Cuckfield extend lead in cricket league - now for big clash with Haywards Heath

Cuckfield CC won at St James to open up a 32-point lead at the top of the Sussex Cricket League division two – to set up a vital tussle at second-placed Haywards Heath this Saturday.

Cuckfield skipper Ben Candfield won the toss and decided to bat and openers Joe Cambridge (71) and Nipun Karunanayake (18) started slowly against Michael Murray (0-79) and Charles Davies (1-46).

Cambridge found his range, dispatching loose deliveries to the boundary. Toby Pullan (2-38) slowed the rate but the breakthrough did not come until Henry Cope (5-69) was introduced, having Karunanayake caught by Joe O’Neill.

Ollie Graham (29) was joined by Henry Rogers (45) after the demise of Cambridge. Pullan and Cope applied pressure but Cuckfield continued to accumulate.

Lindfield's Simon Shivnarain wraps up the tail at Burgess Hill

With Rogers becoming more aggressive at one end, Ben Candfield (17) and Jimmy Anyon (30) found the boundary with good frequency to take Cuckfield to 239-8 from 53 overs.

Cuckfield put the St James batsmen under pressure from the start. Toby Pullan (34) deciding attack was needed but Henry Rogers (1-22) and Will Galbraith-Gibbons (1-32) reduced St James to 54-2.

Josh Hayward (6-35) swung the game in Cuckfield’s favour with Pullan being caught by Cambridge. Anyon (2-39) peppered the batters with short-pitched bowling and attacked the stumps as well to reduce St James to 97-7.

Henry Sims (34) held up Cuckfield but Hayward mopped up the tail to bowl St James out for 142.

Jonny Phelps

West Chiltington & Thakeham v Haywards Heath - Sussex League Division 2

It was 3rd v 2nd – and it was Heath who won the toss and elected to bat.

Jonny Phelps and Jethro Menzies opened and Phelps hit the first ball for four.

It was clear spin would be the order of the day as the only seam WC used was dispensed with after three overs.

Hugo Gillespie bowled with excellent control and didn’t allow Heath to get away. Heath passed 50 with Phelps (34) clearing the ropes off Morne Louw but he was undone next ball as Ollie Van Noort took a good catch.

Ben Matthew was soon out for 8, caught by Ben Lucking off Gillespie and Heath were 73-2.

Skipper Callum Smith and Menzies took Heath forward nd with 10 overs left, at 160-2, the pair started to accelerate.

Menzies planted two maximums on the clubhouse roof before he played on to become Louw’s second victim.

Smith (74no) and Jemuel Cabey (14no) took few risks and got the score to 232 in 53 overs.

WC opened with Louw and Louis Storey and Jethro Menzies looked threatening.

Heath dropped an early chance off Storey, On 16 Phelps found the edge of Louw and Smith snaffled a catch at slip.

Menzies had Gillespie pulling to midwicket, where Matthew took the catch.

Reuben Taylorcame in but Storey went for 15. Charlie Tear was dropped on 0.

WC passed 100 and Heath needed a wicket. On 128 veteran Charlie Dowdall enticed Taylor (44) into a big shot and he was taken at long-on.

Ollie Van Noort and Tear continued to accumulate runs. On 168 Dowdall trapped Van Noortand and skipper Jordan Palmer-Goddard came in.

Phelps continued to toil away and found his reward on 189 when Palmer-Goddard was caught for Dowdall.

Into the final over and 20 needed Tear decided to take Phelps on and hit a maximum. Tear hit last ball of the game for four to bring up his ton but it ended in a draw, Phelps taking 2-108 in 21, Menzies 2-11 and Dowdall 2-46.

The points went 13-7 in Heath’s favour.

Heath remain second, 32 points behind Cuckfield, who they welcome to Clair Hall this week.

Burgess Hill v Lindfield - Division 2

Lindfield finally moved out of the relegation zone with a dominant performance against Burgess Hill.

Bowling first at the ‘picturesque’ St John’s Park, Lindfield took control from the start as Farhad Reza (1 for 40) and Dom Morgan (3 for 75) removed most of the top order, leaving the hosts at 113 for 4.

Sam Remfry provided the backbone of the innings and blunted the Swans attack for much of the afternoon and amassed a run-a-ball 116 before being dismissed by Simon Shivnarain (3 for 51).

Lewis Mamoany (33) and Joe Maskell (22) provided some impetus at the death as Burgess Hill reached 224 for 9 declared.

In response, Lindfield got off to a poor start with Toby Shepperson and Jayson Butler dismissed in the second over, leaving the visitors teetering at 6 for 2.

However, Max Kidman (25) pushed the score along with his usual brand of hedonistic cricket but when he was bowled by Dan Strange, Reza joined the incumbent Harry Moorat and both took control.

Despite being dropped off his first scoring shot, Reza opened his shoulders and hit five 6s and 11 4s in his run-a-ball 101, whilst Moorat was more considered with an unbeaten 84 off 119 balls.

Their partnership of 173 took Lindfield to the brink of victory and ensured a 6 wicket win which moved the Swans out of the relegation places.

Overseas professional Farhad Reza said: “I am delighted to have scored some runs and helped the team to a fine win over our local rivals. We must now convert this momentum in to another win against Findon next week.”

Cuckfield 2nd v West Wittering - Division 4 West

Cuckfield twos hosted top of the league West Wittering in a game that many felt could prove decisive in the title race.

Captain George Galbraith-Gibbons lost the toss and West Wittering elected to bat first. Galbraith-Gibbons made an instant impact with the first ball, dismissing Samuel Caddy for a Diamond Duck.

Cuckfield kept the runs down with Galbraith Gibbons (1-16) and Sam Candfield (1-22). Zander Muir held steady for 49, before being removed by Greg Wisdom, leaving West Wittering on 88-5 after the 28th over.

Wittering’s response was strong thanks to Jordan Dear (23) and Fergus Carty (26 not out) with Cuckfield taking the last wicket off the final ball. The pick of the bowlers were Wisdom (3-48) and Matt Slinger (3-30).

Cuckfield, content with their performance with the ball, opened with Galbraith-Gibbons and Wisdom.

Wisdom (4) was dismissed quickly by Harry Staight (1-25) bringing Dom Sear to the crease. With some strong shots through the covers and effective use of the short boundary, Sear and Galbraith-Gibbons put on a partnership of 154.

This meant Cuckfield quickly found themselves on 172-2 before Galbraith-Gibbons was removed by Spike Western (1-36) for a superb 87. Sear remained and, with the help of Will Rossiter (6no ), saw Cuckfield to victory with a well-constructed 66 not out. The convincing win means Cuckfield close the gap at the top.