Middleton, Bognor and West Wittering gain vital wins as Sussex Cricket League comes to boil

The Sussex Cricket Ledague season has just three weeks to go and many of our local sides are in the thick of promotion and relegation battles.  Here’s the best of the action from last weekend.

Brad Rose strikes out for Selsey CC / Picture: Bob Hoare
Brad Rose strikes out for Selsey CC / Picture: Bob Hoare

Brighton v Middleton

Sussex Premier

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Middleton travelled to Brighton for what had almost become a must-win game at a ground that has not been kind to them in recent years.

Having won the toss, skipper Sean Heather decided to bat and the early exchanges suggested it was going to be another long day for the visitors with both Hovey and Heather out early.

Mason Robinson and Mahesh Rawat added some stability and started to lay the platform for a challenging total on a pitch that was tough to score freely on. Robinson looked back to his best form of the season with a fluid 74, as the paid added 133 before both fell in quick succession, Rawat for an excellent 57.

Good ball striking from Charlie Maginnis and some scampered singles from the tail got the score up to 217.

With the ball, Matt Lee got things off to a perfect start removing Hounsome for seven, but the home side fought back well with a good partnership between Simon Hertherton and Luke Bartier.

Matt Reynolds proved the difference and his 4-29 bowled Middleton back into the game and meant Brighton were always just behind the run rate.

A superb bit of fielding by Heather removed Hetherton for 64 to turn the game in Middleton’s favour. The he visitors held their nerve to claim the final few wickets to win by 14 runs.

Bognor v Lindfield

Division two

An exceptional run chase in challenging conditions by Joe Ashmore (62*) and Josh Seward (35*) saw Bognor to a crucial victory as they stayed top of the division.

It was a timely return to form for Ashmore, while Seward underlined his value to the side with a superb knock under pressure.

Having elected to bowl, Bognor aimed to restrict the damage which could be done by Apoorv Wankhade, who had scored 110* in the reverse fixture.

Sam Adams (2-22) had him caught behind in an opening spell which saw three early wickets.

Lindfield owed their innings to captain Simon Shivnarain, who batted superbly for 54 before being caught in the deep off Mike Harris.

Josh Sargeant (2-31) chipped in at the death, while Ashmore bowled excellently to take figures of 1-28. Lindfield finishing on 161-7.

Bognor’s reply starting poorly with Harris, Nick Ballamy and Gary Maskell falling early. When captain Ryan Maskell and Taylor Jaycocks fell in quick succession, Bognor were 90-5 and 70 shy of victory.

However, Ashmore marshalled the chase cleverly, and with Seward taking calculated risks, Bognor got home by five wickets. They take on Chichester at Goodwood CC this weekend.

n Bognor seconds restricted Ram to 145-9 before Harry Hood’s 71* led them home by eight wickets. Dan Winslow’s side can secure promotion this weekend against Goring.

Bognor’s thirds found Pagham’s fourth XI’ s 205 too many and they lost by 78 runs.

* Also in division two, Chichester Priory Park (275-5) enjoyed a 16-run win in a high-scoring encounter with Burgess Hill (259-9). Tarryck Gabriel (69) and Mike Smith (70) were the stars with the bat for Chichester. Wajid Shah and Jack Simpson both hit 50s for Hill.

Middleton 2nd v West Wittering

Division five west

West Wittering were knocked off top spot by hosts Middleton twos – but with only seven points between the sides the title race could go to the final day.

West Wittering lost the toss but got their first wicket in the 14th over after a great partnership from Middleton openers Stuart Nelms (32) and C Speeding (41), with the hosts also aided by and the highest scorer Pat Colvin (54).

West Wittering stayed strong, with fine bowling from Joe Pink (3-26) and James Staight (2-34).

Middleton set a total of 209-8 off 40 overs.

West Wittering had a solid start but scored only 78 in the first 20 overs. T Gaskin (37) hit the ball hard and far while S Caddy (31) but a difficult innings.

Great bowling from C Fowle (4-20) and Colvin (3-37) meant West Wittering weren’t able to chase the runs and Middleton won by 59 runs.

Selsey v Crawley Eagles

Division seven west

Selsey lost the toss and were asked to field first, Josh Stocks with 2-29 and Tom Cripps 5-11 got through the first 16 overs blowing away Eagles’ top order.

At 40-7 the lower order consisted of three Eagles colts but the trio got them to 126 all out.

Opening up for Selsey, Jim Amis and Stocks looked at ease until both were bowled .

Nick Horner and Brad Rose came in and Rose made batting look easy, driving the ball hard through the covers, and an enormous six over long-off took him to 46.

Arif accounted for him then Will Smith and Cripps, but the reliable Horner (36*) took Selsey to the brink of a much needed victory. He and Charlie Constable confirmed it but Selsey must win at Stirlands to keep survival hopes alive.

West Wittering 2nd v East Preston 2nd

Division nine west

East Preston won the toss and decided to bat and Andy Priest and Harry Staight made it hard for the openers.

Kev Allsobrook took over and got a first-ball wicket.

Priest joined the fray before Allsobrook took the next three wickets. Steve Day took two and East Preston were all out for 95. Fergus Carty (22) and Charlie Caddy (32no) led WW to a five-wicket win.

Aldwick v Eastergate

Division 6 West

Aldwick beat Eastergate by five wicketsand now just need a few points to ensure they are safe from relegation.

Opening bowlers, Ben Bambridge (3-18) and Frankie Bigwood (1-25) removed Eastergate’s openers cheaply before Peter Smith (31) held the innings together with decent contributions from Curtis Drake (23), Jack Bateman (28) and Harvey Reed (25*).

Wickets for Mathew Tozer (2-31) and three catches by keeper Aiden Miles helped keep the runs down as Eastergate finished on 155-8.

Jake Bateman (4-28 ) made sure Aldwick did not have it all their own way in the chase but Josh Mann (39), Tanveer Ahmed (20), Ian Guppy ( 26*) and Aiden Miles (16*) ensured a five-wicket victory.

Eastergate 2nd v

Aldwick 2nd

Division 11 West (South)

For the first time ever, Aldwick twos had two women in their side – and Lara Johnson (31) top scored as Aldwick stumbled to 106 all out.

Andy Massey hit 20 and Michelle Clare was four not out but it was a bowlers day with Eastergate’s Jake Warner (4-24 , Chris Radfird (2-17) and Jonathan Smith (2-32) doing well.

Eastergate won by six wickets in 16 overs despite two runouts by Dan Austin and a wicket each for Dion Sampson and Andrew Massey.

Aldwick Phoenix v Steyning

West Slam Final

For the second year running Aldwick lost in the West Slam final, this time to Steyning by 24 runs. A partnership of 111 from Steyning’s Chris Barnett (50*) and Sah Hunt (32) sealed it. Knocks of Ian Guppy (24) and skipper Ian Horner (23*) weren’t enough in the reply.

Ashling v Singleton

An opening partnership of 117 in just 15 overs ended any hopes of a victory for Ashling as Singleton amassed 226/3 in their 35 overs. The reply saw contributions from C Franks (35) and J Gray (32) but they finished on 103 all out.