Stirlands entertained Sussex division three west promotion rivals Bognor – and made a big dent in the 50-point lead they held over their hosts. Stirlands elected to bat on a flat, dry wicket.
Heather and Beal started well against Jim Lee and Sam Taylor before Lee got Heather (23) to edge one on to his stumps.
Oliver (24) joined Beal (32) and Stirlands were setting themselves up for a good score, but lost wickets along the way including danger man Will Gubbins (42), thanks to good bowling, poor shot selection and comedy running between the wickets.
At 134 for five it could have gone either way, but some determined batting from Mike Clowes (38no), Chris May (20) and Adam Downing (21) took Stirlands to a competitive 208 for seven.
Stirlands adapted to the situation and the wicket and opened the bowling with Mr Consistent Chris May and the leading wicket-taker, left-arm spinner Struan Cameron.
They put a lot of pressure on the opening batsman and Bognor were soon five for one from five overs and then 21 for two from 16.
Cameron bowled very straight and got plenty of spin, while Lewis Allen took over from May and helped reduce Bognor to 45 for three from 24 overs.
Bognor had to try to raise the tempo, and when Cameron was joined by fellow spinner Gubbins, Bognor got the run rate moving – but not without losing a few wickets.
Cameron gave them nothing and only Phil Ball was able to get the scoreboard moving with some reverse sweeps.
Opener Max Ashmore was unable to find any momentum and eventually feel for 57.
Stirlands kept squeezing and bowled out Bognor thanks to a great team performance.
Special mention goes to Cameron, who bowled 22 unchanged overs taking eight for 65 from 22 overs.
Stirlands took 30 points, Bognor eight. Stirlands still sit 50 or so points behind Middleton and results would really have to go Stirlands’ way over the next few weeks for them to have a look-in for promotion.
Bognor II v Stirlands II
Bognor comfortably won by nine wickets at the Regis Oval.
A second five-wicket haul in as two weeks by young Joe Ashmore (5-21) supported by Andy McGregor (3-4) and Charlie La Foret (2-16) saw Stirlands bowled out for 104, Dominic Fecher top-scoring with 30.
Skipper Ricky McIntosh maintained his good form with an unbeaten 55 with support from in-form starlet La Foret (37 not out).