Rovers Week 2021

It was great to have the Lancing Rovers back at the College for their annual week of cricket and to see so many OLs taking part. Report on the week from Rovers President Tim Mackenzie, Olds 1981-1986.

Cricket Pitch in Sunshine

They said football was “coming home”, well cricket certainly did as Rovers Week returned to Lancing after last year’s induced hiatus.

Monday 5 July – Uppingham Rovers (40 overs)

None of us can remember the last time we beat the ‘Upps’, in recent years we’ve lost by a run or a wicket on a few occasions and we were very keen to stop the rot, for the first time we played a limited overs match. Having won the toss we decided to bat first, Steve Crosby and Nick Ballamy got us off to a cracking start to the tour, and when Nick went for a breezy 22, Rohan Ryan put on 177 for the 2nd wicket before falling for a splendid 84. Steve went on to notch up a superb century before our innings closed with a competitive 238.  Matt Lee and Lewis Franklin took the new ball but it was Joe Naughalty who took the 1st wicket with the score on 75. Uppingham chipped away but were always behind the rate until we lost Steve to a nasty dislocated finger halfway through their knock, and off he went to Worthing Hospital. With just four overs left the 'Upps' still needed 37, surely this was our year. With 17 required off the last over we contrived to concede 16 no less and tied the match! Nick and Rohan the pick of the bowlers with a couple each, but everyone contributed. Not a bad start to the week but will we ever beat Uppingham?!

Tuesday 6 July – Sussex Martlets (Declaration)

Sadly, Robin Frean lost the toss and the Rovers were invited to bowl on a wet and blustery morning. Matt Lee and Joe Naughalty opened up without success and it wasn’t until Hector Laughton and Nick Ballamy came on that the first wicket fell on 67. Wickets fell regularly after that and the Martlets were all out for 178 Hector finishing with 3-37 off 14, Nick 4-44 off 16, and the skipper 2-34 off 6. Unfortunately, during the latter stages Pete Rayward, diving to save a boundary, dislocated his shoulder and retired to Worthing Hospital. AJ Wood, fresh from a day at Wimbledon opened up with a fluent 27, but it was only Nick who made any impression with the bat scoring a fine 65, and apart from Joe’s 21 no one else got into double figures as we were bowled out for 159, a narrow loss by 19 runs.

Wednesday July 7th – Day ‘at leisure’

Everyone went their separate ways for a much-needed day off in preparation for England’s Euro semi-final.

Thursday 8 July – Oundle Rovers (40 overs)

The Rovers Arms This was a massive toss to win, to everyone’s delight Matt Lee did just that and we  batted first. Hector and AJ opened up and put on 43 for the first wicket, our  ‘overseas pro’ Rohan went cheaply for 4, but our Spanish International Jack Perman scored a fine 46. Our middle order fired for once, as Joe (24), Isaac Abatan (14 on debut), Lewis Franklin (27) and Matt (29) helped us to set a decent score given the state of the opposition, of 204.

Matt (2-20 off 8) and Lewis (1-22 off 8) set the tone as we took regular wickets. The game appeared to be up when we had them 108-7 after 31, but if we learnt anything from Monday, it’s that anything can happen in ‘white ball cricket’. Their 8th wicket put on 70 but they were always slightly behind the rate and ended up on 193-8. Nick also took 1-21, Hector 2-24 and Joe 1-30. First home win of the tour!

Friday 9 July – The Ivy

Definitely the highlight of the tour as Ralph Brünjes, OL brings his Ivy team down to Lancing, the most leisurely, relaxed and sporting fixture of the week. Another huge toss to win, fortunately Ralph was happy for us to bat first anyway, much to everyone’s relief. Isaac, fresh from his Rovers debut the day before opened up with AJ, and they put on 65 for the 1st wicket before the former went for a fine 22, AJ third out for a fine 66. Piers Williams, always a delight to have on tour chipped in with 20, Joe 13, and Matt ran himself out off the last ball for 20, Rovers ending up all out for 188.

Joe and Hector took the new ball, the latter finishing with 3-17, and wickets fell at regular intervals, only Phillips (36) and skipper Brünjes (22) really troubling the scorers. Matt (2-19), Nick (2-17), Piers (1-27) and Isaac (1-6) backed up Hector’s effort, but it was the President who stole the show with 0-23 off 4.2 including six wides and four no balls before being removed from the attack for bowling two (extremely slow and harmless) beamers. The Ivy were all out for 126, a Rovers win by 62 runs!

Rovers Team

Mentioned in dispatches

Ollie John (contributed more in the Crown & Anchor), Nick Hayday (rolled back the years by donning the gloves, way too long since his last appearance), Pete Rayward (dislocated a shoulder for the cause),  Louis Glasser (Steve’s flat mate, called in as last minute cover, embraced the Rovers ethos magnificently), George Welsby (great company and drinking partner), Will and Felix Aylett (always great to have them on board, unfortunately couldn’t make the same impact they did two years ago), thank you all for keeping the President’s Arms buzzing. Oh, and Joe Shinners who played for the Ivy Club without getting permission from the committee to play against the Rovers!!


Played 4, won 2, lost 1 tied 1, a hugely successful and enjoyable tour.

Along with Isaac Abatan we were looking forward to having his fellow 2021 leavers Barney Hall and Jacob Coupe on tour but unfortunately they were unavailable at the last minute - we very much hope to see all three of them next year. Barney would have been presented with the Rovers Trophy on Founder’s Day but having not gone ahead we were going to present it to him on tour! Barney spent three years in the ones, the last as captain and was a respected, committed and organised member of the team, a worthy winner of this most prestigious award, congratulations.

Many thanks to all those that made the tour possible, club skipper George who did all the admin but due to work commitments sadly couldn’t make it and Midge Martin for scoring meticulously. All those who helped from the College; Raj Maru, Adam Bedson and all of his grounds team, Hannah and her team for the catering, Sarah and the Foundation Office for their support and all those that showed an interest in the Rovers including the Head Master, and our most enthusiastic supporter Dickie Dutton, OL. Oh and the staff at Worthing Hospital for patching up Steve and Pete!

Pavilion from pitch

I challenge you to find a more picturesque school ground.

Up the Rovers!!

Tim Mackenzie