Buxted Park stay up – Glynde and Hailsham miss out – Crowhurst Park down – Battle can celebrate

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The 2023 Sussex Cricket League season is over and it’s brought mixed fortunes for the likes of Buxted Park, Glynde, Crowhurst Park, Battle, Sidley and Hailsham. Read the best of the final-day reports here...

Buxted Park live to fight another season in Division 2 of the Sussex Cricket League after finishing one place above the relegation zone.

Seventh spot is a good effort in their first year in tier two after promotion from Division 3 East last summer.

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They ended 2023 with a heavy defeat away to home West Chiltington & Thakeham, who totalled 283-7 batting first – with Iain Allan and Dom Heater taking two wickets apiece.

Battle CC's first and second XIs | Picture from Battle CCBattle CC's first and second XIs | Picture from Battle CC
Battle CC's first and second XIs | Picture from Battle CC

The Buxted reply was tough and Samuel Marchesi’s 28 was the highlight as they were bowled out for 135.

In Division 3 East, won by Rottingdean, Glynde ended up in sixth place.

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Glynde lost by seven wickets at home to Cuckfield seconds in their final game.

Hailsham CC's 1st XIHailsham CC's 1st XI
Hailsham CC's 1st XI

The hosts were all out for 121, Matthew Cramp (27) their top run-maker.

Louis Barron, Charlie Hobden and Ollie Bailey took a wicket apiece in the Cuckfield reply.

Crowhurst Park v Worthing

Sussex League Division 2

Some of the players who were at the Mathews Memorial match at Rye CC | Contributed pictureSome of the players who were at the Mathews Memorial match at Rye CC | Contributed picture
Some of the players who were at the Mathews Memorial match at Rye CC | Contributed picture

Promotion-seeking Worthing were too strong as Crowhurst Park’s time in the second tier came to an end.

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After a blistering start by the visitors, Park managed to tighten their line and length to restrict Worthing to a respectable 195-7.

Crows’ bowlers all worked hard to not let Worthing get away, Nick Peters (4-42) the most successful, helped by two stumpings from Jacob Watson.

Park’s batting has been fragile this season and so it was here. Tom Powell (21) tried to keep the score moving, supported by Jordan Shaw (26) and Clive Tong (27).

At 96-5 the Crows were in contention but the lower order weren’t able to get established and the innings faded, all out for 120.

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Worthing are promoted but Crowhurst Park return to Division 3 East next season.

Hailsham CC finished third in Division 4 East – only eight points off a play-off spot and 21 behind champions Bolney.

Hailsham travelled to Eastbourne for the final game looking to finish the season on a high after a tough couple of weeks. Skipper Andrew Anthony won the toss and elected to bowl on a damp, green track.

As always, it was Anthony and Bellett that looked to make early inroads, with both doing so in their first spell, with smart catches taken by Dawber and Matt Anthony.

The change bowlers of Anthony and Tutt also found success.

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Bradley picked out Ollie McDonald on the boundary for his wicket, and Matt Anthony’s slower ball was good enough for Heasman as he chipped to Peacock for 40.

Although Hailsham bowled with good discipline, especially with the spin of Bala and Tibble on at both ends, Eastbourne managed to build partnerships throughout the innings, eventually ending in 217-9 from their 45 overs; Bellett being the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-48 from his nine overs.

Wilkinson and McDonald strode out to begin the chase, but the former didn’t last long, chopping onto his own stumps attempting an expansive cover drive.

Peacock joined McDonald and the pair built steadily, and began to build a solid platform for the middle order.

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When the pair fell in quick succession, Tibble and Dunning made good of that platform, with both spraying the ball to all parts of the field, and in doing so, pushed Hailsham towards their winning total.

Dunning fell for 23 after finding Long Off, but Dawber continued the momentum with an excellent 40*.

Tibble brought up a fine half century before falling for 57, just six runs short of completing the victory.

Dawber hit the winning runs for Hailsham, as they secured a five-wicket win to end the season on a high.

MoM was Jason Tibble for a fantastic 57.

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The Hailsham CC second XI finished sixth in Division 6 East after rounding off their campaign with a hefty win at home to Bexhill twos.

Tom Hicks (51) and Warren Headland (43) were the heroes of Hailsham’s total of 226 batting first – adding 83 for the tenth wicket.

Will Royall and Headland took two wickets each as Bexhill were shot out for 90.

Willingdon v Crowhurst Park 2nd

Travelling to Polegate, Crowhurst Park were asked to bat on a rain-affected pitch and rough outfield and lost six wickets cheaply.

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But James Wilson’s 32 proved to be a match-winning innings. Josh Barraclough (19) also made valuable runs as Park were skittled out for 99 .

In reply Polegate also found conditions unhelpful as they were bowled out for 54 in 21 overs. James Bunday (6-13) was the main destroyer with support from Barraclough (2-9).

This victory confirmed Park twos finishing fifth in Division 6 East.

Crowhurst Park 3rd v Willingdon 2nd

At Claremont School conditions were damp and slow as Park asked the visitors to bat.

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Duncan Ray (40) and skipper Dan Lindon (40) made useful runs but Crows stayed on top. Jon Peters (4-25) was the best bowler, with Willingdon totalling 148-9.

In reply Park lost an early wicket but made steady progress with Dan Flanagan (31), Sam Baker (40), Sino Antony (32*) and Rak Patel (31*) taking the home side to victory. For the visitors three bowlers each took a wicket, Connor Pickard (1-21) the best figures.

This result confirms Crowhurst Park threes as Division 11 East (South) champions.

Battle v Robertsbridge

Victory against their neighbours meant winning Division 6 East to cap an outstanding season for Battle.

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Older heads in the club reckon it’s been 30 years since the first team and the club won anything of this nature, and the success is even more notable given that much of the season was played with key players, including talismanic skipper Jo Carthew, out injured.

Being asked to bat could have proved testing but a second wicket century stand between Craig Davies (69) and Ben Newman (50) calmed the home side before Luke Flint removed Newman.

Curtis Coombes (41), Leigh Tullett (16) and skipper Guy Ballard (19) all weighed and 232-7 looked good but not totally out of reach.

Despite Tom Glenn’s 22, Battle made early inroads into Robertsbridge’s top order. The seam bowling of Kyle Ridgway (2-17) and Newman (2-33) made an impact but the visitors looked in with a chance at 93-4.

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Ben Collins (39) and Lewis Chapman (17) batted well but the home side were led home by superb spells from Curtis Coombes (4-23) and stalwart Roger Soan (2-3).

Battle won by 126 runs and the celebrations began.

Little Common Ramblers 3rd v Battle 2nd

Battle’s second string ended the league season with a strong victory at Little Common.

Ramblers lost a couple of early wickets to Rob Poulter (2-18) before Louis Berryman (4-15) hurt them.

Semi-fit Carthewtook 2-5 in a total of 85 all out.

Battle were soon 11-4 but skipper Kieran Dudgeon (24*), Steve Huggins and Carthew (20*) got the visitors home.

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Sidley CC missed out on promotion following a final-game defeat in Division 11 East (South).

They travelled to one of the other teams in contention, Seaford thirds, targeting a maximum-points victory.

But Steve Ramsden's side fell to a six-wicket defeat, meaning they ended up in fourth.

Sidley posted 163-9 after brothers Jamie (59) and Craig Ramsden (44) joined forces.

Seaford reached the target for the loss of four wickets.

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Mark Gransden picked up two wickets, and there was one apiece for Steve Ramsden and Lawrie Wray.

Mathews XI 172-8; Winchelsea 162-9

Rye CC hosted a match between Winchelsea and a Mathews XI to celebrate the lives of Mike Mathews and Peter Mathews.

Winchelsea elected to field first and Hamish Payne (2-25) and James Archer (3-23) reduced the opposition to 16-5.

Mark Cook (74) and Ross Pierce (48) got the Mathews XI to a respectable total before both fell to Neil Archer (2-23). The Mathews XI finished on 172-8. Mike Stoneham (1-30) was the other wicket taker.

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After tea Helen Harrod claimed 3-23 as Winchelsea were reduced to 50-4.

Hamish Payne (72) and James Jury (42) both fell to the bowling of Jon Peters(4-12) but Winchelsea held on for the draw, ending on 162-9, Martin Blincow (1-16) the other wicket taker.

It was a glorious day remembering the Mathews brothers.