DIVISION NINE Polegate 2nd XI 178-9 Rottingdean 3rd XI 90
POLEGATE & Stone Cross Seconds took the maximum 30 points in their first league match of the season, after their scheduled opening fixture had fallen victim to the weather a week earlier.
The home game against Rottingdean Thirds was transferred to Rottingdean, because Polegate’s own Wannock Road pitch remained unplayable. But home advantage counted for little, although Rottingdean did win the toss.
Put in to bat, Polegate amassed 178-9, Clive Harris top-scoring with a belligerent 39, including two huge sixes, before he was forced to retire with a torn calf muscle.
Steve Hover was in fine form, hitting eight fours in an elegant 38. And there was some controlled aggression from the Conroy brothers, Liam contributing a quick-fire 23 at a run-a-minute, and Stuart running out of partners on 35 not out.
Rottingdean’s most successful bowler was Brad Smith, who ended with 3-38.
Their batting, though, did not go to plan – and they were left reeling at 9-4 after four overs, in the face of an all-spin attack from youngsters Nathan Hover (1-7 in four overs) and Emmett Johnson. The rot set in with a direct hit run-out from another Polegate teenager, Matt Loe – the first of three similar dismissals as batsmen desperately searched for runs.
And wickets fell steadily as skipper and wicket-keeper Alan Williams repeatedly varied his attack by using a total of eight bowlers.
All of them bowled economically, and most had a share in the wickets, as Rottingdean struggled to 90 all out. Nick Corbett followed up his innings of 15 with bowling figures of 2-1-2-1, while the Conroy brothers completed outstanding all-round performances: Liam took 2-6 in five overs and Stuart 2-5, including the wicket of Rottingdean’s top scorer, Richard Kemble (47).
And Williams was left to celebrate three stumpings, the best ESCL wicketkeeping performance so far this season.
Forest Row 2nd XI* 149
Burwash Weald 150-9
FOREST Row lost wickets to the first and fourth balls of the game which set the tone of their innings.
Only Dan Gardner, with 86, and Matt Woodward (25) reached double figures in the total of 149. James Rauter took 3-18 and Dave Rayment 2-43, while Graham Clout wrapped up the tail with 3-8; with one wicket each for Sam Gregory and Charlie Maynard.
In the Burwash Weald innings the first wicket went second ball; the innings was then rebuilt by Rayment (39), Martin Wise (11) and Clout (14). But when a middle order collapse saw them slump to 78-7, defeat loomed.
However, Geoff Taylor batted well with the tail, farming the bowling... but when he was out for 33 a further 25 runs was needed with both batsmen Nos 10 and 11 on 0 with 15 overs still to go.
But Sam Gregory (13 not out) Charlie Maynard (9 not out), with the help of a few extras, saw Burwash Weald to a nail-biting win with five overs to spare. Steve Wright bowled unchanged from one end to take 3-61, while Matt Woodward took 3-44 and Murray Divall 3-17.
OTHER RESULTS: Bexhill 4th XI v Bells Yew Green 3rd XI cancelled; Rotherfield 2nd XI v Little Common Ramblers 2nd XI cancelled; Tunbridge Wells Borderers 2nd XI v Buxted Park 3rd XI cancelled.
Laughton 2nd XI 160
Maresfield 2nd XI* 95
MARESFIELD Seconds played host to Laughton Seconds, a side denied promotion last season by the relegation of Uckfield Anderida from the Sussex Cricket League and the subsequent reshuffling of the promotion/relegation issues.
Laughton were expected to prove a tough proposition for a Maresfield side missing some of last year’s senior players for family reasons.
Maresfield asked Laughton to bat and 46 was added for the opening wicket in 16 overs, although bowlers Sam Aldis and Chris Pullen kept opening bats Keith Richardson and Tom Page quiet without managing to make a breakthrough. And it took the introduction of Matt Standley to see Keith Richardson bowled off his toes for 24.
Standley quickly claimed two more victims before the Uckfield Community College Year 11’s age-limited seven-over spell came to an end.
Mark Buttifant (33) and Ian Clarke (37) helped keep Laughton progressing steadily in the face of some tight bowling before an attempt to push the score onwards rapidly in the last seven overs saw wickets fall.
Standley (pictured above) returned to claim his fourth victim, finishing with superb figures of 4-36 in his first game as a bowler in adult cricket. Sam Aldis ripped through the batting at the other end, taking three wickets in 10 balls for eventual figures of 3-24 as Laughton were dismissed for 160 in the last over.
The Maresfield fielding display was excellent, disguising the fact that they were a man short because of illness. Chris Pullen took three catches, and Doug Ruthven chipped in with two, as well as making some superb stops in the covers.
Maresfield were soon to discover that Laughton’s incredibly accurate bowling attack of 2011 had lost none of it’s potency, as Fergie Richardson and Ray Gower pinned openers Peter Smyth and Derek Barnard down for over after over. Much like the Laughton innings, however, it required the introduction of another bowler to make the breakthrough, Alex Weekes bowling Barnard for 17 with the score on 40 in the 24th over.
The run-rate required continued to rise and the game looked to be heading for a draw, with Maresfield on 90-3 with just six overs remaining, and Ruthven looking well-set on 23. But things turned suddenly as first Ruthven called a suicidal run (off a wide delivery!) and young debutant James Durrant kept his calm and threw down the stumps to dismiss him.
Maresfield then imploded, with only Pete Langman, in his now left-handed guise, troubling the scorers. Richardson’s return to the attack gave him his just rewards for his earlier spell as he took four quick wickets to dismiss Maresfield for 95, with just five balls of the match remaining. He ended with 4-17.
OTHER RESULTS: Glynde & Beddingham 4th XI v Linden Park 4th XI cancelled; Hastings Priory 4th XI v Mayfield 2nd XI cancelled; Lewes Priory 3rd XI v Uckfield Anderida 2nd XI cancelled; Ringmer 3rd XI v Pevensey 2nd XI cancelled.
Crowhurst Park 3rd XI* 98
Heathfield Park 3rd XI 102-3
HEATHFIELD Park won by seven wickets. Batting second, they overhauled Crowhurst Park’s modest total of 98 in just 17 overs. Dave Robertshaw top scored with an unbeaten 61. Earlier Heathfield had bowled out Crowhurst in 36.1 overs, John Sullivan taking 3-12.
OTHER RESULTS: Newhaven 3rd XI v Willingdon 3rd XI cancelled; Newick 3rd XI v Firle 2nd XI cancelled; Robertsbridge 3rd XI v Seaford 4th XI cancelled; Sidley 3rd XI v Pett 2nd XI cancelled.
Uckfield Anderida 3rd XI* 125
Hailsham 3rds 122 all out.
HAILSHAM Thirds lost out away to Uckfield Thirds by an agonising three runs.
Hailsham won the toss and put Anderida in to bat. As expected the wicket was causing major problems for the batsman, with the Hailsham bowlers taking three quick wickets.
A good 50 partnership followed with Anderida skipper Chris Moore (45) playing very well, but some very tight bowling from Perry Holland (3-24) and Joel Cottingham (4-39) soon had them in trouble. But a fair total was posted by Anderida.
Hailsham batsman, in reply, started very well, with a 39 partnership from Jason Head (27) and Adam Sewell (12). But the wicket soon trapped them into playing some loose shots and, with another couple of quick wickets, Hailsham were soon in trouble. However, just when it seemed an easy victory for Anderida, Sam Jordan (33 not out) came into bat and smashed boundary after boundary – but just when the finishing line was in sight the last wicket fell with Hailsham an agonising four runs short of victory. Chris Brady took 4-21 and Joseph Burns 4-46.
OTHER RESULTS: Bexhill 5th XI 35 (28.5 overs; Ian Harvey 11; Joe Hook 4-3 in six overs) lost to Hellingly 4th XI 38-8 (26.1 overs; Paul Kirk 10; Sam Garland 4-5 in seven overs) by two wickets; Mayfield 3rd XI v DPB (Eastbourne) 2nd XI cancelled; Rye 3rd XI v St Peters, Brighton 4th XI – St Peters conceded; Wadhurst 3rd XI v Lewes St Michaels 3rd XI cancelled.