Cuckfield's August Cup hopes dashed by overnight rain

With overnight rain getting onto the prepared East Grinstead pitch for the crucial August Cup game despite the availability of a dry pitch that had been used previously, Cuckfield 1st XI were unable to play their game with East Grinstead 1st XI as the previously used pitch was adjudged to be an unsafe surface by an umpire.
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This means that East Grinstead progress through to the next round of the August Cup on net run rate over third place Cuckfield.

Skipper Ben Candfield believes more should have been done to use a dry pitch on the square.

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He said: “It goes without saying that we are gutted not to be able to play, especially with a win being enough to carry us through to the next round.

Cuckfield 2nd XICuckfield 2nd XI
Cuckfield 2nd XI

“With only five competitive games this season, to have one cancelled when a dry surface was available is disappointing as cricket has provided a welcome return to a sense of normalcy.

“In my opinion the prepared pitch was certainly not playable, however, the second surface should’ve have been considered more.”

Candfield also believes his side have plenty to build on for next season following their disappointing exit from the August Cup.

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He said: “The August Cup has given us plenty of good signs to carry through and build upon hopefully through a couple friendlies and then into the winter.

Cuckfield 3rd XICuckfield 3rd XI
Cuckfield 3rd XI

“There were many stand out performances, but Joe Cambridge has really found his feet at the top of the order scoring consistent runs. Meanwhile with the ball, both Josh Hayward and Nick Patterson found regular consistency, which is something as a bowling unit we need to keep working on to build pressure and take wickets.

“I think everyone has enjoyed being able to play cricket during these strange times, and the thought of a full season next year is very exciting for Cuckfield.”

2nd XI: Cuckfield 2nd XI played host to Crawley Down 1st XI for the final round of the August Cup. Skipper Chris Taylor lost the toss again with the away team choosing to bat in bowler friendly conditions.

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Openers Chris Osbourne and Joe White immediately set about their work, applying pressure on the batsmen - resulting in the Crawley down captain, Daniel White, being well caught at mid-wicket by Will Galbraith-Gibbons off Osborne. White then took the second wicket of the day to seal his impressive bowling display, inducing the edge of Simon Rawden for another catch, this time in the slip cordon.

Goff Baker ends with 5-16 to take Cuckfield to victory and the next round of the August Cup.Goff Baker ends with 5-16 to take Cuckfield to victory and the next round of the August Cup.
Goff Baker ends with 5-16 to take Cuckfield to victory and the next round of the August Cup.

Opening batsmen Ruky Wickremasinghe, who rode his luck early on in his innings, countered with positive intent to reach 50 in quick time. Crawley Down’s middle order struggled to provide support against intelligent bowling from Sam Candfield who picked up two wickets in his 8 over spell. The introduction of spin from Greg Seed yielded another wicket in the form of a simple caught and bowled. Taylor entered the bowling attack for the final overs of the innings, and bowling in tandem with Seed the two left arm bowlers were rewarded with 3 further wickets for their efforts.

Amongst the wickets falling, Wickremasinghe capitalised on some indifferent fielding to reach an excellent hundred and then pushed further on with some hard hitting to reach 129 not out at the end of the innings to take Crawley Down to 205-9 off their 40 overs.

Cuckfield’s reply saw George Galbraith Gibbons and Henry Rogers make a steady start reaching 60-0 off 12 overs. Galbraith-Gibbons then holed out after a well-made 34, leaving Dan Turner to enter the fray. Turner sharply increased the scoring with an array of stroke making, ranging from controlled placement to the utterly brutal - including two massive sixes. His 50 came off 20 balls and swung the match completely in Cuckfield’s favour.

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Once Turner fell for 56 and Rogers for a grafting 42, Taylor and Nathan Buckeridge knocked off the remaining 50 runs with aplomb, sealing a 6-wicket victory for Cuckfield. Alas, it was not enough for Cuckfield to progress in the August Cup, being pipped at the post by Newick on net run rate.

Man of the match for the home side went deservingly to Turner for his match winning innings.

3rd XI: This was a closely contested game at the top of the group that was in the balance for long periods. Scaynes Hill won the toss and put Cuckfield in on a wicket that had had heavy overnight rain.

Hardwicke was knocked off his feet second ball by Ellis coming down the hill but recovered to get Cuckfield through the opening overs. When he fell to good low catch at mid-wicket, Tom Hay and Dom Seed played carefully and built an useful partnership. They fell in quick succession, but Piers Harrison and Jack Best attacked judiciously and Best went on to play a match defining innings of 47. With the prospect of 170-180 a possibility, Scaynes Hill countered and knocked over the Cuckfield tail, bowling Cuckfield out for 162. At tea, all results were still possible.

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Rodney Candfield and Theo Barker opened for Cuckfield with Dan Tingley and Nick Wright negotiating the first few overs. But no batsman was properly in on this pitch and Sam Shepherd pulled off a great catch at cover off Candfield to dismiss Wright and then repeated the combination to get rid of Laurence Ridgewell.

Cuckfield went up a level and Josh Downey put in a fantastic spell of 2-18 off six overs with Matt Slinger taking a sharp catch at short extra to remove Michael Woodroffe. At drinks Scaynes Hill were 75-4 after 18 and with a batting line up that went deep they were still well in the game.

Captain Matt Slinger then bowled in tandem with Goff Baker who ripped through the middle and lower order. A stunning catch by Hardwicke was followed by a great running catch by Shepherd at deep mid-wicket, who also then ran out Charles Copsey with some sharp work at cover. Baker then snuffed out the threat from Tom Ellis with a fine take by Best at extra cover before Shepherd held a lofted drive at long off to close out the innings and left Baker with figures of 5-16 off 6.5 overs.

In the end the difference between the sides was the quality of Cuckfield’s bowling in the middle overs and it was a fine win that saw Cuckfield win the August Cup group and progress to the next round.

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4th XI: Cuckfield 4th XI had a long journey to Ansty to take on their 4th XI on a cold, damp day which progressively got colder. Cuckfield won the toss and chose to have a bowl on what was a wet wicket. Alex Stephens (1-21) and George Ponsford (0-17 off 8 overs) started off with some really tight bowling and unfortunately several missed opportunities to take early wickets.

Stephen's pace rattled the openers but a few missed caught behinds and close umpiring calls saw Ansty off to a steady start. Bertie Sheldon came into the attack to peg back Ansty ending with 2-41. Jamie Hatt replaced the unlucky Ponsford to claim 2-28. Ansty finished their 40 overs on 210 for 6, with Henry Starkey (61) and Simon Parsons (50) both making half centuries, but confidence was high heading into the second innings.

Caleb Hawkins and James Buckeridge got Cuckfield off to a good start before Hawkins chipped on to mid-off for 31. Rev Taites replaced him and after a few lovely shots, was caught by Simon Martin off Phil Herbert leaving Cuckfield at 62 for 2 with plenty of time left in the match. Buckeridge (65*) and Bertie Sheldon (37*) batted through the remaining overs but with the run rate creeping up saw Cuckfield fall short finishing on 156 for 2 after their 40 overs.

5th XI

A second week running for Cuckfield to field a 5th XI, showing the depth of players coming through the academy. Having won the toss, Cuckfield put Billingshurst into bat on a soft, damp wicket. Jamie Tuddenham and Louis Waller opened the bowling with Tuddenham doing a great job down the hill with a 5 over spell for 20 runs.

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At the other end Waller struggled with the conditions going for 48 from a 5 over spell. The first bowling changes saw Will Ward coming down the hill with leg spin and Harriet Loveridge bowling up the hill. Loveridge finally broke the opening partnership getting Alexander Woodhead caught by Jamie Tuddenham for 14. Another 48 runs were added before Loveridge struck again with a good catch by Tom Black to dismiss Benjamin Robinson for 55.

Ward toiled away with an 8-over spell of leg spin with the batsmen trying to take the game to him and after a few near misses and a couple of dropped catches, got his reward with the wicket of John Woodhead for 60 with Ed White taking a well-judged skier of a catch, ending up with figures of 1 for 65 from his 8 overs. White was then brought on with Tom Black as second change and took a wicket with a sharp caught and bowled in his first over and, after taking a bit of punishment from the middle order Billingshurst batsmen, had Connor McCarney caught at a short fine leg by Louis Waller for his second victim ending up with 2 for 50 from his 5 overs. Tom Black bowled a tidy spell of 4 overs to finish with 1 for 19 and Billingshurst declared after 34 overs with a large total of 255 behind them.

Billingshurst opening bowlers got off to a flyer on the sticky, but drying, pitch reducing Cuckfield to 27 for 4. Tom Martin ending up with 2-22 from 8 overs and Barney Hoad 3-13 from his 8 overs. A middle order stand between Richard Loveridge and Guy Dixon raised the score to 62 before Loveridge was caught spectacularly by Hoad for 34. Dixon and David Tree put on another 24 runs before Dixon was bowled by a quicker ball from Oliver Hoad.

The wickets of Tuddenham and Waller followed quickly with the score at 100. Being well off the pace, the aim was to not be bowled out and with Tree and Harriet Loveridge at the crease, another 23 runs were added without loss leaving Tree 17* and Loveridge 9*. The game was played in great spirit and despite falling short by over 100 runs, the younger colt players only just starting out on their adult cricket journey are learning and developing their match skills in the longer format of the game, which will stand them and the club in good stead in future years.

Reports contributed

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