Lymington Cricket Club's bicentenary celebrations finally drew to a close with the eagerly anticipated visit to Lord's for the prestigious fixture against Cross Arrows CC on the Nursery Ground.
Around 50 Lymingtonians made the trip to London, and despite gloomy weather predictions in the days leading up to the match, the rain stayed away and the sun even briefly appeared from behind the clouds for the pre-match team photo in front of the iconic Lord's pavilion.
Opponents Cross Arrows CC, with players drawn from Lord's groundstaff, administrative workers and MCC members, fielded a strong line-up including Middlesex wicketkeeper David Nash and talented Irish all-rounder Rory Flanagan. It was to be the latter who proved to be the thorn in Lymington's side, scoring 142 and taking three wickets. Flanagan's brilliant innings which included 16 fours and 7 sixes was the mainstay of the hosts' daunting 281 for 9 from 50 overs. And while many of the Lymington spectators were touring the main Lord's ground, the Lymington fielders were themselves undertaking their own tour of the Nursery Ground and surrounds trying to locate the cricket balls that were being regularly despatched by Flanagan to all corners of St John's Wood. Through all the carnage Lloyd Scott emerged with great credit, returning fine figures of 4 for 42 on a ground where the flat wicket, lightening outfield and short boundaries made bowling something of a nightmare. Christian Pain took 2 for 49 and there were also wickets for Luigi Di Maria, Trevor Phillips and Peter Tapper, although the Lymington chairman will possibly want to forget his first delivery at the Home of Cricket which ended up in the adjoining Compton Stand.
Following a sumptuous chicken curry lunch, Lymington's batsmen attempted to tuck into the Cross Arrows' bowling. However, Jerry Holt soon fell to a snorter from Horner, and with that man Flanagan removing Dave Griffiths and Bryn Darbyshire, and Newton and Hunt also perishing early, Lymington were floundering on 75 for 5. Disaster was averted by Mark Jackson who doggedly dropped anchor and Jim Lowe (25) whose entertaining cameo innings included the only six of the Lymington innings. Horner (4-42) returned to the fray to dismiss Tapper for a golden duck, and with all hopes of victory gone, it was left to Jackson and Phillips (29) to guide Lymington past the 200 mark before the exhausted Jackson was last man out for a gritty 87 with the score on 205.
Not even the margin of defeat could temper what had been a highly memorable day - and a wonderful season - for all concerned with Lymington Cricket Club. The club could look back with some pride on highly successful matches against the MCC and a Lymington Legends XI, a never-to-be-forgotten 1807-style cricket match in full period costume on Pennington Common and, just six days previous, a very special bicentenary dinner attended by more than 170 people with former England batting legend David Gower as guest speaker.
Roll on the Tricentenary in 2107!
The Nursery Ground's Big Brother!
The Lymington Team
Lymo take to the field
The Nursery Ground
Out! Kiwi takes a catch
Luigi, the flying Italian
The Media Centre
Cross Arrows score
The two teams
Openers Holt and Jackson
Dave Griffiths - caught and bowled
Jacko gets his 50
Jim Lowe lets fly
Vimps, Colesy and Griff in the media centre
Tapper gets a golden duck
Trev's fine glance
The youngest supporter
Jacko, it's wasn't my fault!
Players and spectators