Rye’s cricketers back in action

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The Sidney Allnutt pavilion painted by the late John Izod to celebrate Rye CC's 250th season

Last Saturday, April 23, Rye cricket club travelled away to face Bexhill Second XI in their first pre-season friendly.

The club has added some additional players to their squad for the up-coming Sussex Premier Cricket League season over the winter, increasing strength in depth, which only bodes well for all competitive teams this season. Promising spin-bowling all-rounder Finlay Thompson has re-joined the club from Hastings Priory after coming through the junior coaching system. Off-spinner George Watham has joined from Herstmonceux and Olly Rhys-Jones will be given the new ball after impressing in the second eleven for the last couple of seasons. Rhys Jones is yet another product of the coaching programme which continues to successfully develop talented young cricketers into first eleven players.

Last year’s overseas player Kshemal Waingakar has been replaced by South African Hugo Nel, who is a more than capable player with the bat and will provide further options with the ball. All of these new faces were on show in last Saturday’s pre-season friendly that proved to be a very successful first outing for the club.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first Rye posted an impressive 230 for 7 from their allotted 40 overs. James Hamilton and Dan Seabrook set off rather cautiously but picked up the pace to guide Rye into a commanding position of 89 for 0 after 16 overs. Hamilton (51) registered his first half-century of the season before falling to the bowling of Strugnell in the 17th over. Seabrook then quickly followed for an equally well-made 33 to the same bowler to leave Rye 93 for 2 in the 18th over.

Hugo Nel (24), William Wheeler (31) and Finn Thompson (24) all made good starts and solid contributions in the middle order and contributed to the total. At the 30th over Rye had reached 167 for 5 and some lusty lower ordering hitting from Harry Smeed (28 not out) took Rye to a commanding final position of 230 for 7 form their allotted 40 overs. The standout performers for Bexhill with the ball were Eddie Lemon (3 for 14) and Harry Strugnell (2 for 47).

In response Bexhill started in a promising manner and managed to reach 76 for 0 after 17 overs with James Pilbeam (58) making a half-century in this total. However, his demise to the bowling of Gary Willis (1 for 22) triggered somewhat of a collapse whereby only Eddie Lemmon (35) provided any other resistance. Spinners Harry Smeed (2 for 31) and George Watham (2 for 26) bowled well in tandem with Hugo Nel (1 for 18) to break the back of the Bexhill batting line up.

Bexhill were eventually skittled out for 146 inside 37 overs after Finlay Thompson ripped through the tail to pick up excellent figures of 4 for 10 from 3 overs.

All in all a virtually complete performance from a Rye side playing in their first game of the season. Things certainly look good for the season ahead for the club as they seek to progress in the Sussex Premier League. Rye play their final pre-season friendly tomorrow at the salts against Kent side Horsmonden starting at 1pm.

Club coaching

The signing on night for Rye Cricket Club is this Friday April 29 from 7:30pm at The Sidney Allnutt Pavilion. All are welcome to join, but in particular young cricketers aged 8-18 to join the Rye Colts section are wanted. The club offers coaching every Friday evening from May 6 to July 22 – with school years 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 from 6 to 7pm and school years 9,10,11, and 12 from 8 to 9pm.

Coaching is with fully qualified ECB Coaches, including Rye’s overseas player Hugo Nel, who will be meeting many new friends as well on Friday. Rye offers Colts cricket in the Ashford & District League at U11, U13, U15 and U17, with the aim to put out a girls team this season. Already girls participate in the boys teams. The Colts season started last night April 28 when the U13s had a warm up inter club game. On Tuesday the U15s play Mersham at home, and on Thursday the U13s travel to Tenterden, with the possibility of Rye entering a U13 B team in the league.

The adults section offers three Saturday League teams playing in the Sussex Premier League and the East Sussex League, a Sunday Xl, and a Midweek Xl. To get involved in Rye Cricket Club contact Martin Blincow through blincsfamily@aol.com or 07535 482006

The main picture is a painting of the Sidney Allnutt Pavilion by John Izod which he did in 2003 to celebrate Rye Cricket Club’s 250th season. Sadly the original which John gave to Rye Cricket Club was lost when the pavilion was burnt down in 2010. Rye Cricket Club plan to obtain a print and hang the picture again in the new Sidney Allnutt Pavilion in memory of John Izod.

Picture by John Izod

Image Credits: Rye Cricket Club .

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