Cuckfield lead Sussex Premier League at halfway stage – wins for Middleton, East Grinstead and Three Bridges

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Despite very unsettled weather on Saturday, making the Sussex Premier League into something of a lottery, three wins were posted, and, at the half way stage of the season, last year’s winner Cuckfield head early leaders Preston Nomads by eight points.

Nomads being on level pegging with third-placed Three Bridges. With nine straight losses Worthing are bottom, 69 points adrift of also relegation-threatened Hastings.

In the top of the table clash at Fulking, Cuckfield were all out for 252, opener Wesley Marshall making 108 and Henry Rogers 50, with Preston Nomads Captain Nav Patel taking 4-65. But, although there were 30s from Sam Topping, Dan Phillips and Stuart Faith, the match was drawn, Nomads finishing on 178-7 from 53 overs.

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At Worthing, Middleton made hay after being put in, an unbeaten 121 by Toby Barton, plus 80s from Guy Taylor and Sean Heather allowed an early declaration on 318-2, whereupon the hosts were bowled out for 240, James Barker and Josh Wood taking four wickets apiece, working their way through resistance from Nicholas Ballamy (95) and 30s from Martyn Swift and Gavin Miles.

Jayden Goodwin hits out for Horsham v Hastings - before rain won the day | Picture: Clare TurnbullJayden Goodwin hits out for Horsham v Hastings - before rain won the day | Picture: Clare Turnbull
Jayden Goodwin hits out for Horsham v Hastings - before rain won the day | Picture: Clare Turnbull

Hastings’ round trip of 110 miles to Horsham was in vain – after a delayed start heavy rain causing an abandonment with Horsham on 85-2 from 14 overshe 10 points each leaving Horsham fourth.

At Bognor there was a dramatic ending after East Grinstead had been dismissed for 210, with Bognor seemingly cruising to victory on 174-1 – Ryan Maskell 109 and Mike Harris 56 - only for skipper Will Adkin to take 5-54 and Tom Hinley 5-46 for Grinstead to win by three runs, the pair rounding off excellent all round performances, having earlier scored 142 between them.

At Three Bridges, visiting Roffey had them 35-3, Toby Munt, fresh from his Sussex 2nd XI debut, accounting for both openers cheaply before going on to take 5-43. But, Scott Lenham and Michael Cowdrey dug in with 79 and 84 respectively, taking Bridges to 219-8 declared after 48 overs.

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In reply, depleted Roffey stayed in the chase thanks to 51 from prolific skipper Matt Davies. Jonny Phelps followed up with 33 and Munt 37, but Bridges kept whittling away, Ben Lucking taking 4-62. With the asking rate increasing as overs ran out, Bridges bowled out Roffey for 200 to win by 19 runs.

Next Saturday’s Premier fixtures: Bognor v Cuckfield, Hastings v Roffey, Horsham v East Grinstead, Preston Nomads v Middleton and Worthing v Three Bridges.

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