Cooke rustles up something special as leaders beat neighbours
Leaders Middleton maintained their fine form with a win at Bognor - while Pagham chalked up an important victory.
Here are the latest reports from division three of the Sussex Cricket League.
Bognor v Middleton
Sussex League division two
A windy day at the Regis Oval saw Middleton continue their fine season by inflicting defeat on their hosts and neighbours.
Middleton won the toss and inserted the home side, hoping to make the most of a placid yet green surface.
The early wicket of Max Ashmore, lbw to Matt Cooke, was their only joy in the early overs as Mike Harris and Rob Willway blunted the seam attack, who struggled to extract any real bounce from the pitch.
With leg spinner Matt Reynolds bowling tidily from one end, Middleton rotated their seamers and it was the re-introduction of Cooke that brought the end of Willway (38) to an excellent catch by keeper Will Burrows.
Harris followed for 44, lbw to Cooke, and when Ryan Maskell was castled by the same bowler, the Bognor innings was in danger of capitulating.
However, contributions from Andrew Greig (34), Zayne Bux (21) and the lower order, dragged Bognor to 188 all out, Cooke the pick of the bowlers with 5-68.
Middleton started well in response, but the scalp of Burrows off Graham Bush, followed by Ben Hansford and Will Affleck in quick succession left the game finely poised.
The loss of Willway from the fielding effort reduced Bognor to ten men and Middleton gradually took charge. Masterminded by captain Sean Heather, some excellent batting saw Bognor’s total hauled in, despite the best efforts of Joe Ashmore, whose 3-30 in 16 tight overs came close to giving Bognor at least a share of the spoils.
But it was the league leaders who prevailed, Heather finishing on 59 not out as Middleton won by four wickets.
Crawley Eagles v Pagham
Sussex League division two
Crawley Eagles invited Pagham to bat on a damp wicket.
For a change Pagham made a steady, if slow, start against accurate seam bowling. Having reached 45, skipper Stuart Rutter was yorked for 20.
At 65 Stuart Hanks was caught in the deep for 28 attempting to an aerial shot to overcome the very slow outfield. As is the norm this season Pagham proceeded to lose wickets at regular intervals without causing the scorers too much exertion.
Eventually they struggled to 113 all out.
Luckily for Pagham the home side seem to find batting equally difficult and with the exception of Razla Razik (30) they had no clear idea how to handle the pace of Pete Cotterrill and Mike Hales.
Crawley finally succumbed for 69, giving Pagham their long-awaited first win of 2016. Peter Cotterill ended with career-best figures of seven for 40 and was ably supported by Mike Hales (3-26).
Portslade 2nd v Bognor 2nd
2nd Division 3 West
Bognor’s second XI were put in by the hosts but opener Josh Broad took the bull by the horns to make a breezy 58 before being bowled by Sam Gander.
Momentum was maintained by Ollie Adams with an equally-brisk 43 and Elliott Clarke with a fine 85.
Graham Ball made 34 not out as Bognor declared on 266 for five.
Bognor’s seamers went to work as Tom Woolnough (2-31) and Rich Cox had Portslade in a hole at 34 for four.
The hosts’ task was made harder as evergreen Andy McGregor belied his years with three for ten.
They were held up by Dorgan with 74 and Todd Tucker 55 looked to halt the advance but Broad (2-46) and Cox (3-48) quelled any resistance as Portslade were bowled out for 187.
Last week, Bognor seconds beat Billingshurst by 13 runs.
Bognor were all out for 125 but Tom Woolnough and old boys Rich Cox and Andy McGregor and a sublime run-out from Graham Ball added up to leave Billingshurst 41 for four.
Josh Broad whistled in to clean out the Billingshurst tail, grabbing five for 21 to see Bognor to the win.
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