Chichester and Bognor in fine form - Middleton, Pagham and Stirlands slip up
There were wins for Chichester Priory Park and Bognor but defeata for Middleton, Pagham, Stirlands and Aldwick. And there was history made at Petworth Park CC. Read all the Observer-area reports below...
Middleton v Hastings
First team cricket finally returned to Middleton Sports Club, albeit affected by delays for rain.
Promoted Hastings were the visitors and won by 15 runs in a close game.
Middleton chose to field, but former Sussex star Harry Finch was in good form, blasting 65 at a run a ball before he was bowled by Middleton skipper Sean Heather.
Once the home side were able to slow the run rate they found wickets easier to come by, dismissing Hastings for 200 in the 49th over.
As the players retreated to their cars for a sandwich or two the heavens opened, forcing a rain delay and a dreaded first use of Duckworth-Lewis.
The updated scenario was that Middleton would need 163 from 34 overs. They didn’t get the best of starts, losing three quick wickets before Heather and George Briance steadied the ship.
Heather batted nicely for 50 but when he was out with the score on 118, the game looked over.
Young Charlie Maginnis, making his Premier League debut, bludgeoned a quick 24 from 14 balls and set up a fascinating last few overs, but Hastings took it by 15 runs.
Middleton skipper Heather said: “It was disappointing to lose the game but D/L didn’t go in our favour and losing a few early wickets hampered our chase.
“We bowled really well – Tom Davies in particular was back to his best though his hamstrings failed him late in his spell. It was great to see Charlie Maginnis make his debut and impress with both bat and ball. I feel confident there are great things to come from our strong squad of players.”
Lindfield v Chi Priory Park
Sussex League division two
After a disappointing defeat on the opening weekend, Chichester Priory Park bounced backed with victory at Lindfield.
The weather prevented a full game but despite persistent rain all morning, the clouds parted to allow play to start 45 minutes late.
Visiting captain Sean Dobbs won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first.
Martin Ford removed opener Charlie Weir in the first over. Lindfield’s overseas player Apoorv Wankhade scored 28 from 26 balls before he was caught behind off Matt Geffen.
In an early contender for most amusing dismissal of the year Sajeer Nizam departed next. Missing a delivery from Ajit Sambhi, he slipped in a desperate attempt to avoid being stumped. He failed to realise his effort was in vain as he had been clean bowled.
Toby Shepperson (43no) and Simon Shivnarain (26no) steadied the ship before rain curtailed the innings on 114-3 after just 28 overs.
After an extended break for rain, brightened up by the arrival of a fish and chip van, Chichester were set a target of 163 to win off 28 overs under the Duckworth Lewis method.
Openers Dobbs (20) and Simon Hasted (24) got the chase off to a good start with a 46-run partnership.
Mike Smithwas brutal in scoring 38 off just 19 ballss, striking four sixes. He was well supported by Matt Bennison (24) and Ed McCarthy (28no).
Even Smith’s dismissal did little to slow Chichester’s march to victory as McCarthy and Matt Sharpe (19no) saw the visitors home by six wickets with more than five overs to spare.
Chichester visit Horsham this week.
Bognor v Horsham
Sussex League division two
An impressive performance from Bognor saw them make the most of a weekend where a number of games in division two were wiped out by the weather.
Under grey skies and with a green deck, Horsham made the surprising decision to bat first, and were immediately pegged back, as Andrew Hillman slapped Ben Woolnough (2-15) to Mike Harris at cover to depart for a duck.
Woolnough produced a beauty to take Nick Oxley’s outside edge, leaving Horsham 10-2.
Michael Thornley and Tom Johnson began a rebuilding exercise but Joe Ashmore’s spin led to the latter holing out to long off, where Nick Ballamy took an excellent catch.
Sam Attfield and Thornley took the score to 91-3, but rain intervened, reducing Horsham’s available overs to 40.
Thornley holed out to the spin of Harris for 46, and Paul Williams and Attfield followed, Harris finishing with 3-23.
Josh Sargeant cleaned up Sam Bell and ran out Nick Cooper, Horsham finishing on 158-8. Ashmore and Sam Adams both returned economy rates below three.
Bognor’s target was 159 in 40 overs and openers Ryan Maskell and Ballamy went on the attack.
Ballamy was exceptional while Maskell’s trademark pull shot was again to the fore.
Three sixes from Maskell took him to his second straight 50 before a rash stroke saw him out for 56.
Ballamy helped himself to a maiden 50 for Bognor alongside the more circumspect Ashmore.
Ballamy got the winning run to finish with an exceptional 75 not out, Bognor romping home by nine wickets and moving top of the table.
West Chiltv Pagham
Division three west
On a damp afternoon Pagham won the toss and decided, reluctantly, to have a bowl despite the very wet outfield.
West Chiltington’s openers made a blistering start making 68-0 from the first five overs. This forced captain Stuart Hanks to make early changes and Sean Rutter (2/39) and Justin Scott tried and stem the flow of runs.
This did work to some extent but West Chiltington continued to score freely and other than Nick Smith with his off-spin, 3-54, nobody was able to halt the express train and they reached 309-6 off 43 overs.
Pagham openers Hanks and Jack Stannard made a good start reaching 67 in the 12th over before captain Hanks was out.
After this Pagham never really looked like getting anywhere near the target and although T Beynon-Ayres played a solid knock of 51 not out, when the rain came it was too late to save Pagham who finished 159-6 off 33 overs, giving the home side a resounding victory.
Stirlands v East Preston
Division 4 West
Stirlands elected to bat, but quickly regretted their decision.
With Dom Fecher leaving a ball outside off that nipped back into his stumps and captain Jake Moores being clean bowled for a golden duck, things looked dire.
Mike Clowes and Tim Robinson tried to rebuild, but both soon succumbed to excellent bowling.
Stirlands failed to make an impression on the scorebook and were all out for 73.
East Preston’s chase of the measly total was hit when Tim Miles was dismissed by Dan Mugford, then rain interrupted. But the skies cleared and the batting side needed 62 from 38 overs.
Chris Williams and Johnny Cooper made the runs in just over 13 overs.
Division six west
Despite the dreary weather, the game went ahead – but Aldwick slipped to their 3rd consecutive defeat by 105 runs.
There were decent performances from some players to give hope for the immediate future.
Aldwick’s bowlers did not let Arundel run away with a massive total despite a strong start from openers Oliver Dabinett-Jays (24) and Ashley Field (74).
They both fell to Aldwick’s best bowler, Ollie Smith, (3-29). Further runs came from Kieran Hornsty (30) and Jamie Towe (25) until Liam Hicks (2-39) captured both.
The home side finished on 210-6.
The run chase did not go to plan as Aldwick’s top order was ripped apart by opening bowling pair James Bright (3-15) and Ryan Lewis (2-8) and were soon reeling at 15-4. Aiden Miles (34) and Tom Hoare (25) mounted a brave response and combined in a 47-run partnership. After they both fell Jamie Towe wrapped up the tail taking 4-29. Aldwick were bowled out for just 105 in 33 overs.
Aldwick entertain fellow strugglers Broadbridge Heath this week.
Aldwick II’s home fixture against Lancing Manor was rained off.
Goring II v Stirlands II
Division 7 West
Stirlands twos travelled to Goring for their first competitive game of the 2021 season.
Home captain Matt Dumigan invited Stirlands to bat first on a wicket that had had significant rainfall.
An inexperienced batting line-up was ripped apart by the new ball pairing of David Leader and Graham Cornish, whose excellent swing bowling earned six wickets between them.
Stirlands were bowled out for just 56 inside 20 overs.
Goring’s chase began with Sam Thorns punishing wayward bowling. Very quickly the 57 required runs were knocked off without a wicket lost, Goring taking maximum points. Stirlands host Bognor this week.
Bognor 3rd v Eastergate 2nd
In another rain-reduced encounter, Eastergate reached 152-5 in their allotted 30 overs, with Radford (56) and Hopton (52) the standouts. Bognor’s Christian Elliott took 3-30.
In response, Bognor faltered to 100 all out, Andy Lee top scoring with 35. Ursell and Reed took three wickets apiece for Eastergate.
Chippingdale 3rd v Petworth Park
Division 10 West
In their inaugural season in the Sussex Cricket League, after only being reformed in 2017, Petworth Park have found their feet and achieved their first league win.
Last Saturday will go down as a special day in the club’s history as they take their first steps to establishing themselves as being a premier place to play cricket on the Sussex Downs.
On a cold and damp afternoon in Worthing, Petworth restrictedd Chippingdale threes to 142 in 40 overs, largely due to very economical opening bowling from Alex Rees and James Gillett.
In reply, Hunter Davis got Petworth off to a flying start scoring 36 before Jamie Rountree drove the advantage home with a fine 57* and Rees followed up his bowling performance with a very calm 44* in a unbroken partnership of 105.
The club look forward to welcoming new players and spectators to Petworth Park during the season.
To join Petworth Park CC, see petworthpark cricket.org