet April meant that the first 2 games at Alfold and Fernhurst were called off – principally to avoid destroying squares and wading through unmown outfields!

So the first game was at Tillington on May 4th under brighter skies. The Mariners started steadily with what would become usual openers Methley and Westwood. But in low and slow conditions struggled along to 121 all out – Leo top scoring with 23. In reply the 10 men of Tillington did not fare much better with Freddie Hodgson ripping out 4 wickets for 15 from 9 overs. 2 wickets a piece for Jake and Charlie saw the Mariners win by 16 runs.

At Ebernoe the weather was reported as “better than it had been” – but the big news of the day was the change in scorers at Ebernoe with an accompanying tale of village cricket politics. In the cricket the Mariners won the toss and batted and despite 28 from Will only made it to 110 with skipper Goldman the next highest scorer on 21. Defending a low total the Mariners dug deep with wickets shared amongst the bowlers – Will the pick with 2 for 6 as Ebernoe were dismissed for just 80.

The next match at Ockham saw the mariners make it 3 in a row. After again winning the toss and Batting - 159 was the final total with Freddie Hodgson making a classy 75 not out. Ockham struggled in reply as again the Mariners turned the screw – Freddie and Leo cleared up the tail as the mariners won by 35 runs.

The next Sunday saw the Mariners club day held at Puttenham. On a very successful day there were 2 good games of cricket. The first saw Fathers pitted against sons, Wives and Mums against husbands and sons in a family game with the President and Hon Sec taking on rule making and breaking duties. Note: this did not stop the President pulling off the catch of the day diving forwards from his duties at square leg to dismiss I believe Matt Beckett. A chaotic tied game had many highlights including the Hon Sec’s better half taking a catch off John Hooks bowling to dismiss Mike Methley – much to everyone’s astonishment! After a traditional tea there was the serious business of the Hon Secs team “Kings X1 Puttenham” up against the Presidents “Royal Challengers Chiddingfold” in an IPL style T20 clash. In reality it was more a case of cancelling each other out rather than a big bash with the Presidents men batting first for 117 and the Hons Secs team failing in the chase only reaching 107. Still a Mariners win. Everyone will have their own highlights but mine are dismissing CvO with a flighted delivery that he played straight over the top of and seeing the president later dispatch my best leg break for 4 via a reverse sweep! The ensuing barbecue and booze left many with a sore head the next day!

At Dunsfold it was not such a joyous occasion! Winning the toss and batting first the Mariners were dismissed for 34 and back in the field well before tea. Ed Kinsella picked up 4 wickets as Dunsfold faltered at 5 down but in the end they got the runs inside 21 overs. Enough said!

Charterhouse has been an unhappy hunting ground for a few years now and it proved so again as AMCC saw the Maniacs amass 176 despite Freddie taking 4 for 25. In reply a mixed Mariners side of ten men made it 138 losing by 43 runs.

Toys Hill fell by the wayside, I think due to weather and so it was on to Chiddingfold where the batsmen finally found some form – 93 for Leo, 50 for Freddie H and 43 for TvO towards a total of 261 -4. In reply Chiddingfold struggled to 126 – Jake the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 18. A solid victory over one of the old enemies!

Follies farm was a warm dry day that saw the Mariners bat first in a 40 0ver game. We ended at 179 for 9 with everyone getting a bat. Alas the Follies line up proved too strong and they got the runs with 6 overs to spare. Players on the day may remember a damaged thumb for Andy Crossley and Freddie making a more than useful substitute keeper!

A somewhat understrength Mariners side took on Lodsworth the following Sunday. Perhaps strategically for the good of the game Lodsworth batted first and put on 212 – somehow including 32 extras from their 35 overs! In reply the mariners fell to 99 all out despite a valiant 62 for Goldman – although this was off set by ducks for Corkey, Sami, Will and Huw Whiteman!

Poor fortune carried on to Elstead where the mariners although fielding a stronger side made 162 batting first. A 50 for Leo and staunch 33 not out from Westwood the high points of the scorecard. However – it proved not enough as Elstead knocked off the runs in the 38th over – despite Magnus taking 3 wickets and Leo 2.

So with only 1 win in the last 6 fixtures it was on to Shackleford… A strong bowling line up took to the field first, Freddie, Jake, Magnus, Leo and Dan Holmes all claiming wickets as the Mariners restricted the home side to 123. In reply the Mariner batsman made short work of the target smashing the runs in 17 overs – including a quickfire 35 for Charlie, 21 for Mike and 48 for Freddie.

There was no game at Hambledon for the next fixture – again I think this was weather related…

The Mariners were again weak and short on players for Midhurst however, with both their league sides out of action Midhurst we keen to maintain the fixture and so 7 mariners were joined by 3 members of the home team to make a match. In the end it was a good game – the homeside making 147 with Dan Holmes the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 21. Again it was Mr Hodgson with 77 who saw the mariners home with just 3 wickets down flanked by Jake with 20.

It was unfortunately back to losing ways for the second Ebernoe fixture – a glance at the barely filled in scorebook reveals the permanent absence of the old scorers. All though it is possible to make out they batted first and their opener made 110 and whilst Charlie made 83 it was not to be for the mariners.

The scorebook for Witley is again sketchy at best but again it is clear they batted first and with a centurion made a handsome score.In reply a 46 from Will along with lots of good starts proved not to be enough as the mariners fell short of their target by 35 ish runs.

The Mariners failed to turn a team out for Warnham on the last day of the season so it fell to Kirdford to be the last match – it was at least a winning end to the season – although a it was actually a winning draw – which perhaps befits the roller coaster ride of a season!

The Mariners made 186 with 40’s from Will and Freddie and in the field were always in control of the match however some staunch batting from the Kirdfor tailenders meant the mariners were unable to take all 10 wickets - Kirdford finishing up on 123 for 9 down.

The final stats:
Won 6
Lost 7
Drew 1
Abandoned 5

And so to the Ship Hotel Chichester for the real finale to 2014 even if it was the second week of 2015. On a night that I hope Snowey would have been proud to have hosted the great, good, old and new from the Mariners gathered to celebrate with eachother in the name of old friend. I think it’s fair to say a good time was had by one and all. On the night the club trophies were presented with Freddie Hodgson getting the Batting Cup, Jake Holmes the Bowling Cup and Leo Methley the founders trophy for his outstanding season with both bat and ball.

That concludes the skippers report for 2014 – I thank you!
He Stoppeth One of Three...