Pylewell Park Cricket Club, situated in Lord Tyneham’s Private Estate close to Lymington in Dorset chose La Manga Cricket Club as the location for their 2015 tour, coinciding with their clubs 150th anniversary.
Having heard that there was little chance of early night’s given the variety of entertainment La Manga has to offer a request was made for 3 x Twenty Twenty games on consecutive days, each commencing at 5pm.
Having arrived on the Sunday, the PPCC guys soon got into the swing of things and at 5:45am on Monday morning decided some sleep was needed in preparation for the next evenings’ festivities – and of course the cricket.
Game 1 (Monday) saw the visitors bat first and post a respectable 119 for 8, given the preparation, with Sterling 29 and Hibbert 23 being the stand out batters. La Manga set about chasing but were always behind the run rate after a sluggish start and although Williams ended 49 not out and Wharton scored 34 the tourists secured a 5 runs victory – everyone then witnessed the famous Gloucestershire Chicken Man (who remembers this from the 90’s) our very own Paul Brimble, entertain us with some true Bristolian folk songs.
Game 2 (Tuesday) after another top effort to stay out until the sun came up, the guys from Dorset were at the ground at 4:30pm going through a rigorous warm up, while the home side eventually arrived from offices and work places (and pools). Pylewell Park again batted first, and with Captain Craig Brooks top scoring with 51 before retiring and Sterling again supporting well with 28, a target of 139 was set for La Manga. Again a slow start against some tight bowling and very little pace on the ball meant La Manga struggled, finishing approximately 25 runs short, although this is not too accurate as I think the scorer may have given up towards the end. La Manga’s runs were scored by Ian Hunt 23 and Paul Brimble 17 both not out and Hugh James with 34. Special mention to youngsters Charlie R (aged 10) who bowled 2 great over overs for 8 and Ollie H (Aged 9) who patrolled fine leg at both ends admirably!
The rumours were there was only a 3am finish for some of the tourists before Game 3 (On Wednesday) which apparently was the game that really counted!!! This time La Manga’s Social Side batted first and with father and son, Neil and Joel opening, La Manga raced to 90 before losing the first wicket (Joel for 32) – Neil retired out on 53, Andy H made a very brief cameo (more words there than runs scored!) before the second father and son pairing of Ian (29) and Charlie Hunt (15) put on 50 to take La Manga to 166. It was touch and go in the run chase, with Kitcher scoring 45, G Mills 30, but with their energy wilting, La Manga took wickets at regular intervals to restrict Pylewell Park to 156. A 10 run win for the hosts.
After the game, we were treated to more songs from Mr Brimble, whilst a fantastic return effort from the Pylewell Park guys bought a close to a great 3 days of cricket, played in a true friendly spirit, under blue skies, through weary eyes. We look forward to welcoming PPCC back to La Manga in the future and the idea of a reciprocal visit is on the LMCC agenda!
With more touring sides due during 2015, competitions and league games, La Manga Club and Cricket Club continue to play a major part in promoting cricket in Spain and always welcome new players and touring side enquiries. See www.lamangacricketclub.com for more info and club contact details.
Andy House – La Manga Cricket Club