Priory slip up... Stirlands flying

Chichester in the field in their loss to Haywards Heath / Picture by Derek Martin
Chichester in the field in their loss to Haywards Heath / Picture by Derek Martin

Chichester suffered a damaging defeat in their pursuit of promotion from Sussex League division three - but it is still in their own hands.

In division four, Stirlands have worked themselves into the driving seat in the race for the second promotion spot.

Chichester’s chances of promotion are still very much in their hands. Haywards Heath lead the table (349pts) with Crawley Eagles (348) second.

Read the latest reports below...

Chichester v Haywards Heath

Sussex League division three

A home defeat saw Chichester hand control of the title race to their rivals.

At the start of play, Chichester Priory Park sat top of the table but their opponents Haywards Heath also harboured promotion ambitions.

A heavy shower disrupted preparations but the match started on time. Haywards Heath captain Jonny Phelps won the toss and elected to bowl.

Chichester made a decent start, shrugging off the early run out of Will Futcher to sit on 58-1 inside 20 overs. The dismissal of Simon Hasted brought tension into the batting order which they were unable to recover from.

Wickets tumbled with regularity and at 84-8, Chichester didn’t look like they would make it to 100.

Abz Patel (18), one of only four batsman to reach double figures, saved the score from total embarrassment but the lower order couldn’t provide solace. Josh Woodfield took 4-29 as Chichester were bowled out for 115.

Chichester have arguably the strongest bowling attack in the division and they have rescued the team on several occasions. They needed quick wickets, which Matt Geffen and Dan Joseph provided.

The seam bowlers took two wickets each, including the dangerous Phelps, as Haywards Heath teetered on 37-4. Scoring was slow and difficult for Alex Dodsworth (32no) and Ollie Bailey (33no), but they stayed at the crease.

They inched towards the target as the hosts’ heads began to drop, giving away an uncharacteristic number of wides (15).

Haywards Heath completed a six-wicket victory to claim maximum points. Chichester claimed two points for their bowling efforts.

Chichester’s chances of promotion are still very much in their hands. Haywards Heath lead the table (349pts) with Crawley Eagles (348) second.

Chichester (340) slip to third but still have to play the Eagles on the final day. Chichester cannot afford any more slips. They got to Pagham this Saturday.

East Grinstead 2nd v Stirlands

Division four

Stirlands continued their excellent run of form and now lead the race for the second promotion spot.

The hosts won the toss and decided to bat but Stirlands threw the first punches as Jamaine Bullen bowled Adam Stephenson with the fourth ball of the match. Four balls later Dan Mugford bowled Thomas Beswick, leaving the home side 0-2.

Ben Henderson and Lex Wills counter-punched smartly and targeted the small boundary. An excellent partnership was ended when Wills, on 24, edged George Briance to Torquil Deacon at slip and he made a tough chance look easy.

Henderson was bowled by Briance for an attacking 40 before a poor second run by George Cave saw him run out – Mugford’s throw left George Coles work to do, but the bails were removed.

Samuel Jackson lasted four balls before being bowled by David Briance before another counter-attacking partnership came from Ben Davies and Ryan Shortland.

Davies was bowled by George Briance for 33 and Bullen and Mugford took another wicket apiece as East Grinstead achieved 181-9. George Briance took 3-29, Bullen 2-28, Mugford 2-41, David Briance 1-26, Dominic Fecher 0-50.
George Briance and Mike Clowes gave Stirlands’ reply a good start before Clowes was run-out for 11. Captain Coles joined Briance and at 124-1 Stirlands had a hiccup.

Coles departed lbw to Harnoop Kalsi, for 32, Deacon lbw to Stephenson, for nine and Bullen was bowled first ball to Stephenson, leaving a tense last ten overs with 35 still required.

Briance dispatched anything wayward to the boundary and Mugford helped him by launching a slog sweep out of the ground. The winning runs came courtesy of byes. George Briance ended 75*, Mugford 20*.
Stirlands picked up 28 points and this week Horsham twos host them.

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