Worthing CC celebrate promotion to the Sussex Premier LeagueWorthing CC celebrate promotion to the Sussex Premier League
Worthing CC celebrate promotion to the Sussex Premier League

In pictures – how Worthing could celebrate after nervy final day in Sussex Cricket League

Falling into second place in Division 2 on the penultimate weekend of the season, Worthing were suddenly in danger of not achieving promotion to the Sussex Premier League having led the table for the majority of the season.

Only a win against already relegated Crowhurst Park would be enough to secure them a place back into the top flight of Sussex League cricket.

Losing the toss, Harry Dunn’s side were put into bat on what appeared to be a difficult wicket following heavy midweek rain. Nick Ballamy made the going look easy as he plundered early boundaries to get Worthing off to a flying start of 27 runs in the first 4 overs. However, an ill- disciplined shot from Nick cost him his wicket and Worthing’s early momentum was lost as the Crowhurst bowlers settled into some excellent lines and lengths making batting hard for the Worthing team.

Read skipper Harry Dunn’s thoughts on promotion and see a team picture – in the Worthing Herald, out on Thursday

Dominic Clapp and Aussie Dean Solway settled into a nice partnership but runs were hard to come by and Clapp was finally dismissed for a hard earned 25 from 55 balls. Darryl Rebbetts then joined Dean to move the score to 130 before he was dismissed by Crowhurst skipper Nick Peters who was enjoying an excellent spell.

As the final overs drew near Solway then upped the scoring rate with some lovely placed shots until he was out for an excellent 66 form 117 balls. With the score only at 165 with 6 overs left Worthing looked in danger of posting a below par score but Giorgio Rigali with 20 not out including a fine six over long on off Peters gave Worthing some respectability and their final total of 195-7 felt competitive if they bowled well.

Worthing needed a good start from their opening bowlers Rigali and Martyn Swift, and when Crowhurst were reduced to 20-3 the early Worthing nerves were quickly settled. Crowhurst then fought back with aggressive knocks from Jordan Shaw (26 from 21 balls) and Clive Tong (27 from 26 balls) but then up stood 17-year-old Harry Merritt-Blann with a wonderful spell of bowling taking 4 for 27 in 7 overs ripping the heart out of the Crowhurst batting, and along with leading wicket taker Harry Dunn, Crowhurst were reduced to 120-9.

Aided by some stunning catches from Darryl Rebbetts and Fin Wood Worthing were fully in control and the final wicket from a bizarre run out sparked the celebrations from the Worthing team as they ran out winners by 75 runs. So, Worthing now move back into the Sussex Premier League for the 2024 season and look forward to challenging for higher honours following their back to back promotions in 2022 and 2023.