Eastergate, Aldwick, Selsey and West Wittering were all in action on the penultimate weekend of the Invitation League season - with differing results.
Here are reports from the latest league matches, plus news of Aldwick teams’ progess in the T20 Plate.
Arundel v Eastergate
Invitation League division one
Arundel were keen to avenge a loss at Eastergate earlier in the season and needed a win to have a chance of staying up.
The Arundel outfield and square was saturated from morning showers but after hard work from the groundstaff play got under way.
Arundel won an important toss and made the very easy decision to bowl first.
The opening bowlers used the conditions well and Nick Murray took two wickets removing Eastergate captain Jack Stannard (10) and Sussex youngster Nick Smith (4), both caught behind.
Justin Poyser came in and faced up to Murray and with Nathan Green, Eastergate rebuilt. Green, son of Arundel chairman Bob Green, eventually went for 31.
Poyser went to his 50 striking the ball to the boundary regularly. He fell for 66 with the score on 124-5 but cameos from Dan Jadzevics (17), Tom Stannard (14) and Curtis Drake (17*) saw Eastergate to a respectable total of 164-7.
Arundel had 33 overs to reach their target and knew they had to win to stand any chance of survival.
They got the luck they needed as Arundel skipper Joe Bain was dropped first ball. He punished the mistake and went on to make 91 and effectively won the game for his side and, with opening partner Jacob Temple (40), put on 132 for the first wicket.
Eastergate did remove Bain and Temple but Nick Murray (25*) and Dan Turner (9*) got Arundel home with one ball to spare.
Eastergate have their final game this weekend as they entertain Ram in a straight shootout for second place after Broadwater confirmed the title.
Aldwick v Crawley Eagles
Invitation League division two
Aldwick’s dismal league season came to an end with a heavy defeat by a massive 202 runs – and by the end they were glad it was over as they look to regroup for life in a lower division.
For Crawley, opener Sheizad Gul (94) was clearly in a hurry, making his half century in fewer than eight overs and eventually falling to Dan Robinson (2-66).
Atif Hussain (103*) made an unbeaten century and featured in 98-run fourth-wicket partnership with Shahzad Ali (44). For Aldwick, Ben Bambridge (5-45) staged a comeback of sorts bagging five wickets which included four ducks.
But the Eagles soared to a huge 300 for eight from 47 overs.
In reply, Aldwick’s fragile batting line-up was exposed once again as they were rolled out for just 98 in under 32 overs.
A few players made double figures – Alex Cooper (20), Ollie Smith (18), and Dean Stokes (18) - but the majority fell without any real resistance to the bowling of Shanaz Abdul (4-48) and Mehran Khan (5-23).
Aldwick lost key players before the season began who were not replaced – but despite this they have battled bravely and already have ambitions to jump back into division two at the first time of trying.
Aldwick twos’ final game was cancelled because of the weather but they finished one place from the bottom.
WSIL T20 Plate
There was the mouthwatering possibility of Aldwick playing Aldwick II in the final of T20 plate. It did not materalise but, against the odds, Aldwick twos did make it to the final.
Aldwick faced Worthing in the quarter-final and posted a decent 169-5 with Ryan Purvis (63) and Adam Rutter (40) the top scorers.
Worthing looked capable of overtaking Aldwick’s total but Harry Rosser (6-14) decimated the opposition, rolling them over for 91 all out.
Next up for Aldwick in the semi-final was Ram from division one, who provided a much bigger hurdle.
Ram opened with Harshesh Patel who raced to 91 and was the key to their huge 182-3. Aldwick gave it a go but faltered at 124-6 with Dan Robinson (40) and Ryan Purvis (30) the main run-makers and Patel taking 2-30.
In Aldwick seconds’ quarter-final they faced Belgrave Adelaide and batting first made a below-par 100-7. Top scorer was Dion Sampson (20*) with Ashley Smith (3-9) doingdamage with the ball.
In a concerted team effort, with wickets from John Young (2-19), Liam Hicks (2-15) and Charlie Barnett (2-11), Aldwick bowled out the opposition for 91 and were through to the semi-final.
Aldwick had to overcome Portslade to reach the final and they did thanks to anothergood all-round bowling performance. Charlie Barnett (3-21) headed the roll of honour closely followed by Ben Bambridge (2-13) ,Tom Hoare (2-20) and Liam Hicks (2-20) reducing Portslade to 97 all out.
Victory for Aldwick, and a place in the final, was achieved with ease in the 13th over with runs from Paul Gibbs (22) and Luke Spindler (22).
Aldwick II, from Invitation division six, will play Ram of division one in the final on September 4.
St Andrews v Selsey
Selsey secured their division-two status for next season despite a four-wicket defeat away to St Andrews.
Knowing ten points would be enough, Selsey set off with the task of scoring 200 which they achieved comfortably to declare on 204-5. Tom Amis (36) and James Amis (18) gave the steady start required and a half century from captain Nic Nolan (59), 21 from Dave Benham and 25 not out from Pete Horner secured the points required.
In reply St Andrews got off to a flyer as wayward bowling was punished with ease. Alex Ellis survived two early dropped catches to score 82 and with James Hayden Smith’s 36 and 29 not out from Michael Platt took them home.
Pick of Selsey’s bowlers were Tom Cripps (3/67) and Pete Horner (2/47). Selsey complete their league campaign with a fixture against Brighton and Hove.
After winning division three last season the objective was to remain in division two, which has been achieved with some good performances along the way.
West Wittering v Belgrave Adelaide
Wittering were unable to secure the win that would have confirmed the title.
Belgrave Adelaide required just three points to save themselves from relegation and their innings started slowly.
Harry Staight and Joe Pink bowled tight lines, which had both batsmen playing and missing.
Mani (44) and Moody (43) scored the majority for the Adders in their total of 165 all out, Pink the pick of the bowlers with four for 37.
The run chase started poorly, with Jordan Woodsford (5-36) removing the off-stump of opener Mark Taylor for a duck.
Jack Allsobrook (36) supported the explosive Gareth Lendrum, who hit yet another quickfire 50, until he was caught going for one six too many for 62.
The Wittering Wobble ensued and was not to be recovered from, with the remaining six wickets falling for around 20 runs, leaving Wittering 28 short of the total and the title.
The first XI require nine points from their final game against fellow title contenders Barns Green to seal the league title.
West Wittering 2nd v Ifield 3rd
Wet conditions did nothing to dampen the spirits of a team on the verge of promotion as fine efforts from the players allowed Saturday’s game between West Wittering 2nd XI and Ifield to go ahead in its entirety.
The home captain won the toss and Mark Brien decided to bowl first.
A vicious yet fruitless opening spell from Wittering paceman Jack Harte had Ifield on the back foot, yet it was the familiar sight of Joe Sissons bowling a tempting line and Steve Feazey’s safe hands at first slip who removed Ifield captain Piasko to get the breakthrough.
This brought youngster Zak Mohammed to the crease and he bludgeoned his way to 51 to give Ifield hope.
Despite Mohammed anchoring one end the wickets were falling in typical fashion at the other.
Rejuvenated fast bowler Kevin Allsobrook, skipper Brien and part-time off-spinner Ben Doyle took two wickets apiece while Sissons went on to finish with 4-16, his best figures so far this season.
In reply to Ifield’s total of 118, West Wittering lost Marc Slowey for a lusty 29 but new recruit Steve Feazey eased his way to 50 not out and Brandon Trimmer to 34 not out.
West Wittering twos need just ten points in their final game at Barns Green this weekend to guarantee promotion.
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