Invitation League round up: Southwater stay top despite defeat at West Chilt

Action from West Chilt v Southwater on a rain-affected weekend
Action from West Chilt v Southwater on a rain-affected weekend
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At the half way stage of the West Sussex Invitation League, local side Southwater remains in pole position in Division 1 despite a first league defeat of the season away at West Chilt and Thakeham.

The leaders won the toss after a delayed start and inserted their opponents.

Southwater’s tall pace attack got through most of the revised 44 overs bowling fast, if a little erratically at times.

Some 29 extras was given away as Chilt accumulated 218-8 with James Howgate and Under-17 player Jack Elliott Monday both making half centuries.

Southwater were gifted bowling points by poor running from Chilt as the pressure mounted to reach a good score.

The leaders are always confident of overhauling any total with their powerful top order.

However a combination of intelligent bowling and poor decision making meant Southwater never got close.

Wicketkeeper Liam Hume was the only visiting player to register a half century as they were skittled out for 121.

The dangerous in-form opener Nick Baker was run out and prolific captain Johann Brouwer bowled by Mick Armstrong before either had got going.

Elliott Monday spoke to the County Times after the game: “We knew they were full of confidence and runs at the top of the table and realised we had a fight on our hands having lost the toss.

“However we bowled and fielded brilliantly this week.

“Top catch by Tim (Jarvis) at mid wicket and a great ball from Mick (Armstrong) to remove Johann.

“Our biggest enemy is ourselves and the inability to put out a settled side each week. “(We’re)really looking forward to the second half of the season.”

Elsewhere in Division 1, struggling East Preston won for the first time in nearly 12 months, beating bottom club Clymping by five wickets.

Improving Ram achieved a winning draw against St Andrews, whilst rain at the Chartham Ground forced the abandonment of Felbridge’s game with Littlehampton.

So Southwater are top with 160 points, 16 clear of Arundel. Chilt are fifth, 32 points behind the leaders as the second half of the season starts this Saturday.

Chilt hosts East Preston whilst Southwater visit St Andrews.

In Division 2, Broadbridge Heath continue to falter losing away at struggling Selsey by 43 runs.

Selsey batted first and made 199-6 from 49 overs, Nick Horner top scoring with an unbeaten 71.

In reply Heath were bowled out for 156 in 44.3 overs despite opener Craig Skilton’s half century.

Elsewhere Storrington finally picked up a win at home to bottom side Three Bridges III.

Matt Pickard took five wickets as the visitors were all out for 139 and then an unbeaten 52 from Matt Talbot saw Storrington home to a win by four wickets.

A rain-hit Saturday saw several matches washed out, including Horsham Trinity v Scaynes Hill, which had to be abandoned with only 12.2 overs played.

Barns Green remain rooted to the bottom of Division Three after their game with Crawley Nayee was cancelled and West Chilt II’s game at Southwater II in Division 4 was also a victim of the weather.

Both Southwater and Chilt need to pick up wins in the second half of the season if they wish to be considered serious promotion challengers.