Chichester were disappointed to come away from the picturesque Neville Recreation Ground on the wrong end of a seven-wicket defeat to Brighton in the Sussex Premier League.
Brighton have struggled this season and Chichester were hoping for a good result. The pitch was cold to touch, meaning moisture was locked beneath the rolled surface which was likely to aid the side bowling first.
Brighton elected to field first. The experienced Matt Wood (4-25) produced a good opening spell of swing bowling in the overcast conditions and removed opener Mark Bamford for a duck.
Chris Kirkham (16) provided resistance with Aussie Adam Zampa (11) taking the score to 31 for one before four wickets fell for one run as the Chichester middle order capitulated in an all-too-familiar fashion.
Ex-England captain Mike Atherton’s brother Chris produced a miserly spell of bowling for Brighton, taking two for 25 before the spinners came on.
Chichester were sent tumbling for 87 all out with only Dan Joseph (18 not out) and Richard Browning (13) providing any kind of rearguard.
Although the wicket had been difficult to bat on, 87 was clearly well below par and the Chichester bowlers went about the unenviable task of trying to defend it.
Young Matt Geffen was again a shining light, exhibiting great control and picking up two early wickets as Brighton struggled to 22 for three.
Brighton started to dominate the bowling from one end as Geffen (2-20 off 13 overs) continued to tie up the other. Browning and Stedman were unable to make inroads before Scott was brought into the attack as Chichester tried all their options.
The game ended quickly with 17 coming off an over to propel Brighton to victory. Chichester have been anything but consistent this season. They sit fifth in the league and host Roffey on Saturday.