Aldwick are in for a strong end to the West Sussex Invitation League season - and the same goes for Selsey and West Wittering.
Here are the latest reports from all three clubs.
Crawley Down v Aldwick
Invitation League division two
Champions-in-waiting Crawley Down were pushed all the way by a determined Aldwick who, despite missing out on promotion, played with fire in their bellies.
Down were lucky to hold on for a draw with 215 for nine chasing 235 for victory.
Apart a rare failure from opener Louis Paul (2), all of Aldwick’s batsmen made double figures but the 116-run fourth-wicket partnership from Dan Robinson (79) and Josh Sargeant (53) was the spine of the innings.
Keelan Belcher (32) and John Young (21*) batted freely at the end to take the visitors’ total to a competitive 234 for seven from their 49 overs. Dave Ward (2-84) was the home side’s best bowler early on but was outdone at the end by John Ward (4-21) when the visitors were looking to accelerate.
Crawley have piled on the runs during their successful campaign but Ollie Smith (3-50) got stuck in from the start and outwitted openers Simon Rawden (7) and Steve Morley (27) early on.
Jon Ward (66) rescued the table-toppers with a concerted knock as wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end.
John Young (4-48) and Dan Robinson (2-15) shared the wickets but neither could break the resistance of last pair Adam Dury (32*) and Kevin Hawkins (12*) who hung around until the end finishing on 215 for nine and saving their team from only their second league defeat of 2015.
Aldwick face Worthing Chippingdale this week in their final league game. Third spot is still possible in their first season in division two.
Selsey v Southwick
Selsey maintained top spot with a comfortable home win over Southwick.
After heavy rain the pitch was a little soft and captain Nic Nolan had no hesitation asking Southwick to bat first.
Southwick had no answer to Selsey’s attack and were dismissed for 90. Josh Stocks’ devasting spell earned him five for four in nine overs and he was supported by Pete Horner (3/21) and Tom Cripps (1/22). Only Russell Martin for Southwick with 37 made any real contribution.
In reply Tim Fewster (26) and Andy Horner (30) make sure there was no wobble with a good opening partnership. It was left to Tom Benham (12no) and Nic Nolan (18no) to see Selsey over the line.
With one game remaining Selsey know the title is theirs to win. With the second XI on the brink of promotion and the ladies’ team winning their cup semi-final on Sunday, it looks like being a season to remember for Selsey.
Belgrave Adelaide v West Wittering
West Wittering came into this game off the back of some disappointing performances, and with the chance of promotion all but gone, the game against Belgrave Adelade gave them a chance to show their class.
They were asked to bowl first. Jack Lyons (0-10) and Alex Salmon (0-28) restricted Belgrave early on.
The first change brought the first wicket with Joseph Pink, (3-44 off 14) and James Staight (4-33 off eight) frequently discombobulating the Belgrave batsmen.
After a lull in the middle overs, Andy Priest (2-33 off six) and Pink finally finished off the innings with only P Mani (84) managing to put up much resistance – leaving West Wittering 175 to win.
They started their reply with Luke Short and Gareth Lendrum – and finished it with them too.
Short (65no) and Lendrum (101no) accelerated away to win handsomely by ten wickets in just 29 overs.
In this form, West Wittering look like they mean business for next season.
Aldwick 2nd v Ifield 3rd
Going to the game with an outside chance of promotion, Aldwick II disappointed on the day and were heavily defeated by second from bottom Ifield by 66 runs to extinguish any hope of going up this year.
Batting first, Ifield worked hard to make 181 for seven from their 40 overs. Opener Awais Malik made 44 and Sheheryar Ahmed top scored with 52 until he became one of Scott Bingham’s three victims.
Bingham (3-13) and Ben Bambridge (2-32) toiled well and did not allow the visitors’ total to get out of hand.
Chasing 182, victory should not have been out of Aldwick’s reach but they made a real hash of things as they tumbled to 115 all out in under 32 overs.
Double-figure scores were rare (Scott Bingham 19, Tom Hoare 17, and Ian Guppy 17) as Matt Atkins (3-31), Sheheryar Ahmed (3-7) and Mahomed Qazi (2-25) wreaked havoc.
Aldwick seconds owe it to themselves to end the league season on a high with a victory over bottom-placed club Steyning thirds.
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