Bognor are promoted. They failed to win at Chichester but the points they took from the draw coupled with a defeat for rivals for Burgess Hill meant they could not be ousted from the top two in division three of the Sussex League.
After winning the toss and electing to field, Bognor came up against steady resistance from John Edwards and Simon Hasted.
A 54-run opening partnership was halted when veteran seamer Tim Van Noort has Edwards caught behind by Josh Seward for 23. He followed up by bowling Jolyon Dannatt for a duck.
Opposition skipper Dan Wiegl became Van Noort’s third victim as the lively Josh Seward bagged another catch and Chichester were on the back foot at 82 for three.
But Chichester’s response was to counter-attack and young Ben Caldera tucked into Bognor’s bowling to flay 84 from 48 balls to wrestle the initiative back for the hosts. He showcased his full range of shots, including three huge sixes in one Elliott Clarke over, one of which landed somewhere in New Park Road. Bognor skipper Zayne Bux took his wicket to halt the carnage.
The fireworks didn’t deter Hasted as he carried his bat to make 120 – his maiden first-XI ton – and Chichester declared on 251 for four. For Bognor, Van Noort was the pick of the attack with three for 48.
The early loss of Max Ashmore (8) to Dan Joseph checked the pursuit. Bognor’s Mikey Harris and Zayne Bux took up the mantle but with the score on 55, Harris was undone by Matt Geffen (3-48) as he edged behind to Edwards.
With Bux departing for 34 and two more quick wickets falling, Bognor were in the mire at 108 for five. It soon became 118 for seven and the omens were not with the men from the coast.
But Joe Ashmore combined with Van Noort to steer the innings away from more danger. The pair put on 74 with Ashmore’s patient 23 not out working in tandem with Van Noort’s panache as the Pretoria Punisher made an unbeaten 49 not out.
The game ended as a draw with Bognor on 192 for seven but tnews filtered through of Burgess Hill’s defeat to Haywards Heath which sees Bognor promoted to division two, a job exceedingly well done by the men led by South African supremo Bux.
With three games to go, the title is now the goal. Burgess Hill at home is the next test.
Chichester are now 53 points behind second-placed Crawley Eagles in the chase for promotion. With just 90 available, Chichester need to target maximum points from their remaining fixtures. Next comes a visit to bottom side Glynde & Beddingham.
Bognor 2nd v Billingshurst 2nd
2nd XI division three west
At the Regis Oval, Bognor’s second team failed to maintain their promotion push.
Bognor chose to field and after a decent opening partnership between David Rose (37) and Scott Stratton (21), two wickets for Sam Adams and one for Jamie Woolnough saw the game evenly poised at 88 for three.
Hurst pushed on with Andy Barr and Toby Loxley but the veteran Jon Denby was not to be denied as he bagged three for 53. Adams returned to take a further wicket to finish with three for 52 but Billinghurst had set Bognor a stiff target of 237.
The hosts’ batsmen got themselves in and out with Ollie Adams’ 41 the only innings of note. Phil Marshall was Hurst’s tormentor in chief with six for 29 and with support from Alex Lowther (2-29) and Lynch (2-33), Bognor were all out for 134, the visitors winning by 102 runs.
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