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Captain's Report 2015.
Here is the Captain's Report as delivered at the AGM...


This is the Captain’s Report for the 2015 Ancient Mariners season.

It began on a chilly overcast afternoon at Fernhurst with the Mariners put into bat, Holmes and Wootton opened up the batting. Mark fell in the 7th over which brought Freddie Hodgson to the crease – despite or perhaps because of a controversial run out of Jake, Freddie ended the innings 125 not out assisted by Robin Harris who got 33 – the total 205 from 35overs. In reply, despite an early wicket, it was slow going – Fernhurst dragging out to 154 for 2 from the same number of overs with all the mariners getting a bowl! A decisive winning draw to start the season.

May rain saw off the Tillington fixture and an early season lack of players for the Ockham Sunday side meant that game didn’t go ahead so it was on to Ebernoe. On a serious note the lack of the traditional scorers is a real problem at Ebernoe with no scores recorded in the book. All I can say is we won – Magnus taking 3 for 11 with the ball and Ben Corke, Robin Harris and Jake all passing 25 out of a team total of 127. Anything else to offer?! At Alfold a warm dry day saw the mariners take to the field and make early inroads with Stephen Rough and Leo Methley sharing the new ball. Regular wickets saw Alfold all out for 135. Batting second Hamish carried his bat for 54 supported by son Hector as the mariners knocked off the runs for 6 wickets down.

Elstead was a cold overcast occasion that saw a limited overs match. Will opened up and scored slowly and steadily for 63, Leo batted nicely for 30 and TvO came in at number seven to cut loose for 32 as the mariners amassed 187 from 40 overs. In the field the mariners started strong with Leo and Magnus opening the bowling but it was Ben Corke with 6 for 23 who was the pick – this included 2 of his trade mark caught and bowled. With Elstead all out for 97 - the mariners were victorious by a 90 run margin.

At Hambledon in the usual dry sunny conditions to suit batting, AMCC got first go and scored 225, with a hard hitting 80 from Jake and half centuries from Will and Charlie the total was 237 from 34 overs. Hambledon didn’t score as quickly or heavily with the van Oppen brothers sharing 6 wickets between them. But Hambledon held on for the draw scoring just 118 from 34 overs. An even more emphatic winning draw. And so to Dunsfold which on the 14th of June saw the first defeat of the season.

Walking over from the pub the pitch looked as pretty as a picture but after the first couple of deliveries it was obvious it was anything but! Batting first by mutual consent Dunsfold’s openers struggled to stay alive let alone score and it wasn’t until they were 4 wickets down that a partnership developed as the home side made it to 111 before losing their final wicket. Will the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 13 but Stephen also pretty unplayable. In reply the Mariners found batting just as tough – except that is for Robin who made 36 out of the Mariners total of 101 – 10 short of the target from 35 overs.

Charterhouse was a wet and blustery day that saw a Jake Holmes one man demolition job of the maniacs. Battling through the bad weather Jake scored 102 out of 178 ably assited by ‘Extras’ comfortably the next highest scorer with 29. In reply despite a good start from the schoolboys Jake came on to take 5-14 assisted by some good catching, with at least one person atoning for a massive strop... As further rain hit and players fled the field, Charterhouse were in disarray but we did make it back out to finish the game – with Wootton at one stage bowling, scoring and umpiring. The last wicket fell with Charterhouse on 126 with Bob unable to resist a Wootters hand grenade special and was caught Westwood at cover. No question over the Mariner of the match though – 102 and 5 -14 not a bad outing.

Sadly there was no match at ‘the hill’ this year with both teams struggling for numbers. And so on to Chiddingfold which saw a high scoring draw. The home side batted first and amassed 267-7 from 37 overs which included a 114 not out and some fairly ropey mariners bowling figures. In reply the Mariners fought hard but despite a spirited 69 from Freddie and quick fire 30’s from John Chesterman and Hamish the game petered to a draw with the mariners on 252-8 from 39 overs, a narrow losing draw.

Next came Follies and a game that will live long in the memories in all of those there – not least because of the looming “For Sale” sign out the front of the farm. The mariners won the toss and took to the field – as per the previous week wickets were hard to come by despite some sharp glove work from JC with a catch and a stumping – Follies reached 224 for 6 from their 40 overs. The mariners batted well to keep up with the required rate, Robin scoring 43 and Freddie 76. But it was a patient innings from Will that took things to the last over even as wickets were falling at the other end. With 6 to win from the final 3 balls there were 2 swings and misses followed by an almighty six into the next field to win the game by a single run. As good as it gets!

A bright sunny day at Lodsworth saw more scores over 200. Batting first the Mariners got to 221-7 from 35 overs – Freddie top scoring again with 68 and reliable Robin opening up once more with a score in the 30s. The home side lost 2 wickets for 22 but a solid 3rd wicket partnership moved on their score and despite 3 wickets for Corkey they got to their target comfortably with 5 overs and 4 wickets to spare. Rain saw off the next game at Warnham and short of a scorebook the Mariners arrived at Shackleford on another nice sunny day. The home side batted first and a slow and steady start saw them to 90-4 before subsiding to 121 all out Jake picking up 4 for 21 and Corkey 3 for 27. The mariners chased the target successfully despite losing openers Westwood and Francis early on but a boundary laden 41 from Sam Foster and a more measured 34 from Freddie put the visitors in a winning position before Chesterman’s unbeaten 24 got AMCC over the line.

With Midhurst a no show and consigned very much to the Match Manager’s bad books the next fixture was the return game at Ebernoe. Again the scorebook is scant on detail but it can be said the home side made 184 and the Mariners fell short on 181 with Will scoring 85 and Jake 30. Which appears a close finish?!

The penultimate game of the season at Kirdford was a one sided affair – batting first by negotiation the mariners scored 258 – a 94 for Robin , 34 for Freddie, 41 for Charlie and an unbeaten 58 for Westwood. In reply the homeside subsided to 57 all out with 5 wickets for Jake. The innings included cameos from Neil Hursey and Ed Holliday for the homeside. Perhaps though the match will be best remembered for Rex’ bowling figures of 4-20 from 2 overs that lasted at least 30 balls! After the game there was a good gathering and at some point the re-emergence of the scorebook!!

The final game of the season was a blood and thunder hard fought contest against a full strength Witley side. In a 35 over game the mariners batted first and did well to make 174 – Will top scoring with 72 not out. In reply Witley came out swinging and the field was a dangerous place to be in the first few overs – the turning point came with an amazing catch from Ben Corke off his own bowling which had he not got a hand to may have killed him, falling to the floor the ball circled on his chest before lodging in his armpit to be recovered for the catch. The seam mark sat pround on Corkey’s hand for the remainder of the innings. Despite this wonder wicket the batsmen of Witley kept coming though, however with some excellent bowling, fielding and wicket keeping so did the wickets. Not daring to take a foot off the gas the Mariners bowled the home side out for 89 for another memorable victory and a great end to a very successful season.

The final stats reading:
Won 8
Lost 3
Drew 3
Abandoned 5

And my good fellows that concludes the Captain’s Report for the 2015 Ancient Mariners season. I thank you.
     
 
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