Pagham and Middleton met both needing wins to put right poor recent runs in division three west of cricket’s Sussex League - while Bognor hosted Henfield.
Pagham v Middleton
BOTH sides were in desperate need of a win to get their seasons back on track – and it was Middleton who took it.
After two days of awful weather, credit goes to the Pagham groundsmen for a remarkable job in getting a decent wicket to play on. It looked a good toss to win, Middleton inserting their opponents.
Jamie Thompson and Tom Davies took the new ball and had both openers dismissed without a run on the board. They continued to do a good job in tough conditions, but Galea and Hayden added 32 for the third wicket and looked settled before Thompson sneaked one through Galea’s defences.
Hayden continued to battle hard but with two more quick wickets falling Pagham looked in trouble at 48 for five.
Wayne Green’s quickfire 40 gave the home side momentum. It was an innings of good strokeplay and it took a very good catch from Sean Rebbetts to end it.
Two more quick wickets left Pagham 99 for eight before Sean Rutter hit some late blows to take the score up to 135 all out.
Rebbetts and Colvin took good high catches to ensure Middleton secured full bonus points.
Small totals can be difficult to chase – particularly when you lose your customary two early wickets, Mike Hayles producing a good opening burst that accounted for Hansford and Nelmes.
Matt Warren and Seb Gallagher went about re-building the innings. Gallagher looked in control and watchful, Warren less elegant – as Pagham’s players told him.
The partnership took Middleton up to 71 before Green had Warren adjudged lbw and Rutter had Rawstrone caught behind.
Patrick Colvin played the only way he knows how - by taking the game to Pagham and hitting an excellent 40 not out off 28 balls.
At the other end, Gallagher hit some crushing blows to end on 49 not out and guide Middleton to a six-wicket win.
For Pagham, Green stood out bowling 13 overs of spin while conceeding just 22.
Bognor v Henfield
Bognor were not at the races as they slumped to their third loss of the season against Henfield.
After electing to field, Graham Bush and Jim Lee took the new ball. Both looked consistent, drawing the batsmen in and allowing the pitch and conditions to bring early wickets.
Lee caught and bowled Henfield opener Brett Moore (11) and Bush maintained his recent form as he used the conditions to make the ball swing, and was rewarded with his first of the day Mark Hopgood (1) adjudged lbw.
Henfield opener Chris Crampton (40) showed resistance with attacking strokeplay until Lee claimed his second with another caught and bowled as Crampton looked to work the ball off his legs.
With the shine off the new ball Henfield were able to produce a partnership of 60 between Rob Slaughter (38) and Steve Mundy (39). Both batsmen looked in good touch at 121 for four but the introduction of spin brought the breakthrough Bognor required as Slaughter was given lbw off spinner Elliot Clarke (1-35).
This brought Craig Scott (42) in and with wickets in hand he was able to throw the bat.
Bush (4-66) and Lee (3-29) were recalled for the final few overs and they tied down Henfield with wickets at both ends, Henfield declaring nine down for 209.
Bognor’s batting proved their downfall: no-one was able to remain at the crease for any significant time.
Clarke (19) and Ashmore (6) faced the new ball with Clarke punishing anything short.
However Henfield bowlers Slaughter and Hopgood found their lines and both Clarke and Ashmore fell adjudged lbw.
Swing and seam troubled Bognor and they slipped to 48 for four.
Henfield’s openers proved too hot to handle as Michael Spaseski (7) and Robert Willway (11) departed.
Bognor’s collapse continued to spiral as Slaughter ripped through the middle order leaving Tony Brugnoli (3-13) to clean up the tail.
A last effort from No11 Lee (13*) could not help the cause as Slaughter finished with matchwinning figures of five for 28, with Bognor bowled out for 105.
Henfield II v Bognor II
Bognor won the toss and chose to field on a gloomy day.
Early inroads were made by young Joe Ashmore, who took three for 20. Good support from all of Bognor’s bowlers left Henfield on 101 for five when rain came and caused the game to be abandoned after 34 overs.
Bognor remain fourth in the league.