Affleck stars, but there's no blockbuster ending
Middleton and Pagham ended with honours fairly even at Sea Lane - while Bognor had an eventful opening to the Sussex League season.
Here are the match reports...
Middleton v Pagham
Sussex League division two
Middleton had to settle for a draw when they started their 2016 league campaign at home to local rivals Pagham.
The Sea Lane ground looked a picture, living up to its impressive third position in a list of 40 county league grounds in 2015.
The wicket looked a good batting track and Sean Heather, the Middleton captain, had no hesitation in electing to bat upon winning the toss.
Pagham made an early breakthrough with Peter Cotterill removing Will Burrows lbw with the score on just 12.
There followed two big partnerships for Middleton, first 94 between Will Affleck and Heather (52) and then 77 between Affleck and Ben Ferbrache (47). Affleck was finally out bowled ten short of his first 100 for Middleton with the score on 214. His 90 came off 120 balls.
Middleton declared their innings at the end of the 48th over with the score on 256 for six. The pick of the Pagham bowlers was Cotterill (3-63).
The talk around the ground at tea was whether Middleton had declared too early and the consensus seemed to be that it was a sporting declaration.
Pagham found it hard after the loss of Stuart Hanks for 29 in the tenth over to really get going, the fourth wicket falling in the 30th over with the score on 112.
It was left to Eranga Dissangge to see his side through to a draw with an unbeaten 61, Pagham finishing on 177 for eight.
Craig Fowle (3-39) and Matt Reynolds (3-30) were Middleton’s best bowlers.
Bognor v St James Montefiore
Sussex League division two
On a glorious day at the Regis Oval, Bognor won the toss and invited their hosts to bat.
St James took up the challenge offered and were pootling along nicely at 162 for one when Bognor skipper Zayne Bux and his bag of allsorts came into the equation.
Having dismissed Mike Murray for 84, the suave South African picked up four for 64 and with Mikey Harris’ devious sliders taking two for 62, St James ended on 235 for seven declared.
Bognor’s reply began steadily and when Andy Quincey was dismissed for 43 to leave Bognor on 77 for two, there was no inkling as to what would follow.
Harris and Bux remained unbeaten as they saw Bognor to their target with only two wickets lost. Harris completed a fine century making 107 not out off of 88 balls and Bux making 63 off of 67 as Bognor completed an excellent eight-wicket victory.
Bognor v Guernsey Sarninans
Sussex League division two
Sunday at the Regis Oval saw Guernsey make their Sussex League debut.
Bognor skipper Zayne Bux won the toss and chose to field with Andy Quincey and Sam Adams taking the new ball.
The hosts stuck gamely to their task in the unseasonal warmth and kept chipping away at the Guernsey line up, Bux taking two for 32, Adams two for 57 with one apiece for Quincey and Mikey Harris as the Sarnians finished on 254 for eight.
For the visitors, Oli Nightingale top scored with 54.
Bognor’s innings never quite got going and apart from Quincey’s 32, Bognor’s innings meandered to 131 all out with Guernsey’s Max Ellis taking five for 20, Guernsey winning by 123 runs.
Henfield 2nd v Bognor 2nd
Sussex 2nd XI division three west
In their quest for promotion, Bognor’s second XI, under the watch of young Josh Seward, started their campaign at Henfield Common. Winning the toss and fielding, Bognor had their hosts at 24 for two only for Peter Boyce (59) and Rob Slaughter to pull it back Henfield’s way.
Luke Seward (2-31) and young Tom Woolnough made inroads into Henfield’s middle order; Slaughter finished on 98 not out but Woolnough was the star of the Bognor innings. The 15-year-old known as The Chimp for his merry antics wasn’t monkeying around as he took a career best six for 35 as Henfield finished on 214 all out.
The visitors’ reply was steady enough and Bognor were well placed at 89 for two with the ever-elegant Mark Woolnough making an assured 31.
Veteran Graham Ball – back in the squad after a year out with injury – showed all of the old class with 57 but wickets fell regularly at the other end. With Henfield’s Jordon Smith taking three for 40, Bognor couldn’t quite reach their target and were bowled out for 196, losing by 14 runs.
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