Bognor under-16s went into their festival week as underdogs against the likes of Brighton & Hove, Lewes and Cuckfield, but finished second in their group.
Against Brighton they were put in and Michael Wake and Michael Harris took them to 63.
Harris (41) and Sam Newcombe (52) carried them past 100 and Bognor finished on 191 for eight.
Brighton were 116 for two, but three wickets for five runs and great spirit and tight bowling saw Bognor bowl out Brighton for 179.
Next they were away to Lewes and fell to three for three. However, with resistance from Alex Cooper, Ollie Adams and Tom Hoare, Bognor managed 122.
Their bowlers whipped Lewes, out for 105 thanks to brilliant figures of three for 23 from Alex Cooper and three for 21 from Callum Edwards.
Next, Bognor put Cuckfield in and soon had them five for one. But Cuckfield pushed on to post 204 for five. Bognor’s reply had a good start and with 45 from Wake, with back-up from Ryan Maskell, they reached 85 for one.
Wickets tumbled and Bognor ended on 154 for eight for a draw.
Bognor went into the final day knowing they had a slim chance of making the final but needed a big win against Findon.
They batted first in the hope of producing a big score and attacked from the start but lost valuable wickets and were 61 for four.
Cooper (44) and Adams (35) put on a masterful partnership of 84 and Bognor finished 191 all out.
Bognor attacked the batsmen from the beginning and had the hosts pegged back at 11 for four.
They bowled Findon out for 72 with Wake taking three for 20 and Harris three for four – but sadly that was not enough to top the group and reach the final.
Meanwhile, Eastergate Cricket Club colts’ teams enjoyed a very successful Sussex Junior Cricket Festival. Of 21 matches scheduled, Eastergate won 12, drew five and lost two, and two were abandoned.
Eastergate won or were runners-up in each of their five groups.
Highlights of the festival were numerous.
For the under-12s, Nick Smith scored 126 not out and Ben Mahoney took four for five versus Chichester Priory Park.
In the under-14s, the team scored 312 for one, with Alastair Mugford 186 not out – a club record individual score in all cricket against Felbridge and Sunnyside, while Matt Langmead took five for nine against Crawley.
For the under-13s Nick Smith scooped five for 11 versus Horley and Morgan Murphy took four for 12 against St Matthias.
Last but not least, in the under-16s, Barnaby Steele took four for 16 versus Chichester Priory Park, and in the under-11s, Nick Smith made 130 not out against Findon.
Eastergate also hosted the under-14 festival final between Cuckfield and Worthing.
Special thanks for the festival goes to colts’ team managers Steve Mugford, Roger Murphy, Phil Smith and Helen Smith, and to Ted Richards, the colts’ director, who umpired throughout the festival.
For details about Eastergate, visit www.eastergate.play-cricket.com