Chichester fume at dismissal.. Bognor bouyant after latest win

Matt Geffen struck early for Chichester / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Matt Geffen struck early for Chichester / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester slipped to a defeat after a controversial dismissal in Oaklands Park while Bognor ploughed on at the top.

Here are the latest reports from our local teams in division three of the Sussex League.

Chichester v Haywards Heath

Sussex League division three

Chichester’s recent improved run came to an end at Priory Park.

Sadly the match might not be remembered for the result but for a controversial decision that brought the very spirit of cricket in the league into question.

The visitors elected to bat first, a decision that looked questionable when Matt Geffen dismissed Isaac Leckie with the final ball of the first over. This was the third time in a row Geffen has taken a wicket in the opening over of an innings.

The seamer followed this by inducing an edge from Haywards Heath captain Callum Smith, leaving the visitors on seven for two.

Jonny Phelps and Alex Crowther set about rebuilding the innings and put on 77 for the third wicket. Crowther fell for 34 to a spectacular catch from Chichester’s Australian import Dan Weigl. Phelps (67) passed his half century but he too fell victim to an excellent catch, this time from Albie Condron off the bowling of Weigl.

A flurry of wickets saw the visitors in a spot of trouble at 171 for seven but an unbeaten 38-run partnership from Matt Jones (38no) and Josh Woodfield (21no) saw Haywards Heath through to end of their allotted overs.

A score of 215 for seven looked challenging but gettable on an excellent batting wicket. Geffen was the pick of Chichester’s bowlers with figures of three for 67.

Chichester needed to start quickly but -form John Edwards departed for just 13. Fellow opener Simon Hasted put together a battling 40 before he fell victim to the left arm spin of Jonny Phelps. Chichester were keeping up with the rate but were struggling to put a meaningful partnership together. Joylon Dannatt (17) and captain Weigl (21) departed in quick succession, leaving Chichester on 100 for four.

Then came the big talking point. George Stephens left a ball from Haywards Heath captain Callum Smith and it was taken by Isaac Leckie, who was standing up to the stumps.

A few seconds later Stephens appeared to stray out of his crease to pat down the pitch with his bat and Leckie promptly removed the bails and appealed for a stumping. What followed was several minutes of acrimonious and heated arguments that brought the old adage of ‘it’s just not cricket’ to mind.

Haywards Heath were convinced the ball was still live and were well within their right to appeal. Chichester believed that enough time had elapsed between Leckie taking the ball and Stephens moving out of his crease and the appeal went against the spirit of the game. About five minutes later, Stephens walked off the field and it still wasn’t clear whether the umpires actually gave him out.

With their focus gone, Chichester struggled to get back into it. Stuart Barker departed for a duck just three balls after the controversial incident.

Dan Joseph (24) and Geffen (19) tried their best to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Despite the match slipping away there was at least some levity to be had from the batting side.

Rob Carver had injured his hand while fielding and after a trip to A&E, he returned to the ground and eventually was called on to bat. He proceeded to bat one-handed with his injured hand tucked behind his back, even picking up two runs in the process. The match ended with a bizarre mix-up between Geffen and Carver that saw the former run out and Chichester bowled out for 168, giving the visitors victory by 47 runs.

What promised to be an entertaining run chase was abruptly derailed in controversial circumstances. Haywards Heath might have been the winners but there were no celebrations and they left Priory Park in record time after the match.

Cricket at this level is competitive but the gentlemanly spirit of the game shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of a few points.


Bognor v Goring

Divison three

On a fine summer’s day at the Regis Oval, the league leaders maintained their advantage at the top.

Bognor skipper Zayne Bux’s decision to field first proved inspired as Bognor paceman Graham Bush whipped out the top three and with Josh Broad (1-18) snaffling a wicket, Goring were teetering at 29 for four.

A recovery saw Goring out of trouble but the good work was undone as spin-maestro Joe Ashmore (1-37) had Goring’s Ross Baumann leg-before wicket for 12 with Goring 73 for five.

Paceman Jim Lee (1-33) continued his good form to dismiss Jon Coutts for 18 and leave Goring 114 for six, but a 51-run partnership between Goring’s Danny Pittham and Mark Stewart saw Goring push on.

However, the marauding Bush returned to trap Pittham leg-before for 90 and Stewart for 35 to finish with an excellent five for 56 to quell any resurgence. Skipper Zayne Bux joined the party by grabbing two late wickets (2-13) and Goring were dismissed for 189.

Bognor’s openers Mikey Harris and Andy Quincey went about their work in their usual bustling fashion. A 125-run opening partnership came to end when Quincey was leg-before to Goring’s Matt Keen for a bullish 57.

Harris continued and despite the loss of flame-haired wonderkid Ryan Maskell for 11, Bognor reached the target inside 34 overs, Harris finishing on 77 not out and the flamboyant bespectacled Jim Fallick on 29 not out seeing Bognor win by eight wickets.

Ifield 2nd v Bognor 2nd

2nd XI Division three west

Bognor elected to field and young pacemen Tom Woolnough snaffled Gareth Christian for 11. Bognor’s oldest player Jon Denby took the innings by the scruff of the neck; the 64-year-old bagged four for 21, including Ifield’s top scorer Gareth Christian for 33.

Jamie Woolnough grabbed three for 58 and Sam Adams took one for 25. Ifield were eventually all out for 181, Woolnough finishing with two for 31.

Bognor did not start well as Christian bagged three for 19. Sam Adams made a lively 31 and with Ian Ashmore making 25 and Ryan Walkley 31, the game was alive.

Tanya Wake battled for 23 not out but Bognor ran out of batsmen as they were bowled out for 171, Ifield winning by ten runs.

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