There is action involving Middleton, Chi Priory Park, Stirlands, Pagham and West Wittering in our latest round-up from the top five divisions of the Sussex Cricket League.
Eastbourne v Middleton
A batting collapse cost Middleton the chance of victory at in-form Eastbourne.
Heavy rain the previous day meant tthe wicket was very wet and the start of play was delayed by an hour, reducing the match to 45 overs per side.
Middleton won the toss and took the obvious decision to bowl first.
Wickets fell regularly and Eastbourne found themselves 87-5. James Hockley, the ex-Kent player who had scored 240 against Brighton a week earlier, was first to go for just nine.
Jacob Smith, the Eastbourne captain, became a thorn in the side of Middleton, batting at No3 through to the end of the innings, ending 99 not out and seeing his side to 226-8.
He was dropped on 46, the only real chance he gave, and scored 24 runs of the final over of the innings.
None of the Middleton bowlers took more than one or two wickets but Craig Fowle (nine overs for 30) and Josh Wood (2-33) were the most economical.
Not for the first time this season, the Middleton batsmen struggled to occupy the crease and build partnerships.
From 118-4, they lost their last six wickets for just 16, ending all out for just 134.
Only Mahesh Rawat (35) and Sean Heather (36) made real starts.
Ansty v Chi Priory Park
Chichester won by two wickets in a major step towards ensuring their status for next season.
Friday’s rain had an adverse effect on the wicket and visiting captain Matt Geffen was happy to win the toss and bowl first on the damp surface.
Two early wickets reduced the hosts to 33-2, the wicket causing slow and inconsistent bounce. Harry Towler (55) and Darren Senadhira (34) added 82 but both fell to Mike Smith (3-24).
Thir departure triggered a batting collapse with the incoming batsmen failing to acclimatise. Three wickets for Dan Joseph (3-36) and two in consecutive balls for Joe De La Fuente restricted the hosts to 168 all out.
In reply Chichester’s innings almost mirrored the hosts’, falling to 23-2 before the third-wicket pair of Matt Bennison (32) and Jay Hartard (35) added 72. But the need for quick runs brought the downfall of the pair and Chichester needed a tricky 12 runs off 18 balls.
Joseph fell to the first ball off the 44th over, leaving Chichester with just two wickets in hand. Then Ansty bowler Sam Palser bowled four wides in a row to make Chichester’s task a lot easier. Smith hit the winning boundary off the final ball to give Chichester victory by two wickets.
The maximum points move Chichester back up to sixth and put them 45 points clear of the relegation zone. While not mathematically safe, they have some breathing room ahead of the final three games. Next they host leaders Three Bridges at Goodwood.
Worthing v Stirlands
Division 3 West
Worthing won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket that was still very damp and soft.
Stirlands started well, helped by some wayward bowling and positive batting from Jake Moores, who hit a flurry of early boundaries in reaching 23 from 20 balls before being caught in the gully.
George Briance, in at No3, was lbw without scoring and Stirlands were 36-2. Jamaine Bullen joined Will Gubbins and Gubbins continued to be watchful while Bullen was more expansive.
Left-arm spinner Harry Dunn was hit for a flurry of boundaries by Bullen and Stirlands brought up their 100 in the 20th over before Gubbins fell for 27.
Skipper George Coles put on 57 with Bullen. But Bullen tried one big hit too many against Andy Lutwyche and fell for 59 off 57 balls. Ed Clarke was soon out and when Coles fell for 40, Stirlands were 195-6.
Dan Mugford, Dom Fecher, Harry Moores, Adam Norris and David Briance combined well to end the innings on 238-9, with the diminutive Moores hitting a couple of sixes.
The first over of the reply saw Bullen find Cameron New’s chest from a good length. Mugford made the breakthrough, removing Australian New, who skied to Moores at cover.
Mihir Tandel and Hamish Llewelyn added useful runs but a long hop from George Briance sent Tandel on his way, caught by Bullen.
The same combination accounted for Nick Ballamy and it was 79-3.
Llewellyn and Alex Harris dragged Worthing back into the contest as the score reached 146-3 before Fecher got Stirlands the breakthrough they desperately needed - George Briance taking the catch at forward square leg.
Coles removed Harris, and though the new pair of Giorgio Rigali and Josh Goldsmith ran hard, Stirlands had cut the boundaries off, and the required run rate increased as Coles and Fecher strangled the life out of the innings.
Goldsmith scythed Fecher to Coles at poin, before Coles took the final four wickets to fall to finish with 5-22.
Stirlands picked up 30 points and host Roffey seconds this Saturday.
Pagham v Goring
Division 3 West
Having been asked to bat first, the Goring batsmen found the Pagham wicket to their liking and soon got to 215-3 thanks to Kellon Carmichael with 74, Danny Pitham’s 53 and Aly Maynard’s 44.
However, wickets fell regualry from this point and Goring were eventually dismissed for 257 in the 44th over. Nikki Tabberer finished with 4-43 and Rico Webb 3-50.
Pagham made a brisk start with Gareth Davies (51) and Jack Stannard (40) putting on 70 but wickets started to tumble and Pagham ended 83 runs short, being bowled out for 184.
Goring’s victory virtually assures them of promotion to division two next season.
West Wittering v Horsham Trinity
Millenium Meadow hosted a hard-fought contest between West Wittering and Horsham Trinity, with the visitors coming out on top.
WW were put in and started well, openers Taylor (23) and Irwin-Brown (36) scoring well. Tupper (39) played nicely and Miller (69) was pick of the batsmen.
Priest (10), Bates (18*) and Staight (1*) all contributed to the 219-5 total in 40 overs. Pick of HT bowlers was Street with 2-22.
Trinity’s openers responded with an opening stand of 114 despite ticklish conditions and patchy showers.
After 30 overs, with the score 165-3, the game could have gone either way, but some powerful hitting from Gold (71), Chappells (57*) and Smallwood (34*) shifted momentum and they succeeded in the chase with three overs to spare. Notable bowling performances for WW were from Sissons with 1-31 and Staight with 2-52.