Lodsworth rebounded emphatically after the previous weeks catastrophic collapse against Tillington, but not without some early faltering steps. James Hickey went, first ball, to a catch in the slips and a ‘shooter’ beat Harry Dimond. But Matt Hall played his most commanding innings for several seasons, employing his favourite late cut to notch up 75. At the other end Graham Braithwaite, currently in exuberant form, clouted some huge sixes as he sped to 80. Lodsworth finished on 229 for 5.
After tea the Lodsworth attack started confidently and was making steady progress with some sharp fielding by the Seaford College Trio – Harry Dimond, Nick Dellion and Josh Cowell. Five batsmen were back in the pavilion with barely 50 runs on the board. Dave Clark bowled 12 overs 2 for 24 including a superb caught and bowled and Paul Phillips returned 9 overs 2 for 27 assisted by excellent catches from Dellion and Cowell.
Then an appalling umpiring decision denied Lodsworth a perfectly legitimate catch at slip. The thick edge was probably heard in Arundel. The match hinged on this incident for it proved an unnecessary distraction and soured an otherwise enjoyable encounter. While Lodsworth fretted over the injustice the incumbent batsman dug in and thereafter held on (like the England tail-end in Cardiff) to eke out a draw.
But we have to learn to take the rough with the smooth – umpires in village cricket are a bit of a lottery. In retrospect this was a good result and affirms Lodsworth’s ability to regularly post over 200 runs.
Man of the match Matt Hall