Chichester brighten the mood against Brighton

Chichester Priory Park started the weekend bottom of the Premier League requiring a win - and got it when Brighton visited Priory Park.

Captain Richard Browning lost the toss and his side were asked to field.

Opening bowlers Matthew Geffen and Browning led the way on a green seamer and the Brighton innings never got going.

But for a well-grafted 71 by Tim Jarvis, the visitors would have been in real trouble. In the end, Brighton were all out for 154 after a good performance from the bowling quartet - Ashton Turner finishing with figures of three for 56, James Stedman with two for 39, Geffen with two for 32 and Browning one for 23.

The Chichester opening batsmen, Chris Kirkham and former captain Mark Bamford, showed complete disregard for a bowler-friendly wicket, opting to hit the attack into all parts of the park - immediately putting the visitors on the back foot.

Bamford fell for a quickfire 19 which bought Aussie ace Turner in. He and Kirkham pushed the total along to 74 before Kirkham fell to an outstanding gully catch off Sussex Academy seamer Sam Grant (3-19).

The fall of Kirkham’s wicket signalled a halt to the scoring and as pressure built, Sussex under-15 captain Jay Hartard and Justin Scott went without troubling the scorers too much.

Turner (68*) was still at the crease and with plenty of overs left, he and Sussex Academy batsman Beck Hemingway (22) put on 62 to see the side through to their first victory of the season and a welcome 30 points.

Chichester took this momentum into Sunday’s league home game against a strong Sussex Development XI.

Browning elected to field on a much better wicket but the Development XI’s openers put on 58 before Stephen Sedgley’s quick bowling removed Ben Shoare for 41.

The model from Runcton went on to claim another scalp, wonderfully caught by Scott at first slip. Browning dismissed opener Sam Grant for 26 during a tidy 15-over spell from the skipper and the Development XI fell to 80 for three.

Despite hostile bowling from Sedgley (2-21) and the consistency of Browning (2-60), the visitors posted 244 for seven, Tim Moses the top scorer with 65.

Kirkham and Bamford started reasonably well but both fell, putting pressure on the inexperienced middle order.

Turner was again the mainstay of the Chichester innings, crafting a fine 83 to salvage pride for the home side.

The major weakness seemed to be against spin as left-arm tweakers Elliott Hooper (4-61) and captain Josh Hayward (2-25) did the damage. Browning struck 36 but Chichester eventually fell for 207.

The Priory Park Lions took 38 points from the weekend to move into mid-table ahead of a journey to Hastings on Saturday.