Middleton and Stirlands lost their latest Sussex League games but Pagham had a fine win.
Eastbourne v Middleton
Sussex Premier League
Middleton had Brandon Hanley back from school commitments at Eastbourne and he did not disappoint, taking four for 59 in 18 overs.
But it was not enough to stop Eastbourne winning.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 271 before their last wicket fell to Hanley off the last ball of the 54th over.
Middleton stuck to the task in the field and took a flurry of early and late order wickets but were frustrated by a mid-innings partnership of 146 between Brad Evans and Delray Rawlins, the latter reaching 100 before falling lbw to Beck Hemingway.
Middleton also had Rob Willway and Jack Lerwill playing their first games of the season to strengthen the batting.
However, for the third week in a row Middleton failed to get the solid start they needed in the face of a good new-ball attack with Matthew Cooke looking particularly sharp.
Only Jofra Archer put up any real resistance scoring 43, with the rest of the Middleton batters struggled to get going and their last wicket fell in only the 31st over with the score on 118.
Meanwhile at Sea Lane the Middleton second team turned the tables on Eastbourne II by chasing down 265 in a last-ball thriller.
Still needing 19 to win from the last seven balls, James Rufey hit five fours to win the game, ending 56 not out, a performance unlikely to go unnoticed by the Middleton selectors.
Another player on their radar will be Tom Stride, who followed up a good bowling performance five for 53 with 37 runs.
Ansty v Pagham
On an under-prepared wicket, Ansty had no hesitation in asking Pagham to bat.
Although the ball was at times taking off from a length, openers Justin Scott (31) and Stuart Rutter (9) did well to get to 36 before Jethro Menzies knocked back Rutter’s leg stump.
A flurry of wickets left Pagham 75 for five but the class of Sri Lankan Eranga Dissangge (38) and the belligerence of Staurt Hanks (51) saw them to 162 for seven.
The last three wickets fell for one run and Pagham finished on 163.
Ansty were soon five for two with both wickets going to Mike Hales. They recovered to 76 for three but the introduction of spinners Eranga and Sean Rutter had the home side in trouble.
Ansty were eventually dismissed for 106, Eranga finishing with four for 21 and Rutter three for 18 with Pagham taking 30 points to stay third.
Rye v Stirlands
Sussex League division four
STIRLANDS made the 160-mile round trip to take on leaders Rye, but were unable to bounce back from the previou’s weeks defeat.
Despite only having nine players at the toss, Rye captain Gary Willis invited Stirlands to bat on a wicket full of cracks that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the fifth day of a Test match.
This decision was rewarded as Rye’s overseas man Kshermal Waingankar had Stirlands reeling on 18 for four within the first eight overs with an impressive spell of swing bowling.
Moving the ball in both directions and causing the batsmen immense problems, he finished with eight for 39 including three maidens.
There was little respite from the other end as Rye continued to pile on the pressure, with only William Gubbins able to offer resistance as he grafted his way to 29 before running out of partners as Stirlands were bowled out for 84.
Stirlands took to the field knowing Rye had previously been bowled out for less than 100, with the motivational words of captain Paul Dorkings firmly in their minds as they looked to continue their trend of taking early wickets.
But the Rye openers were able to deal with the slow, low wicket far more easily, punishing loose deliveries, while being assisted by two tricky chances being grounded.
After tea, Rye continued to press home their advantage, with Dan Seabrook determined to finish the match as quickly as he could, tucking into every delivery before falling to George Briance for 61.
In the end, Stirlands never really recovered from their top order being blasted away, but returning to the familiar surroundings of Church Lane to face Slinfold this week will give them hope of a change in fortunes.
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