It was a rain-hit weekend in the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League but most of our sides got at least some play in - with mixed results. Here's how Middleton, Chichester Priory park, Stirlands, West Wittering, Aldwick, Selsey and others fared.
Cuckfield v Middleton
Rain ruined Middleton’s hopes of a win at Cuckfield - although they were struggling when it arrived.
Cuckfield sat one place ahead of them at the start of play and Middleton won the toss and put Cuckfield into bat.
Early wickets from opening bowler Charlie Terry left Cuckfield 9-2. However a third-wicket partnership of 94 between Harry Nielsen and Ben Candfield steadied things for the visitors.
Candfield fell with his score on 35. Nielsen was joined by Tom Weston and the pair put on 146. Both batsmen were out with the score on 249, Nielsen for 128 and Weston for 78, both caught by Terry off the bowling of Sean Heather.
Rain suspended play for a period midway through the Cuckfield innings and again nine balls before the end of their allotted 55 overs. They finished on 278-6.
Time lost left Middleton needing 279 to win from a reduced 44 overs.
They needed to go hard from the start, but in the process lost wickets. However with their score on 66-4 the rain again intervened, this time for good and the game was abandoned.
This Saturday Middleton travel to second-placed Roffey in the league and on Sunday visit Bognor in the County T20.
Chichester Priory Park v St James Montefiore
Chichester Priory Park returned to Goodwood aiming to put aside their heavy defeat to Billinghurst the previous week, but they didn’t manage it.
Their opponents were another side chasing promotion, St James. Heavy rain delayed the start and it wasn’t until 3pm that the players took to the field. The match was to be played under T20 rules. The visitors won the toss and asked Chichester to bat first.
The hosts struggled on a damp pitch and soggy outfield. Wickets fell regularly and the batsmen rarely got value for money from their shots. Only Simon Hasted (48no) managed a score of significance as Chichester plodded to 110-7 from their 20 overs.
With the pitch drying it was proving to be a good toss for St James to win. Hector Loughton (55) was the anchor for the reply, ably supported by Harry Rollings (27) and Toby Pullan (22).
The score of 110 was never going to be enough and the visitors knocked off the winning runs with more than two overs to spare. Chichester took ten points away from the fixture which could be crucial at the end of the year.
Chi find themselves a little too close to the regelation zone for comfort, just 20 points above safety. Their next fixture brings Bognor to Goodwood.
West Chilts v Stirlands
Div 3 West
After two wins on the trot Stirlands were unable to build on the streak at West Chilts.
Under the Captaincy of George Briance, Stirlands lost the toss and were forced into bat and again wickets started to fall early with Jake Moores, Sam Caldera and Ed Clarke all falling for ducks and leaving the score at 52-6.
A decent performance from Dom Fecher (27) gave the batting team hope but alas it was shortlived as Stirlands lost their last wicket with only 81 on the board.
Stirlands came out strong and again top bowling from Henry Anscombe and Nat Clowes saw Chilts struggling at 21-3 but Ruben Taylor’s 25 meant the game was soon won by Chilts with relative ease.
Stirlands look to get back to winning ways this week at home to Ansty.
West Wittering v Horsham Trinity
Div 5 West
West Wittering won the toss and decided to bat on a day when the weather was not the best.
They got off to a terrible start, with poor shot selection leaving them reeling at 26-5.
Harry Staight (27) and Carl Tupper (18) batted for 20 overs together and kept out the strong bowling from Trinity.
Gareth Lendrum was the only other batsman to contribute early on with 18, but McDonald (4-17) and Whittick (4-18) claimed eight victims and Wittering were all out for 89.
Louie Donnelly (17) and Jack Gold (64) didn’t hang around and took it to the bowlers - getting the total in ten overs. Staight (1-17) was the pick of the bowlers.
Wittering hope to turn fortunes around this week with a trip up the road to Middleton IIs.
Clymping v Aldwick
Div 6 West
A nail-bitting finish in this top-of-the-table clash should have resulted in victory for Aldwick, who required just 15 runs for victory in seven overs with three wickets remaining.
However, the Clymping bowlers had other ideas as Aldwick slumped from 77-3 to 148 all out with opener Ed White unbeaten on 84 with nobody left to support him.
Apart from White, it was a disappointng batting performance from leaders Aldwick as only Dean Stokes (15) and Simon Barter (21) reached double figures chasing a modest 156 for victory.
The home side’s bowlers stuck to their task and despite not being able to take White’s wicket did the business at the other end with regular breakthroughs fom Matt Clynes (4-25), Paddy Horne (2-25) and Paul Challen (2-25) aided by four catches from keeper Charlie Horne.
Earlier, Ollie Smith (2-12) and Ian Horner (1-15) blasted out openers Alan Budd (8) and Horne (0) cheaply and restricted the run rate with tight spells.
Josh Kemp (2-38) carried on taking the wickets but then the visitors came up against the eventual reason for Clymping’s victory, a solid batting partnership from Martin Clynes (62) and Paddy Horne (24) until both were outdone by Jamie Murphy (2-23). The home side finished on 155-8.
Despite the loss, Aldwick remain top; however Clympinghave a game in hand and Aldwick do not have a league fixture this weekend because they start their annual week-long tour, this year to Dorset and the New Forest.
Crawley Eagles v Selsey
Div 7 West
Injury-hit Selsey lost the toss and were put in on a soft wicket. Ash Humphreys and Tom Cripps were the new opening pair but after a couple of early boundaries, wickets started to tumble.
Charlie Constable (46) was the only scorer of any note as selsey posted 118-7 off 40 overs.
Early wickets were key if Selsey were to have any chance, and Cripps (3-12) delivered. With Constable (3-31) and Humphreys (1-28) bowling in tandem Selsey had a slight sniff, but Saleem Junaideen (30*) took the game away from them.
This was Selsey’s first loss but they remain top, hoping to hit back on Saturday at home to Horsham.
Stirlands II v Brighton IV
Div 8 West
Stirlands were put into bat with Jason Moores and the returning Michael Clowes starting positively. A partnership of 31 ended when Moores was out.
Adam Norris went cheaply but Clowes put on 70 with John Fuller, followed by and entertaining partnership with Marcus Viner (29) and with Rupert Woodruff, who contributed 22. Clowes scored a chanceless 116 off 134 balls, the secons straight game in which he had scored an unbeaten century and carried his bat.
A total of 193-5 seemed a stiff challenge for the visitors.
Brighton openers Ian Parker and Sam Peacock put on 126 for the first wicket before Alistair Grant made the breakthrough. Disciplined bowling saw Stirlands take the initiative among the showers.
With Brighton chasing an adjusted target of 159 off 32 overs, Joe Fuller bowled well with skipper Grant, supported by Ollie Fuller.
BHCC needed nine off the final over bowled by Fuller but only got four.
That’s three wins in a row for Stirlands twos.
Horsham Trinity II v West Wittering II
Div 9 West
It was wet and windy and West Wittering won the toss and asked the home team to bat on a dampish wicket.
Andy Priest grabbed a couple of early wickets, leaving the Trins 16-2, but class batting by John Kimberley (58) and Matt Ray (29) moved the score up to 106 before the next set of wickets.
Eventually the old guard resumed bowling and Kev Allsobrook (4-51) and Trevor Delderfield (3-60) put WW on top.
Brilliant knocks from Rob Bartlet (42no), Toby Tavener (33) and James Arnould (26 no) meant the home side reached 225-9.
Under dark skies West Wittering started slowly and lost quick wickets to the lively James Arnould (3-30) on a skidding wicket. Skipper Priest (33 no) was determined not to let his wicket go cheaply and was still there with the classy Steen Claxton (9no) when the rain set in.
With the win/lose format, the game was won by the home side, with West Wittering stranded on 78-5.
Chi Priory Park IV v Worthing IV
Div 11 West
Chichester returned to winnings ways against Worthing fours.
They scored 225 and declared after 35 overs with Henry Whitby hitting 28 and Stephen Price (103no) and Leo Patterson (61no) prospering.
When Worthing batted young Stanley Mayne (3-14), Patterson (3-2), Roger Smith (2-21) and Theo Hughes (1-16) left Worthing all out for 70.
Chi were very relieved the game reached a deserved conclusion.