Another defeat for Aldwick has held up their promotion hopes - but West Wittering are well on the way to glory.
Read their reports in our latest Invitation League round-up.
Aldwick v Brighton & Hove III
Invitation League div three
This was a missed opportunity for second-placed Aldwick to make up ground on league leaders Eastergate, who suffered a defeat to Himani.
Aldwick also lost, mainly because of the batting of just one man, Lachlan Stewart, who was finally undone by Adam Robinson (3-38) just one short of 150 after being dropped on only 13.
His side’s huge 272 all out was always going to be a difficult hill to climb and Stewart was well supported along the way by Ian Parker (46) and Alex Bone (39).
Robinson’s opening bowling partner, Keelan Belcher, was also among the wickets, taking four for 56.
Set 273 for victory, skipper Joel Lodge ( 27) started confidently in the run chase but his team-mates let him down as wickets fell at regular intervals.
Brighton’s opening bowlers Craig Lees (3-29) and Anthony Statham (2-26) sliced through the batting with ease. Scott Bingham (38) and Adam Robinson (28*) fought back bravely but their efforts and even the visitors’ gift of extras (35) was nowhere near the required score and defeat came in the 45th over by 122 runs.
With two games to go, it’s Eastergate’s title to lose and Aldwick should end up second and achieve promotion unless they do something silly.
This weekend they visit Clayton and Belgrave Adelaide.
West Wittering v Felbridge & Sunnyside II
With the toss going in Felbridge’s favour, they decided to bat first on a track covered for the previous night’s downpour.
Their progress was limited with tight bowling by Tim Osborne and Kev Allsobrook. The number of dot balls meant wickets soon appeared on the horizon at regular intervals.
Only Ben Tottman showed signs of being assertiv, scoring almost half their total with 44. Wickets fell to Alex Salmon (2-11), Tim Osborne (2-17), Richard Hammond (2-27) and James Staight (1-19) plus three run-outs. Felbridge were all out for 107.
James Staight opened the batting with an eye on the clock, and with 28 on the board after two overs it looked like an early finish. But Staight was soon out for 27.
Order was restored by Mark Taylor and Gareth Lendrum until Taylor was out for 22, and Jake Irwin-Brown followed for three.
Simon Lowther couldn’t stop the rot – he went for a duck – and skipper for the day Harry Staight chipped in with 12, but star of the show Lendrum finished off with a well-deserved 39 not out, winning West Wittering the game by five wickets.
With two games left and 30 points required to win the league, it’s going to be a close call.
Brighton & Hove IV v Aldwick II
In this fixture, unlike the division-three game, it was a bowler rather than a batsmen who almost single-handly won the tie for Brighton against Aldwick.
Stan Harrison took six for 19 in under nine overs and obliterated any hope of the visitors reaching a modest total of 140 for victory.
Aldwick opener Jordan Bist (33), Charlie Barnett (22) and Grant Wilson (15) all got going but failed to push on and their side crumbled to 95 all out in the 32nd over.
It was a disappointing end to the day as Aldwick bowlers had earlier performed well to bowl out the home side for an under-par 139 in the 40th over.
After Josh Barnes (29) and Connor May (46) had put on 65 runs for the second wicket, the Aldwick bowlers took over with Grant Wilson (4-19), Tom Hoare (2-24) and Josh Sargeant (2-36) sharing the wickets.
Aldwick started the day as league leaders but as a result of the defeat slipped to second and must now win their last two games while being wary of the other four sides who can potentially overtake them.
Chichester IV v Billingshurst III
With a young squad keen to test their batting skills, Chichester opted to bat first.
Callum Jackson was out on 27 allowing a partnership of 96 between Steve Parker and Will Price to bring the total to 133. Parker reached 50 with eight boundaries.
James Stemp batted with maturity and a partnership of 86 was established with Price, who secured his first 100 for the club in 99 minutes off 97 balls and ended 101 not out, while Stemp reached 32 not out.
The final total was 229 off 40 overs – and Billingshurst were never in it in reply, slipping to 83 all out.
Two wickets apiece for Louis Gibbons, Callum Wale and Henry Condron and three for Sam Roe were added to by Price’s run-out.