Priory lose out in first-v-second battle
Chichester lost in the first-v-second clash at Burgess Hill, while Stirlands enjoyed their fourth win on the trot.
Here are the latest reports from divisions three and four of the Sussex League.
Burgess Hill v Chichester Priory Park
Sussex League division three
Fragile batting cost Chichester in this first-versus-second clash.
After two comfortable home victories, the outlook for the visitors seemed bright. After winning the toss, Chichester captain Johnny Heaven had no hesitation in batting first.
Burgess Hill seam bowler Dan Strange, destrucitve at Priory Poark early in the season, was quiet in this game but his new-ball partner Peter Billinghay did the damage.
Bowling with nagging accuracy Billinghay accounted for three of the top five. Chichester never really got going and struggled to build any significant partnerships. Only Peter Lamb (15) and Heaven (20) reached double figures.
Some excellent ground fielding and catching from the hosts contributed to the visitors’ woes as they were bowled out for 81 inside 25 overs. Billinghay was the pick of the bowlers with five for 42.
Quick wickets were needed and as has been the case so often this year, Dan Joseph and Matt Geffen obliged.
Making the most of some rash shot selection, the new-ball bowlers soon had the hosts rattled.
With Burgess Hill 47 for six, Chichester were sensing an improbable victory. But Tom Penfold and Luke Vick steadily inched the leaders towards the target and every run scored sapped the belief out of Chichester’s bowlers.
Vick departed for 19 but the damage had been done as Burgess Hill were just four from victory. Burgess Hill edged home by three wickets.
Chichester were left to rue a fragile batting performance and they picked up just three points. Victories for Mayfield and Portslade saw the team slip to fourth in the table, 22 points from the promotion places.
They need to take maximum points against relegation-threatened Goring on Saturday at Priory Park.
Rye v Stirlands
Stirlands made the 180-mile round trip to Rye where they had yet to win – and they broke their duck with a fine seven-wicket win.
Rye decided to bat and made steady progress through opener James Hamilton (32) and reached 58-3 against a good opening attack of Ajinkya Deshpande and Dan Mugford. George Briance bowled with accuracy and not much luck.
The vice-like grip held for the bowlers and Rye were all out in 35 overs with Ajinkya finishing with 8-63 but Dan Mugford claimed the dangerous Hugo Nel and finished with 1-20, Briance with 1-16 from 11 overs.
There was some good fielding and excellent catching.
In Stirlands’ reply, the loss of an early wicket gave Rye encouragement but when Will Gubbins joined Leo Wilkinson-Beal, runs came steadily.
Stirlandswere well-poised at 58-1 when Wilkinson-Beal was out to the excellent off-spin of Harry Smeed, who spent the winter playing in Australian grade cricket.
Torquil Deacon joined Gubbins and the required runs were gathered in 27 overs. Gubbins scored 46 not out and Smeed finished with 2-33 from 11.
This was a fourth win in succession – achieved by the youngest Stirlands side for some years.
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