A Final Flourish

Sunday 16th September 2007

Lodsworth CC v Matt Hall Xl at Lodsworth

The George Clifford Trophy Game

Lodsworth CC 232 for 6 off 30 overs (Alfred de Souza 50 not out, Paul Phillips 50 not out, Jon Houghton 47: Matt Hall 4 overs 2 for 15, Alistair Rix 3 overs 2 for 13)

Matt Hall Xl 161 all out (Johan Fourie 52, D Swain 34, S Tanginelu 23: Jon Houghton 3 overs 3 for 14, Rod Taylor 3 overs 2 for 16, Alfred de Souza 2 overs 2 for 4)

Lodsworth won

Lodsworth CC ended their season on a high note with a victory over the Matt Hall Xl in the annual George Clifford Trophy game. Extending Lodsworth’s run of victories to five this concluded their most successful season for a decade.

Winning the toss Lodsworth elected to bat in a 30-over game, where in the sprit of this game, bowlers were restricted to four overs and batsmen required to retire at 50. Lodsworth duly amassed 232 runs for the loss of 6 wickets with Alfred de Souza retiring on 50, Paul Phillips also hitting a chanceless 50 and Jon Houghton falling just short with 47. The leading wicket takers were Matt Hall with 4 overs 2 for 15 and Al Rix with 3 overs 2 for 13.

The Matt Hall Xl courageously chased the target from the outset. Johan Fourie hit a sparkling 52, S Swain knocked 34 and S Tanginelu 23. Ahead of the run rate until the halfway mark, the wheels came off with the introduction of Jon Houghton who bowled 3 overs 3 for 14. Rod Taylor got in on the action with 3 overs 2 for 16 and Alfred De Souza capped a successful day with 2 overs 2 for 4. There were excellent catches from Sandeep, Rod Taylor and Jon Houghton (2) as The Matt Hall Xl finished on a commendable 161 all out.

It was a far more competitive game than in previous years and much closer than the score line suggest. Lodsworth took the George CliffordTrophy with Best Batsman Award going to Alfred de Souza and Best Bowler to Jon Houghton

And so the curtain comes down on a successful season. Although five games were cancelled as a result of rain the team played 16, won 9, drew four and lost only 3. It was the best record in recent years so congratulations to skipper Matt Hall.

Three years ago I wrote of the changing nature of village cricket. Where once the team would be composed of the local vicar, publican and farmers we now rely heavily on ‘incomers’. We regularly field a team containing two South Africans and occasionally two or three Indians. Some regret this changing scene but it seems inevitable, indeed if a quota were to be set on the number of overseas players in the Lodsworth team it would probably collapse. And undoubtedly the overseas players raise the standard of our cricket. That said many of our talented young local players prefer to hone their skills at Midhurst or further afield at Arundel. It is an exodus we have to address and ways have to be found of attracting them to play regularly for the village.

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