Selsey and Aldwick sweating as cricket’s Invitation League heads to conclusion

Tom Fewster survives a scare for Selsey against Felbridge  Picture by Louise Adams
Tom Fewster survives a scare for Selsey against Felbridge Picture by Louise Adams

Selsey closed their West Sussex Invitation League division-one season with a five-wicket defeat – and now face a nervous week waiting to know their fate.

Holding a 16-point advantage on their relegation rivals, they do not play this week but their rivals do.

Felbridge won an important toss and put Selsey into bat. It was a slow wicket that offered plenty of seam movement for the Felbridge bowlers. They bowled tight lines and restricted the scoring but Selsey took the score to 41 for one.

Tim Fewster (11) top-edged a pull to the keeper off Matt Taylor, which brought skipper Nick Horner to the crease. He joined Matt Leclere (25) and the pair settled.

But Leclere fell leg before to left-arm spinner Chris Richens (4-35). Dave Benham (27) cut well off the seamers. They moved the total to 118 for three but when Benham was stumped off Richens, another partnership was broken.

Selsey needed someone to bat through the innings and skipper Horner was thought to be the man. He played a responsible captain’s innings but toed a shot to mid-wicket on 39.

The lower order failed on this occasion and Selsey collapsed to 143 all out.

The Felbridge openers started blazing the ball around the ground against bowling that was too short for a slow pitch.

Captain Rhodri Lewis put Peter Horner to the sword in the opening couple of overs as Felbridge raced on to 66 for one off nine overs. Josh Stocks (1-40) picked up the wicket.

Lewis and Aaron Willsher carried on scoring freely and it was 92 for one before some swift work by Fewster stumped Lewis off the bowling of Tom Amis. He claimed two for 44 but deserved more.

Horner returned to the attack, bowling with more accuracy and taking two quick wickets. Amis claimed his second and Felbridge slumped to 110 for five.

However, David Jones (25*) and Matthew Turner (11*) saw their side to the target with five wickets to spare.

A week earlier, Selsey were overpowered away to Southwick in a seven-wicket defeat.

Selsey mustered only 140 and the hosts passed the target with ease.

MATTHEW LECLERE

Aldwick v Horsham III

After clinching promotion in their penultimate fixture, Aldwick made short work of Horsham III with an empathic nine-wicket victory.

It gives them a chance of top spot if Crawley Nayee slip up against Ifield III in their final game.

Once again, Joel Lodge (52no) was Aldwick’s batting hero as the visitors’ below-par 101 all out was overtaken with ease in less than 21 overs.

Lodge’s batting this season has been a revelation and he is easily the top run-maker in division four.

Overall, in all the Invitation divisions, Lodge is tenth in the list of highest runs scored but also comes in second in the overall averages with a mighty 92.2.

Lodge was well supported by Louis Paul (21), a dependable partner this year, as they put 84 on the board before the first wicket.

Luis Di Giglio bowled a good opening spell conceding just 17 runs in eight overs.

Earlier, the speed of Nabid Rahman (3-34) and the guile of Ollie Smith (3-43) was too much for their opponents. Only Michael Harms (26), Michael Goodman (18) and Ryan Cheesman (18) made double figures as John Young (2-9) and Keelan Belcher (1-5) finished things in style.

Horsham Trinity III v Aldwick II

Division eight

Selsey aren’t the only local Invitation League side now left to sweat on the fortunes of others.

Aldwick II skipper Arthur Bradbury will need to get his calculator out this week to see if his team have been promoted.

They finished their season in style with an eight-wicket win over Horsham Trinity III and are top with 321 points.

However, with a game in hand, the teams below them are on 311, 304, and 294 points respectively and as they do not play each other could, in theory, leave Aldwick missing out on promotion.

As Aldwick sweat, they can reflect on a final performance worthy of promotion with an all-round performance from Grant Wilson, whose four for 21 and 44 not out were top-drawer.

Wilson’s bowling was well-supported by Andy Burtenshaw (2-34) as the home side were bowled out for 131, but it could have been a lot less but for middle-order resistance from Jake Harris (29) and Daniel Bland (39).

Wilson opened and was well supported again by Andy Burtenshaw (35) but then came more fireworks from Ryan Purvis.

Earlier in the week, Purvis scored 103 not out in a total of 133 in a midweek game against Bognor, but on this occasion he was more reserved making 46 not out including four sixes and three fours as Aldwick II won in 15 overs.