Cricket: Tupper and West Wittering are on the up

West Wittering line up before their win over Horsham Trinity II  Picture by Kate Shemilt
West Wittering line up before their win over Horsham Trinity II Picture by Kate Shemilt

A crushing 197-run triumph over Horsham Trinity in division five of the Invitation League saw ambitious West Wittering stretch their lead at the top to 20 points.

Wittering, led by award-winning captain Carl Tupper, lost the toss and were asked to bat first in tricky conditions.

What followed was a batting masterclass as the home side declared after racking up a staggering 283 for five in 44 overs.

After losing James White (4) and Mitch Hackshaw (3) early on, the innings looked as if it was going to falter. But Jake Irwin-Brown had other ideas.

Playing his natural game and hitting the ball to all parts of the ground, Irwin-Brown was soon rewarded with his maiden league century. He eventually fell to a well-taken catch on 106.

He was more than ably supported by Gareth Lendrum, who also scored quickly, making a brilliant 83. Captain Tupper was also in the runs making a run-a-ball 38,and the innings was given late impetus by James Staight (28) and Kevin Allsobrook (12) before the signal came to declare.

Horsham’s reply got off to a steady start, but spinner Rich Hammond was able to remove both the openers, leaving the score at a respectable 47 for two.

Some more sensible batting moved the score on to 62 for three but youngster Joe Pink managed to produce a sensational spell of bowling to remove the next four Trinity batsmen for a paltry two runs.

With Trinity flailing, West Wittering went in for the kill and the final three wickets fell thanks to Staight, Allsobrook and Colts player Joe Sissons. Horsham Trinity finished on 87 all out and headed home comprehensively beaten.

After the game, West Wittering captain Tupper gave an insight into how his life had changed since he won a Natwest cricket young volunteer of the year award in 2012.

In recent times Tupper has earned himself employment as the cricket development officer for the Sussex Cricket Board, based in Hove.

He said: “Much of the work I do is similar to what I do here at West Wittering, but it’s on a much larger scale.”

Tupper spoke of his desire to move West Wittering on as a club and stated he would like the first team to play in division one or two within five years.

Asked whether he felt his Natwest award helped him gain his new job role he said: “I think it definitely helped - it put me in a good light before the job even came up.

“As I’m new to the job, I can see myself developing further in the coming years. But I’m really enjoying it - it’s what I love to do.”