Bognor won’t give up on cricket title dreams

Bognor's Graham Bush
Bognor's Graham Bush
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Bognor have four matches left to overhaul Findon and clinch the division three west title and promotion.

They stayed in the hunt with a two-wicket win at Slinfold at the weekend but were disappointed to discover the leaders had won a low-scoring game at home to Pagham.

Bognor have 42 points to make up on Findon to grab the only spot that will guarantee a place in division two, so it’s a tough task, but their latest outing has given them new hope. On a green Slinfold wicket, the home side elected to bat and Steven Haines (38) got his side off to an electrifying start, riding his luck with some dashing strokeplay.

Graham Bush’s superb season continued as he picked up Haines to trigger a Slinfold collapse.

Bush ripped through the Slinfold middle order, which included the dismissals of captain Guy Thorne and overseas pro Hayden McIntyre, both for just two. He ended with six for 37.

Ethan Ansell (68 not out) provided the backbone to the innings, carrying his bat. He and Dave Busby (19 not out) were able to boost the total to an under-par 173 for seven.

Bognor’s reply started poorly as Max Ashmore fell to the second ball of the innings. After a period of rebuilding, opener Elliott Clarke (23) perished to the bowling of Guy Thorne (5-69), shortly followed by Rob Willway and Andrew Quincey, who were both bowled by Hayden McIntyre (2-66).

However, a timely return to form from Michael Spaseski (72) accompanied by a measured knock from Rob Burge (22) took Bognor within touching distance of the hosts’ score.

After Spaseski’s incredible innings came to an abrupt end, Bognor wobbled as more wickets fell to leave them eight wickets down.

Bowling hero Bush, ably supported by Charlie La Foret, hit the remaining runs as Bognor limped over the line to claim another 30 points.

Elsewhere in division three west, Middleton are fourth after a thrilling win over Steyning while Pagham remain rooted to the bottom after losing at Findon.

In the premier league and division two respectively, Chichester and Stirlands still have work to do to ensure they stay up.