West Wittering can’t cross Bridges

Mark Taylor batting for West Wittering against Three Bridges / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Mark Taylor batting for West Wittering against Three Bridges / Picture by Kate Shemilt

West Wittering, Eastergate, Aldwick, Selsey and Bognor thirds were all in action in the latest round of West sussex Invitation League games.

Here are the reports - and don’t miss all the local cricket reports, pictures, tables, results and fixtures in the Observer every Thursday.

Eastergate’s catching and fielding was impressive, the highlight being a brilliant catch by Jack Bateman from a sky-high hit.

West Wittering v Three Bridges 3rds

Invitation League division three

Three Bridges won the toss and chose to bowl. Wittering scored 223 off their 49 overs, with opening batsman Mark Taylor top-scoring with 52.

There were contributions throughout the order, notably from skipper Carl Tupper who scored a quickfire 33 not out.

Three Bridges’ run chase started with the loss of two quick wickets to the bowling of Joe Pink. After those, Wittering found it difficult to break through the Bridges defences.

Youngster Danyal Razzaq (23) was the stronghold for the team as wickets fell around him and it took a rare bowling appearance from Mark Taylor to remove him after a 40-over stand.

Wittering continued to look for the ten wickets to win the match but could only find eight. Highlights of the match were outstanding catches by Tupper and Liam Bates, with Jack Harte taking a reaction catch behind him in a Ben Stokes-esque display of slip fielding.

The result was a winning draw for West Wittering to continue their unbeaten run in the league.

Eastergate v Broadwater

Division one

Eastergate followed a run of draws with their first win of the season – and it was a conclusive one against the leaders.

Eastergate were pleased to welcome back a few players missing from their game at Felbridge. Skipper Jack Stannard elected to bat on what looked a good track.

An opening partnership of 68 between Stannard and Josh Cole saw Eastergate off to a good start, with Cole out for 30. Stannard followed for a solid 40 with Nick Smith hitting 35.

Justin Poyser played the crucial innings, scoring 58 and maintaining a decent scoring rate for the home side against tight bowling from Broadwater.

Eastergate reached a respectable 214 for 6 off 49 overs.

It was soon clear that Eastergate’s opening bowling attack of Nick Smith and Pete Smith carried more pace and menace than Broadwater’s.

Pete Smith achieved an early breakthrough and followed up with two further important wickets in his spell of seven overs, finishing with three for 28.

Rejo Raju joined the attack, bowling 13 overs and picking up three wickets, including that of Paul O’Sullivan who top-scored for Broadwater with 46. Raju finished with impressive figures of three for 17.

Eastergate’s catching and fielding was impressive, the highlight being a brilliant catch by Jack Bateman from a sky-high hit. Broadwater were all out for 112 off 38 overs giving Eastergate a conclusive and deserved win with important contributions from the whole team.

Eastergate’s 30 points lifts them to seventh. They travel to Crawley Down on Saturday.

Selsey v Crawley Eagles

Division two

Selsey lost by one wicket in a low scoring thriller. Batting first, Selsey didn’t make use of a good batting track and collapsed to 135 all out against good bowling and poor shot selection.

Pete Horner with 32 and a cameo from Luke Cawte (19no) got the bulk of the runs.

In reply Selsey produced an excellent bowling and fielding display and made the Eagles work hard for their runs.

Wickets fell at regular intervals and opener Ijaz (46*) carried his bat in an innings which lasted 53 overs to take Eagles to victory with one wicket remaining.

Tom Cripps and Josh Stocks with two wickets, Horner with one and a fine spell from Tom Amis (4-45) almost carried Selsey to an unlikely victory.

Horsham Trinity v Aldwick

Division two

Aldwick skipper Ollie Smith finally won his first toss in 16 and had to remind himself he had to make the decision to who would bat first.

He decided to insert Horsham Trinity and it looked like he had got it right with the home side struggling on just 159-9. However, Ben Chappells had other ideas as he raced to an unbeaten 116 – his first 50 coming in 83 balls but his second in just 21 balls, which included a last-wicket stand of 66 which took Trinity to a final total of 225 all out after 43 overs.

There were two excellent catches from Aiden Miles and a gutsy bowling performance from Adam Robinson (4-75) and Keelan Belcher (3-66) among others gave their side a decent chance of a victory.

As it turned out, the toss was the only thing Aldwick won as everybody apart from Adam Rutter (44*) capitulated to the opening bowling pair of Nigel Smith (3-37) and Louie Donnelly (3-28) and first-change Joe Gandy.

The visitors crumbled to 83-8 until they were rescued by Rutter’s knock to finish with some semblance of respectability on 128 all out in the 32nd over.

Apart from Rutter, only Scott Bingham made double figures as his side tumbled to a heavy defeat by 97 runs.

Aldwick 2nd v Eastergate 2nd

Division six

This was a good win for Aldwick II against local rivals Eastergate – just the tonic the home side needed after a disappointing start to the season.

Batting first, Eastergate never really got going against the home side’s bowling attack. Only Curtis Drake (25) and Jonathan Drake (21) offered any resistance but the rest found it hard going as Eastergate could only manage to make 135-7 in their 40 overs.

First change John Young (4-22) did most of the damage with wickets too for Spencer Bist (1-15) and Liam Hicks (1-33).

Opener Tom Hoare (50) guided his side to victory with a well-made half-century and later on Spencer Bist (22) and John Young (20*) ensured Hoare’s good work was not undone as Aldwick won by two wickets.

Eastergate bowlers’ Charlie Williamson (2-13 ), Jack Saunders ( 2-40 ), and Jonathan Daki ( 3-32 ) made the contest closer than it should have been but it was their batsmen who under-performed and left them with mountain they could not climb.

Slinfold 3rd v Bognor 3rds

Invitation League Division 10 West

Winning the toss and fielding, Bognor stuck to their task as Sam Brooker and Thivagar Jeyachandran compiled a steady opening partnership.

Debut-making Alistair Booker bowled Jeyachandran for 22 and followed that with another wicket as Tom Patterson was bowled for a duck.

Skipper Jon Whitewood took two wickets and Babs Ahmed nipped in with one of his own with his off-spin.

Brooker was the key to Slinfold’s innings but an excellent running catch by Taylor Jaycocks off his mum Lisa Jaycocks’ bowling saw a fine innings of 55 come to an end, Slinfold finishing on 170 for six.

In the reply Ahmed was run out for six and a cluster of wickets left Bognor 25 for four.

Mike Delaney and Jon Whitewood rescued things, Delaney making a composed 39 and Whitewood backing him up before Jeyachandran (3-21) saw the skipper off for 41.

Another wobble saw Bognor on 141 for eight as Paul McCarthy snaffled 4-8. However, Steve Jays was at the crease and showing no fear, the big man from Bersted clouted a fine 38 on debut to see Bognor to a nerve-jangling one wicket win.

Claire Delaney - also on debut - held up an end for Jays to go to work.

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