Stirland keep dream alive ... Bognor bouncing along

Mike Hales batting for Pagham against Stirlands - but he couldn't save them from defeat  Picture by Kate Shemilt C130766
Mike Hales batting for Pagham against Stirlands - but he couldn't save them from defeat Picture by Kate Shemilt C130766

Stirlands and Bognor continued their fine Sussex division three west form in the latest round of games.

Stirlands v Pagham

After Stirlands’ disappointing setback at Slinfold, almost dashing their hopes of promotion, Stirlands beat local rivals Pagham at Church Lane to keep them with an outside chance of going up.

Pagham won the toss on a flat track and elected to bat. Pagham openers Michael Hales and Jamaul Fernandez set about their task but the breakthrough, came when Leon Fourie picked up his first Lleague wicket for Stirlands by bowling Hales, via an inside edge, with 37 on the board.

Fernandez followed Hales back to the pavilion when a lifter from Chris May flicked his glove and keeper Stuart Hanks did the rest.

Graham Finlayson holed out to Anthony Butler off May for just four, and at 69 for three Pagham were wobbling.

Spin was introduced with Struan Cameron and senior pro Nick Hunt, but Joe Metz and Wayne Green batted positively and added 64 before a mix-up and fantastic work in the field by Sean Heather saw Metz run out for 43.

Hunt trapped Green lbw for 41 but Joe Turner finished 32 not out as wickets fell around him to Hunt, who finished with four for 57. Pagham ended their 53 overs on 208 for eight.

Heather and Stuart Hanks strode out and took the attack to Pagham, scoring boundaries at will all around the ground, adding 68 for the first wicket before cavalier left-hander Banks was bowled by Rahman for a run-a-ball 28.

Gubbins, unluckily adjudged lbw off Cotterill, and Ed Clarke, bowled by Rahman, soon followed and Stirlands were in trouble at 93 for three.

Rahman trapped Heather lbw for a classy 66, and at 102 for four, Hunt and Fourie provided the partnership they required, adding 59 before Fourie edged behind off Cotterill for 19.

Hunt was stumped off Green for 36 and Downing followed next ball, bowled by Green. At 165 for seven, Stirlands were far from home and Chris May and Cameron set about picking off the runs.

They took Stirlands to the brink of victory before Cameron was out for 18 with four more required. Butler got the job done with a boundary from his first ball, and Stirlands were home by two wickets. May finished with a crucial 22 not out.

After another victory for Billingshurst, Stirlands travel to Arundel this week targeting 30 points and hoping Billingshurst slip up to give them an opening before Stirlands play Billingshurst in the final game.

n Stirlands seconds had a fantastic win over top team Pagham in the second-XI division. Despite being 41 for six, Stirlands got up to 165 all out before bowling out Pagham thanks largely to Jim Lynch’s six for 48.

Bognor v Arundel

After electing to bowl, Bognor made swift and incisive inroads into the Arundel order.

Fiery paceman Jim Lee ripped out three of Arundel’s top four for a fine three for 11. Spin came to the fore as young Joe Ashmore (2-24) and bullish skipper Elliott Clarke (2-21) kept the pressure on Arundel.

With Charlie La Foret polishing off the tail with three for 10, Arundel were bowled out for 101.

An early strike for Arundel didn’t dampen Bognor’s spirit as gregarious Aussie Sam Taylor struck a vicious 39 off 27 balls to take Bognor to the brink of victory.

With the impish Mikey Harris making a patient 39 not out, Bognor won by eight wickets to move them up to fourth.

Bognor 2nd v Arundel 2nd

Bognor’s second XI elected to bat and were led from the front by young Louis Paul, whose 51 off 71 balls formed half of Bognor’s 101 all out as Arundel veteran Neil Chitty worked his magic taking six for 15.

In reply after Andy McGregor’s early strike, Bognor’s young attack plugged away but Arundel batsmen Julian Caspari (51no) and Samuel Theodoridi (40no) saw the home team win by nine wickets.