CRICKET: Local round-up (August 19)

WORTHING Cricket Club captain Dominic Clapp believes losing the toss was the reason for their seven-wicket defeat against Sussex League Division 2 promotion rivals St James on Saturday.

A soaked wicket at the Manor Ground left the pitch unplayable at the start of the match according to Clapp, and he believed whoever won the toss would have taken the match.

Unfortunately for Clapp, it went St James' way. They then stuck in Worthing, who made just 88 all out after 37.2 overs.

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Ollie Rogers' 41 was the only score of note, while Chris Mansell (13) was the only other batsman to make double figures. Raza Ali ripped through the order taking 6-39.

St James then eased over the line with 89-3 after 21.5 overs. Mansell claimed 2-23.

Clapp said: "It wasn't really our fault as the weather we had made the wicket really damp and unplayable.

"It was a case of win the toss, win the match, as it was like a minefield out there for the first hour.

"They did bowl well but in fairness it wasn't really anything to do with how we batted. We were only 11 points off Pulborough in second last week, and they only drew, so it could have been worse."

Clapp is still upbeat on their promotion push heading into their final three matches.

He said: "If at the start of the season someone had said we'd be 20 points off second with three games to go I'd have definitely taken that.

"It's about turning a negative into a positive for us now.

"We are away to Keymer & Hassock this weekend, who are bottom, so it should be a win, but who knows.

"If we get 30 points, it puts us well back in the hunt, ahead of a big match against Pulborough the week after. It's all to play for, despite the weekend being a bit of a gutter for us."

Goring captain Dan Pittham had mixed feelings after their Sussex League Division 3 West top-of-the-table clash against Middleton was abandoned.

Each team took 10 points leaving it tight at the top, with Middleton leading their opponents by six points, having played an extra game.

Goring had a shocker with the bat after being stuck and were 72 all out.

Opener Adam Coutts top-scored with 13 not out but Pittham refused to blame the weather for his side's collapse.

He said: "We didn't bat well at all and it wasn't a 72 all out wicket at all. Maybe we were a bit rusty after our week off, but we weren't ourselves, which is a shame as we haven't failed with the bat for a long time."

A fine start in the field meant Goring had Middleton at 22-4 when the game was abandoned, leaving Pittham questioning what may have been.

He said: "It was a weird day, and we weren't too sure afterwards if we were happy to have got out of jail.

"Ultimately, the weather decided it but it looked as though it could have been a very, very tight game.

"After batting, I would have taken 10 points, but after the way we came out with the ball, we had mixed emotions when we went off as we had a sniff of the win."

Goring face third-place Steyning at home on Saturday, with games against Henfield and Slinfold still to come, and Pittham believes three wins will send them a long way to winning the league.

In the same division Findon's match with Bognor fell to the same fate as both sides had to share the points.

Findon lost the toss and were inserted but despite losing Jack Metters early for nine, fellow opener Bradley Bridson stuck around to notch 100.

Felix Jordan hit 26, while captain Barry Meaney was the other main contributor with 36.

Findon were 206-8 with just three overs remaining when rain stopped play.

Skipper Barry Meaney was keen to get back out on the field with the total they had put up, but after being off for two hours, another downpour at 6pm, called time on the match.

He said: "It was a real shame as we had a fairly decent total up.

"We got there and the wicket was very green and wet, so whoever won the toss would have had a bowl. "But it played a bit better than we thought and I was delighted with the total, again we batted well, especially Bradley, who had an excellent innings.

"We were very keen to get back out there but more rain put an end to it."

Broadwater moved up to second in West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 after a nail-biting one-wicket win over Southwick.

Chasing 150 to win, Broadwater fell to 100-7, than 122-8, before a 24-run stand for the ninth wicket between Grant Christie and Marc Dumbleton got them four runs from victory.

Dumbleton was then out for a 10-ball 16 which left opening batsman Bob Reynolds, who had earlier retired hurt with a thumb injury, to join Christie and they saw Broadwater over the line.

Wickers' total of 149 had been largely thanks to Martyn Rea's 80, from 125 balls, with 15 fours, as only three other Southwick batsmen reached double figures.

James Iago led Broadwater's attack with 5-68 from 24 overs, and Christie and Reynolds picked up two wickets each.

Broadwater skipper Graham Waller said: "It was a fantastic game of cricket and we're up to second now, where we'd like to finish.

"We had the strongest 11 players in the club available on Saturday and it was a good job at the end.

"Marc Dumbleton, our No 11, got us back in the game with his 16 and Grant Christie, who could bat in the top six for most other sides in the league, took us home."

After two successive relegations, Worthing Chippingdale Cricket Club finally have something to smile about, after being crowned champions of Division 3 of the West Sussex Invitation League on Saturday.

In his first year at the helm, captain Pete Mansell has led his side to immediate promotion back into Division 2, with a match to spare, having lost just one game all season.

Chipps sealed promotion and the title on Saturday with an 83-run victory over Southwick 2nd, which left them top of the pile on 320 points, 77 points clear of second-placed Broadbridge Heath, after nine wins, four draws and a defeat to their name.

Mansell said: "It was very satisfying to wrap things up, with two previous relegations. I said at the start of the season we would take every game as it comes and see what comes of it.

"We have finished very strongly and played well all season. As far as the team goes there has been no outstanding player. We have played all season as a team and everyone has chipped in, excuse the pun."

It was Mansell's first year as captain of the first team after previously skippering the 2nd XI and he is now looking forward to enjoying their final match, not needing to take any points.

He said: "Our final game is at home now and we will go out and try and keep doing what we've been doing, but sometimes at the end of the season your foot comes off the gas a bit '“ at least we can enjoy it.

"From previous experience, we have had to get wins or sufficient points at the end of the season for one reason or another and we haven't done.

So it would have been a bit twitchy going into the last game, but we don't have to worry about that now."

Mansell is looking forward to the side's return to the higher division but knows it will be a tricky season: "We are under no illusions it'll be very tough as it is quite a step up."

On Saturday, Ross Baumann top-scored with 76 not out, Graham Avinou hit 29 and Adrian Croft made 32 as Chipps totalled 218-6. having lost the toss.

Tim Hall then took 6-29, while Ollie Hall and Baumann also claimed two wickets each to bowl Southwick out for 137.

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