Tense finish sees match that could have gone either way

East Sussex Cricket League Division One – Iden* 151-9 Ringmer 156-6 (asterisk denotes home team)

A TENSE finish to this drawn match could have seen either snatch victory.

Ringmer arrived at Iden with several first team regulars missing and, as a result, saw perhaps the youngest side the club have fielder for many years with an average age of 26.

Iden won the toss and asked Ringmer to bat first. And the opener partnership of 16-year-old Jack Bowler and 18-year-old Aaron Halsey got Ringmer off to a solid start with the Iden bowlers giving nothing away with tight lines and lengths.

As usual the quick outfield at Iden meant that scoring shots were either four or nothing and the young lads added 33 before the loss of the first wicket – of Halsey for 20.

Bowler was then trapped on the crease with some low bounce and was dismissed by Gary Rens for 24.

The middle order ticked along with the premise to batting all 50 overs knowing that ending the innings early is a cardinal sin.

With wickets still in hand approaching the final stage of the innings, Ringmer looked to up the run rate. Mat Savage top scored with 32 as the final batsmen ran well between the wickets to finish and found the boundaries a little more frequently.

Dan Wade scored 21 not out in his return to cricket after a year out as Ringmer finished on 156-6, a total they deemed to be satisfactory considering the youth in the side.

The Iden strike bowlers all finished with good economies and Rens finishing with 3-17 off his 12 overs.

As Iden began their reply, Ringmer knew they had to remove the formidable top three the visitors boasted.

A quick bowling change from the Ringmer skipper did the trick as the visitors removed both openers with 51 on the board. Will Saunders was then bought on with immediate effect as he picked up a quick wicket, and this was soon followed by Rens’ departure for 1, bowled by Gary Holder.

Iden then faltered at 70-5 as Saunders once again struck to remove the lasting danger man Dave White for 30 off 27 balls.

Iden then managed to trickle their total along with partnerships of 10 or so as they slowly neared the target but crucially losing wickets all the while.

The Iden tailed wagged as Paul Barnett and James Tree contributed 22 and 29 respectively.

In the final over Iden needed seven to win and Ringmer needed the last two wickets for victory.

After a couple of couple of singles, on the third and fifth balls of the over, Tree lined up a big heave for six off the last ball... and did not manage to connect, leaving his stumps splayed by Gary Holder to leave the game ending a dramatic draw.

Holder finishing with 3-43 off 11 overs and once again a superb week for Saunders, finishing with 3-17 off his 11.

Willingdon* 190-8 Buxted Park 182-8

A TIGHT game ended without a winner as early season league leaders Buxted Park visited last year’s champions Willingdon.

Winning the toss, the hosts chose to bat, thereby demonstrating a confidence in the pitch that was not evident to the casual observer.

After an early wicket, Martyn Garnett (64) and Dan Lindop (41) dug in and built a solid century partnership that formed the bedrock of Wilingdon’s innings. Garnett was especially imperturbable, defending with confidence and punishing the loose ball, so it came as a surprise when he drilled Craig Olive (6-95) loosely to mid on.

Lindop rode his luck, benefitting from several dropped catches before missing an Olive off break. Notable contributions from Matt Hepburn (34) and captain Michael Trewin (20) enabled Willingdon to reach 190 in the final over, Bryan Huxley (2-47) chipping in with two late wickets.

Veteran Paul Francis bowled well without reward, as Park made it through the 50 overs using only three bowlers.

In reply, Park made a good start against the Willingdon spinners, regularly piercing the close field and accumulating runs quickly. After Rob Raymond (25) was adjudged lbw, Steve Harris (38) joined opener Andy Meed (62) as it became Willingdon’s turn to chase leather.

At 122-1 things looked rosy for Park, but the introduction of Garnett’s spin snared the vital wickets of both Meed (caught on the boundary) and Harris (bowled through the gate).

It was then down to the Park middle order to see if they could bring home the win, but only Olive, with 27 from 17 balls, was able to bat aggressively, and once he was bowled by Jack Hepburn (4-54) the size of the task increased.

Park required 11 from the final over, bowled by Hepburn to Ben Ferns to win, but the Park skipper opted for safety first and the game was drawn. Garnett finished with 4-34.

OTHER RESULTS (asterisks here denote not out): Plumpton & East Chiltington 226-5 dec (Charlie Wycherley 46, George Martin Jnr 57, Chris Spiller 54*, Chris Batchelor 46) won by 89 runs away to Barcombe 137 (36.1 ov; Chris Batchelor 4-19). St Peters, Brighton 140 (48.3 ov; Phil Smith 36; Adam Cubbage 6-44) won by 1 run away to Ditchling 139 (38.4 ov; Chris Atkinson 50; Alex Coomber 7-47). Heathfield Park 94 (40.3 ov; George Ledden 4-17) lost by 7 wickets away to Rottingdean 97-3 (24.1 ov; George Ledden 45*).