Bognor top the tree... Chichester keep up the pursuit

Max Ashmore moves the scoreboard along for Bognor / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Max Ashmore moves the scoreboard along for Bognor / Picture by Kate Shemilt

BOGNOR sit proudly at the top of Sussex League division three with 60 points from 60 after securing another maximum-point haul when Haywards Heath came to town. Chichester are among the clubs hot on their heels.

Bognor Regis v Haywards Heath

Sussex League division three

After losing the toss, Bognor were invited to bat on a fine day at the Regis Oval. Haywards Heath had the hosts in a spot of bother at 51 for three but all-rounder Elliott Clarke and mini-maestro Ryan Maskell wrestled back the initiative with a 135-run partnership with fine strokes and placement.

Clarke departed for a fine 73 but the stage was then set for Maskell to make his first 100 of the season, the flame-haired flayer finishing on 103 not out and Bognor ending 249 for five.

For Haywards Heath, wicketkeeper Isaac Leckie snaffled three catches and a stumping.

Haywards Heath began their reply in steady fashion with Jonny Phelps making 55 for the visitors and at 74 for two there was little sign of the carnage to come.

Enter diminutive spinner Joe Ashmore, who sliced through the Heath line up with panache, taking an excellent six for 20 off 11.4 overs of seductive slow left-arm.

With support from all the Bognor bowlers, Haywards Heath were bowled out for 157. Bognor wrapped up a 92-run win and continues their fine start to the season.

Rustington v Chichester

Sussex League division three

Chichester continued their fine form with a four-wicket victory over Rottingdean thanks mainly to a fine allound display by Dan Weigl.

With Matt Geffen still unavailable through work commitments, Mark Bamford continued as captain and was happy that Rottingdean elected to bat.

Weigl struck early but the Chichester bowlers struggled to make any further progress. But although lacking in penetration, they did bowl very economically. Weigl took three further late wickets to finish with four for 54. Alex Pegg took the other wicket to fall before the visitors declared on 207 for five.

Bamford continued his fine form with a rumbustious 44 in response as the home side raced to 65 within nine overs before he was judged caught behind. It was soon 65 for two, which brought Weigl to the crease.

The 21-year-old Australian has taken time out from his studies and part-time modelling career to be with Chichester for this summer and he certainly looks a good signing. He steered the hosts home despite the loss of wickets at the other end at regular intervals.

The contribution of 15 not out from John Edwards should not be under-estimated as 45 runs were still required when he joined Weigl (83 not out).

The inability to bowl the opposition out for the past two weeks has meant Chichester have claimed only eight of the 20 bonus points on offer and find themselves only third in the table despite their 100 per cent start. Chichester travel to Steyning on Saturday.

Slinfold 2nd XI v Bognor 2nd XI

2nd XIs div three west

Bognor skipper Andy Lee invited Slinfold to bat. This was music to veteran seamer Rich Cox’s ears as he ran through Slinfold’s line-up grabbing six for 40 with a fine display of pace bowling.

With support from Lee (2-20), Slinfold were bowled out for 137. For Slinfold, Mubbassar Hossain was the mainstay of the innings, top-scoring with 35.

In reply Bognor didn’t get going as Hossain made hay taking six for 40 and with support from Mushal Murad (3-15), Bognor were bowled out for 97, Slinfold winning by 40 runs.