After a promising performance a week earlier, Chichester were unable to build on that against promotion-chasing St James and now face a struggle to survive in division two of the Sussex League.
Heavy overnight rain in East Sussex didn’t affect the pitch and after winning the toss for the fourth time in a row, Chichester elected to bat.
Home bowler Michael Murray produced an excellent display of swing bowling. He took four of the first five wickets and Chichester were in trouble at 30 for five after just 12 overs.
Jolyon Dannatt and Mike Corrigan rebuilt the innings with a partnership of 62 for the sixth wicket. The increasingly-impressive Dannatt showed coolness under pressure and ran between the wickets extremely well.
He was disappointed to miss out on a half century, falling for 46. When Corrigan departed for a hard-fought 37, Chichester were wobbling again at 109 for eight.
Captain Sean Dobbs hit a quickfire 24 to drag the score up to 141 before the visitors were bowled out. Murray was the pick of the bowler with six for 31.
In response St James got off to an explosive start, racing to 56 without loss after eight overs. Adam Din hit three massive sixes into the adjacent fields.
Din was the first to fall, edging one through to the wicketkeeper off the bowling of Dan Joseph.
Chichester were living up to their reputation as the best fielding side in the division. Firstly Dannatt took an fine low catch, diving forward.
Next Jay Hartard produced a great pick-up and throw to run out Mali Richards.
Hartard took a fantastic diving catch, leaping high to his right to pluck one out of the air. Unfortunately the excellent fielding couldn’t make up for a lack of runs on the board.
It was left to home captain Murray to hit the winning runs as St James won by five wickets.
With just four games to go, the men from Priory Park need to take maximum points to avoid the dreaded drop into division three. The first of these vital games is at home to Lindfield on Saturday.
* Middleton’s division-two trip to Ifield was washed out without a ball bowled.