Royal Opera House Matches at Ferring

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Between 2004 and 2006 matches were arranged on our presidents day between a Ferring XI and the Royal Opera House Cricket Club. Alan Francis, our president, arranged the first match in 2004 initially through his horse racing contacts.

In 2005 the weather was particually unkind and it rained overnight and most of the morning. This was especially frustrating as the opposition were travelled from all over the UK to arrive in time for a 12 o'clock start. The unusual format for the day was for a buffet lunch and drinks supplied by Ferring CC followed by the first innings then a further interval for tea and then the second innings before retiring to the Henty Public House.

For this particular match in 2005 the Royal Opera House CC subsequently sent us some photographs of the day and also a very interesting review by James Parsons. A copy of the review and some of the photographs are included here along with links to club photographs of the matches over the years.

Click on any of the photographs below to enlarge:

Royal Opera House vs Presidents XI Sunday 24th July 2005
Review by James Parsons Royal Opera House CC

Tremendous Six Highlights Our Day
A gambling man would not have taken odds of a thousand to one against that a match would have taken place at the famous Ferring Cricket Club after prolonged heavy rain had reduced the ground to resemble more of a lake than a cricket pitch.

Well we thought, at least we'll have a nice lunch and a pint or two before making our way home, but, low and behold, at 12.30pm it stopped raining and it was a case of all hands to the pumps, literally! Members of both teams under the guidance of MR. PETER BROMLEY the groundsman worked relentlessly with brooms, forks, rollers and matting to remove the surplus water, and at 2pm, after a SUPERHUMAN effort and a SUPER lunch the ground was declared fit, subject to any further rain.

MATTHEW won the toss and assumed that the strip would be unpredictable so he chose to field, but unfortunately the pitch played very easily and the Ferring batsmen were soon amongst the runs, their openers C. BRYANT and D. BAILEY were impressive, but luck was with MR. BAILEY when with his score on 23 he was dropped, it was to prove very costly to the House.

The opening stand was broken with the score on 92 when C. BRYANT was caught by P. SPARKS off the bowling of PHIL BROWN having scored 15 runs, D. BAILEY was then joined by the ever impressive B. MILLER and these two scored at will at a steady rate of 6 an over, both players displayed a fine array of shots including many sixes and fours.

The second wicket was not to fall until the score reached 256, D. BAILEY out LBW, bowler JAMES BOBBY for 142, but he can consider himself very lucky to have reached such a big score. I. SALTER joined B. MILLER and after 'slogging' 6 runs he was out, caught by M. ROSE off the bowling of J. BOBBY, Ferring declared with their score on 262, B. MILLER unbeaten on 78.

Tea was taken, another splendid effort by the FERRING GIRLS, served by now in warm sunshine. Back to the match, The House innings did not get off to the best of starts and by the thirteenth over we were 26 for 4 but then, exactly the same as last season, PHIL BROWN and JAMES BOBBY found themselves together and they set about the task on hand admirably although it must be said Ferring were very generous with their choice of bowlers, but even so both batsmen were impressive and upped the run rate to seven on over.

JAMES BOBBY hit a six which the Ferring boys said was the biggest they had ever seen indeed ALAN said if it hadn't clipped the tree in the garden of a nearby house who knows where it would have landed? This pair put together a stand of 116 before JAMES was caught on the boundary having scored 58, bowler G.DEAN. PHIL continued to go well but with the score on 150 he lost two partners in quick succession, the bowler responsible C. PATTERSON who had been brought into the attack to break any partnerships that looked dangerous.

Next to bat was ANDY POND and how well he played, he and PHIL BROWN carried on the good work but ANDY became the dominant figure scoring well, then with the score on 178 C. PATTERSON bowled PHIL his score, a very fine 71, ROSS HUMPHREY joined ANDY and defended well, but with his score on 23 ANDY 'played on' the ball trickling agonisingly on to the stumps with the minimum of force and the innings of the Royal Opera House closed.

Congratulations to Groundsman PETER BROMLEY on supplying a strip that produced 447 runs, amazing! Another enjoyable day at Ferring which wasn't over yet, both teams and supporters enjoyed more food, drink and good conversation in the lovely HENTY ARMS, but all too soon it was time to make tracks for home after a great day's entertainment.