The 2nd XI buoyant after two wins travelled to league leaders Rottingdean, no Airplane was needed as we had used cars. It’s always fun to visit a seaside town and travelling with Curly was reminiscent of Popeye to meet up with some of his friends. Dan Maskell captained after skipper Matt Charman was called up for the 1st XI.
The Fog had cleared and the sun was shining we won the toss and invited Rottingdean to bat. Ant Cromb got lost in the Atlantic City and turned up late dressed to kill but we could have done with him being in his whites as early chances went begging. A great opening spell from Bobby Barnes & Martyn Box saw the hillians come close a few times to take wickets but it was Bobby “Raging Bull” down the hill who struck in his 3rd over with his first, then got the second, third, fourth and we went stir crazy with his fifth wicket and Bobby finally ended up with superb figures of 6 for 45 off 17 overs. Martin bowled without luck and finally ended up with 0-33 of 11 overs.
With Dan Maskell replacing Boxy, he didn’t find much spin but caused enough problems and suddenly Rottingdean lost 5 wickets for only 4 runs as we restricted them to 64-8 as Hill counted the Final countdown. But a spirited 9th wicket partnership off 50 needed to be ended any which way you can so and Maskell showed they were ordinary people and the Rottingdean innings finally ended on 129, with Maskell 4-21 and Lewis Mamoany 5 overs costing only 19 runs. Private Benjamin Churchyard behind the stumps took 3 catches and Akeem was strutting like an American Gigolo dreaming of the blue lagoon in Hastings. Ant Cromb, one of the blues brothers & our own urban cowboy Grady Pummell also caught the big red one.
After a pleasant tea in the Caddyshack, Rottingdean under par with the bat were determined to make things difficult for us and that’s how it turned out as were set to chase 130 to win. Melvin & Howard opened the bowling with intent. Burgess Hill were soon 17-2 with Curly out LBW bowled by bully Bluto and he trudged back to the pavilion looking for his Olive Oyl. Then Herbie went bananas when Akeem was triggered out, his only scoring shot was a big 6 into a field where the buffalo roam– typically Flash Gordon of him. Steve Cromb (28) and Wickers took the score to 65 before Steve was excellently caught by the long riders in the deep!. Ant Cromb was heard to whisper Gloria as he never saw the first two balls but he and Phil dug in before Ant caught at short leg as Cheech & Chong closed in. At 80-4. Wickers got a life when he was given out LBW but “The Gods must be crazy” as the umpire bravely called him back Brubaker style. When chasing small targets partnerships are valuable and another partnership of 15 between M Box & Wickers saw the scoreboard creep up like the changeling before Boxy got one that didn’t bounce and was LBW. In strode our other little darling Lewis Mamoany and with Wickers suddenly seeing the ball we looked to be cruising to victory before Phil choked and was out for a superb Superman innings of 43. Lewis was out with victory insight for a sparkling 15, with only 3 runs needed it was left to Grady Pummell and Dan Maskell who found fame to secure the victory by 3 wickets Xanuadu and , 30 points more points and the hill empire continues to strike back.