Chichester’s bid for promotion from division three of the Sussex League was hit by a defeat to Findon - but Stirlands kept up their fine form in division four with a win over Hellingly.
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Findon v Chichester Priory Park
Sussex League division three
Promotion-chasing Chichester fell to a vital defeat when they made the short journey to Findon.
The weather was muggy and overcast which perhaps influenced Findon’s captain Bradley Bridson’s decision to bowl first.
Two Chichester wickets fell within the first over, leaving them on one for two. Peter Lamb (36) and Simon Hasted (34) rebuilt with a 72-run partnership for the third wicket but both were both dismissed in relatively-quick succession.
From a promising 73 for three, Chichester slumped to 125 for seven and a low total was on the cards.
Australian batsman Sam Harvey salvaged things for the visitors. In partnership with Dan Joseph, the pair dragged the score towards 200.
A total of 47 were added for the eighth wicket before Joseph was caught for 17. Harvey followed for a fine 79 off just 83 deliveries.
Chichester were bowled out for 200, a good achievement which meant maximum bonus points. Curtis Howell finished with four for 45.
Chichester needed to take early wickets to press home their advantage and Matt Geffen, stand-in captain for the day, ook three to leave the hosts precariously balanced on 36 for three.
That brought Felix Jordan in and the match quickly turned around again. He batted aggressively and quickly took the game away from the visitors.
He and captain Bridson wore down the visitors with a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Jordan was eventually bowled by Geffen for 80 but the damage had been done. Even two more quick wickets couldn’t halt Findon’s march towards victory, especially as Bridson (82no) remained in. Findon won by four wickets.
Priory picked up 13 points and a defeat for closest promotion rivals Mayfield meant they didn’t lose too much ground at the top. They will need maximum points in their next match, at home to Steyning, to maintain their promotion hopes.
Hellingly v Stirlands
After the disappointment of defeat to Henfield, Stirlands won at an overcast Hellingly to cement second place in the league.
The home side won the toss and decided to bat.
Deshpande and Mugford searched for early inroads and two wickets for Mugford left Hellingly 35-2 with Devlin and McCann at the crease.
Accumulation and big shots followed as the two batsmen dispatched some poor Stirlands bowling. Drinks were taken a ball early when George Briance, diving low, was hit in the mouth by the ball.
A double bowling change saw Will Gubbins come on for the injured Briance and George Coles replace Deshpande.
Tight bowling brought the wickets of Devlin, caught behind for 46, and McCann, bowled for 54, both falling to Coles, leaving the hosts 138 for four.
Gubbins found his rhythm and Stirlands were taking regular wickets and earning points. But more sloppy cricket from the bowling side allowed the visitors to amass 201 from 47.4 overs, Gubbins finishing with 4-41 and Coles back to his best with 3-13.
A total of 202 to win from 52 overs left the game in the balance and both sides chasing a 30-point victory.
Fecher was lbw for 0, bringing Gubbins in. More excellent bowling and pressure from A Pye and A Devlin brought reward for the bowling side as Gubbins departed for three, bowled by Devlin.
A steady partnership, with some lusty blows, between Leo Wilkinson-Beal and Torquil Deacon righted the listing ship. But 64-3 became 99-4 as wickets fell, Wilkinson-Beal LBW to Pye for 24 and Mugford caught of Pellett for 16, leaving the visitors in choppy waters.
Deacon batted admirably as he and Coles built a strong partnership. Deacon passed 50 and after a slow start Coles began to find the middle of the bat and some important boundaries.
Deacon and Coles sent the fielders to all parts and Stirlands wrapped up the 30 points with a six-wicket win, Deacon 85* and Coles 49* at the end.
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