It was a straight case of ‘winners stay up’ at the Regis Oval – and it was Bognor who got the better of Worthing to ensure another season in the second tier of the Sussex League.
Worthing captain Martyn Swift won the toss and elected to bat. However Worthing’s top order failed to capitalise as Bognor’s new ball pair of Jerome Jones (3-34) and Josh Sargeant (2-25) bowled with great discipline and control as Worthing slumped to 24-4.
Barry Cool (66) and Stuart Carter (31) helped reprieve the innings with a 67-run partnership until Rob Willway (1-31) removed Carter.
The Worthing lower order continued to try to support Cool towards the latter overs until Jones removed Worthing’s top scorer for 66.
The Barbadian paceman proved effective at the death and Worthing finished on 169-9.
Bognor were on the back foot early in their reply with wickets from Jamie Piper 1-(28) and Giorgio Rigali (1-37) leaving the hosts 22-2.
The recovery from Mikey Harris (28) and Willway (27) helped stabilise the home side as the young pair looked to occupy the crease.
Two quick wickets gave Worthing a boost and it was 71-4. But Elliott Clarke (27*) and Jim Fallick (29) dented their hopes.
Fallick countered the Worthing spin attack with six fours in a quick blitz until Harry Dunn (2-28) removed the club veteran.
At 115-5 the game was in the balance. With 58 still required for survival Jones (35*) and Clarke crept the score closer.
Jones played an expansive innings with five fours and a six from 28 balls. The pair played incredibly well as Clarke hit the winning runs in his final game for the club – an innings of extreme importance as he guided Bognor to their third year in Division 2.
Skipper Max Ashmore said: “I am extremely proud of the boys and this club. It’s been a challenging year for us and the determination we have shown throughout is unlike anything I have ever seen.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall throughout this season but always kept believing and fighting for one another, win or lose. Thank you to everyone associated with the club who helped us achieve survival.
“I offer my commiserations to Worthing CC – they gave us a real fight and I hope they have a successful year next year to compete again.”
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