Eastergate, Aldwick, Selsey and West Wittering were all in action in the latest round of West Sussex Invitation Cricket League games - with varying degrees of success.
Don’t miss our league round-up, pictures, results and fixtures in the Observer series every Thursday.
Eastergate v Littlehampton
Invitation League division one
On a drizzly afternoon, Eastergate went into this game as underdogs but worked hard for a winning draw against a strong Littlehampton side.
Eastergate elected to bat despite the conditions. After the loss of two early wickets, the home side found themselves 25-2 before an 80-run partnership between Nick Smith (55) and Australian Justin Poyser (72) cemented the innings.
After a rain delay wicketkeeper Dan Jadzevics was the only other batsman to make double figures, finishing 18 not out as Eastergate finished 174 all out.
Thanks to some excellent fielding, tight bowling and good team spirit, Eastergate restricted Littlehampton to 135 for eight off their allotted overs. Spinner Rijo Raju was he pick of the bowlers 3-28.
The conditions affected the game for both sides but Eastergate skipper Jack Stannard was pleased with the result and feels it has given the team a platform to build on for the rest of the season. Eastergate took 14 points.
Eastergate make the long trip to Felbridge and Sunnyside this Saturday.
Chippingdale v Aldwick
Invitation League division two
For the 14th time in a row Aldwick skipper Ollie Smith lost the toss – and for the fourth time in a row his side suffered a defeat. But his troops can take heart from easily their best performance of the season so far.
Aldwick were asked to bat first and opener Alex Cooper (75) looked back to his best with a top knock. At the other end, Chris Redman (2), Adam Rutter (6) and Keelan Belcher (3) fell cheaply but Adam Robinson (61) joined Cooper and together they took the score from a fragile 78-4 to a healthy 171-5.
However, the rest of the visitors’ batsman could not replicate the sterling efforts of the Cooper-Robinson partnership and were shot out for a disappointing 227 all out.
Aaron Tugnett took 5-44 in under ten overs.
Aldwick’s opening bowling pair Adam Robinson (3-48) and Ollie Smith (5-65) bowled a fine line and were soon taking wickets with ease.
At 102-7 the home were surely anticipating defeat and Aldwick were rubbing their hands with delight at the thought of their first league victory of 2016.
However, Chips No7 Simon Martyn had other ideas as he rode his luck to a matching winning unbeaten 121.
Martyn was well supported by Gary Mockford (31) who helped to take his side’s score to 201-9. After Mockford fell, Martin nervously guided his team past the winning line with only 1 wicket to spare.
Aldwick will go into this week’s home fixture against Broadbridge Heath with heightened confidence.
Horsham Trinity v Selsey
After recording their first win of the season at home to Broadbridge Heath by 104 runs, Selsey followed it up with a 62-run success at Horsham.
Nic Nolan had no hesitation in batting first and at 20-0 this looked a good decision but this soon became 20-3.
Dave Benham steadied the ship with 22 and captain Nolan struck 82. Nic Horner with a fine 52 and 29 not out from Tom Cripps helped Selsey get to 226-7.
Trinity were well placed at 62-1 but good bowling from Tom Cripps (4/47), Pete Horner (3/9), Tom Amis, who bowled a lot better than his 1-56 suggests, and Josh Stocks (2/32).
Morse looked well set on 37 but when he fell to a stunning catch from Luke Cawte, his second of the matchm this rocked Trinity and they never recovered.
After a tricky opening two weeks through lack of availability, Selsey have recovered well.
West Wittering v Storrington
Under a moody grey sky, and with a hint or rain in the air, this match felt like it could be called off at any moment.
West Wittering have been in imperious form so far this season, and were keen to get under way while the weather held. Their trademark high intensity brought an early wicket, and with the formidable bowling of Tim Osborne and Harry Staight applying the pressure, wickets continued to fall.
While there was some last-wicket resistance from Storrington, they finally succumbed for a below-par 81.
Staight and Tim Osborne shared the spoils with five wickets each, with two contrasting spells. Where Osborne bowled with formidable pace and bounce interspersed with rapier-like yorkers, Staight bowled with guile and cunning.
After tea there was a brief delay while the teams waited patiently for the drizzle to stop before the Wittering reply began.
With the risk of rain never far away, the Wittering openers of Bates and Lendrum set about their task with enthusiasm. Bates in particular was the early aggressor with some well-timed shots racing the score along.
Just as the win seemed inevitable, Bates offered a rare rash shot and was caught at first slip for 48. In the next over, Wittering wrapped up the victory in the 13th over.
In this sort of form, Witterings will have high hopes for the rest of the season.
Aldwick II v Pulborough
Pulborough had to withdraw their first XI from division one – but their second XI are thriving.
Despite an early partnership from Aldwick’s Tom Hoare (58) and Alec Rowland (33) they were able to bowl out the home side for 146, 40 runs short of their target.
The wickets were shared among the bowlers but Liam Blunden shot out the tail with three for five.
Earlier Aldwick could not contain opener Peter Wood (62) and Tommy Dunger (70), without whom the visitors would have struggled as only one other batsmen, John Fletcher (12) made double figures.
For Aldwick, Ben Bambridge (0-16) bowled a tight spell with no luck, and wickets came later for Liam Hicks (2-40) and Tom Hoare (2-11).
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