Pagham ended Stirlands’ unbeaten run in a feisty encounter at Nyetimber Lane.
The game turned one way then the other - unlike Wayne Green’s bowling - before Pagham emerged victors by 30 runs.
A belting wicket was prepared but Friday night rain ensured the pitch didn’t play as anticipated and Stirlands captain Sean Heather let Pagham bat first.
By the 15th over Pagham had scored just 19 for two. Kejel Tyson (18) showed glimpses of his form which has seen him progress so far in the game while Green (23) batted in his typical positive way.
Despite Stuart Rutter’s aggressive 22, Pagham were in a precarious position at 110 for seven and in danger of setting an under-par score.
But for some late lusty blows from Michael Hales (26*), Billy Turner Hogg (19) and Joe Turner (22*) a final score of 176 for eight wouldn’t have been attainable.
The scorebook showed seven batsmen scoring between 14 and 26, while Stirlands were left to rue five dropped catches and a missed run-out chance.
Heather showed he has a bowling string to his bow with figures of two for 33 and Struan Cameron took his wicket tally for the season to 27, finishing with four for 40.
Stirlands opened with ex-pro Heather and would have expected to finish the innings with him too, such is his recent form.
But youngster Pete Cotterill (2-27) made sure he added only 16 to his season’s tally of 504 when he had him caught behind.
Cotterill wasn’t done there. Lewis Allan, another dangerman, was soon caught at cover. Stirlands were 24 for three and the momentum was with Pagham.
William Gubbins (40) and Nick Hunt (23) put Stirlands in the ascendancy. Both had been severe on Green, but he got rid of both in quick succession, leaving Stirlands 90 for five.
The run rate was climbing and tight bowling from Sean Rutter (0-5) and Sam Dickens (0-23) meant Stirlands had to target Green’s left-arm drifters to reach their target.
It was soon 135 for nine as Green took the next four, and his seventh, and Stirlands’ tenth, wicket fell with 14 balls remaining, giving Pagham an invaluable victory.
Green’s seven for 60 won the game to leave Pagham seventh - just one place below Stirlands.