Invitation League teams have reasons for pride
Eastergate finished third in their first season in the top division of the West Sussex Invitation League - while West Wittering are celebrating the club's second promotion and a league title.
Read the last Invitation League reports of the 2016 season below...
Eastergate v Ram
Invitation League division two
Eastergate hosted Ram in the last game of the season - and with Ram sitting second and Eastergate third before play it was a straight fight for second place, with Broadwater having sealed the title the week before.
Eastergate elected to bat but openers Nathan Green and Jack Stannard were both out early to the division’s leading wicket taker Hersh Tank (2-56).
This brought Nick Smith and Justin Poyser to the crease in their last games for the club. As they have done all season, they went about their business in typically-aggressive style.
They put on 116 for the third wicket as Eastergate went from 24-2 to 140-3 when Poyser fell for 46, his last knock before he heads back home to Australia.
Smith carried on and went through to a fantastic 114 before he was bowled by the impressive Sandeep Shivamadaiah who finished with seven wickets for the visitors.
Smith has come through the colts at Eastergate and at the age of 16 he will now be moving on to press on with his cricket. With the tail just batting around Smith, Eastergate were all out for 230.
Eastergate knew if they could bowl Ram out they would finish second. Tom Stannard got Eastergate going with a wicket first ball and he continued to rip through the top order.
Stannard took the first four wickets and was unlucky not to get his deserved five-fer. At 51-4 things looked good for Eastergate but Tank showed why he is not only leading wicket taker but also top run scorer in the division.
He eventually went for 92 and his partnership with Sachin Parekh (37) got Ram closer to the target. Nick Smith came on to bowl and backed his runs up with three wickets to swing the game back to Eastergate but unfortunately they couldn’t take the final wicket meaning the game ended in a draw.
Ram were 195-9 at the end of their overs and clung on to second spot in the league.
The result meant Eastergate finished third in the league and skipper Jack Stannard said he couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of his team.
After back to back promotions from sivision three, to end up third in division one at their first attempt is a fantastic achievement.
West Wittering v Barns Green
Invitation League division three
There were huge celebrations all round at West Wittering as their first XI clinched the division title.
Needing nine points to secure the top spot, Wittering lost the toss and Barns Green elected to bat.
Joe Pink made short work of their first batsman bowling him out for one run. However his replacement Jay Dumbrill had an impressive innings, achieving ten fours on his way to 100 before being caught by Andy Priest off Matt Jewiss’ bowling.
All but one of the remaining batsmen were all out in quick succession following tight bowling by Jewiss and the rest of the Wittering bowlers, giving a final score of 200 for nine declared.
Barns Green declared early in an attempt to stop Wittering winning the league as ten wickets would have secured it.
In reply Wittering needed 100 or a draw to win the title, but they made hard work of it, with their first four batsmen falling like dominos to leave them 28 for four off 12 overs.
Priest (45no) and Joe Pink (7no including 56 dot balls) stuck with what needed to be done, keeping their wicket with some defensive batting with a partnership lasting almost 30 overs.
It was a close finish but Andy Priest and the rest of the team kept their discipline, with the final total of 93 for seven securing the draw and the title.
West Wittering 2nd v Barns Green 2nd
Wittering were asked to field. Harte and Allsobrook opened the attack but could not find a way past the Barns Green openers.
In the 15th over Allsobrook broke the deadlock when Slowey took a great reaction catch at first slip. After this Barns Green started to crumble.
Sissons and Brien were summoned to the attack and they shared four wickets. Harte came back on at the death and took two key wickets with the help of an outstanding catch from Brien at cow corner.
The strong bowling display from Wittering left them to chase down 156.
Allsobrook and Sissons took Wittering to 68 without the loss of a wicket. Allsobrook went on to score a well-deserved and patient 50.
Trimmer took little time to get to 49 before he was caught on the boundary. But Doyle scored the winning runs and gained promotion for Wittering for the second consecutive season.
The club’s double success delighted West Wittering chairman Shaun Standing, who said: “I’d like to express how proud I am of the skipper Carl Tupper, his players, the coaches and committee members who have made it all possible. The 2017 season can’t come quickly enough for us.”
Selsey v Brighton & Hove
Selsey defeated Brighton and Hove by one wicket in an excellent game, played at Tangmere as a carnival was being held on Selsey’s ground.
Brighton elected to bat on a belter of a track. A Statham and Dave Marks both batted very well, each scoring 82, and some lusty hitting by Hetherton took them to 238 for five off 49 overs.
Selsey stuck at the task in the field on a very warm day. T Amis took 1-28, T Cripps 1-65 and W Smith 2-61.
In reply Selsey started well with T Fewster (35) and K Walton (48) putting them in the box seat. Luke Cawte struck a quickfire 29.
Despite a little wobble in the middle Dave Benham, in his last competitive league game before retirement, scored a match-winning 58.
He was supported by Pete Horner with 31 but both fell near the end. It was left to Ash Humphries and Will Smith both with seven not out to take Selsey over the line and finish the season in great style.
It also brought the end of Nic Nolan’s captain’s spell. Selsey look forward to divison-two cricket again next season.
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