Park restore pride with spirited national cup display

Crowhurst Park’s cricketers suffered two defeats at the weekend, but with very different performances.

Brad Payne battled through the pain barrier to score 93 in Crowhurst Park's narrow cup defeat to Rottingdean
Brad Payne battled through the pain barrier to score 93 in Crowhurst Park's narrow cup defeat to Rottingdean

After another resounding league loss on Saturday, Park restored some pride with a much-improved and spirited performance in a narrow national cup reverse on Sunday.

Park were outplayed by St James’s Montefiore in Sussex Cricket League Division Two. Little went right for skipper Paul Brookes after winning the toss and deciding to bowl.

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A dropped catch off the fourth ball of the St James’s innings set the tone, especially as the reprieved John Taylor proceeded to smash 50 off just 24 balls, including taking 32 runs off Brookes’ two overs.

Clive Tong claimed the solitary wicket, removing Taylor for 55, before Sam Cooper (127 not out) and captain Michael Murray (60 not out) steered St James’s to 275-1 declared off just 40 overs.

In reply, Park lost both openers inside seven overs before 16-year-old Fox Parker (19) showed true grit to build a partnership with Ed Smissen (44). They were going along relatively comfortably until Parker was caught behind off a Mali Richards bouncer.

This led to another middle order collapse with Park slumping from 103-3 to 133 all out in a disappointing batting display, which made it six league losses out of six.

Park almost got over the line, however, in a close-fought Davidstow Village Cup East Sussex final away to Rottingdean.

Bowling first this time having lost the toss, Brookes picked up a wicket in the first over and produced a superb display to concede just nine runs off his allotted nine overs.

Brookes and Richard Coleman restricted Rottingdean to 51-1 off the first 18 overs, but Henry Ledden and Mohammed Islam built a superb 150-run partnership.

Ledden was bowled by Tong for an excellent 65 and Islam followed for 67, bowled by Payne. A flurry of boundaries and late wickets then followed, with Matt Peters picking up three wickets in his two overs at the end of the innings as Rottingdean closed on 230-8.

Brad and Dale Payne got Park to 37 in reply before Dale (20) was caught at point. Brookes scored an enterprising 14 and when Tong fell two balls later, the target looked a long way off.

Brad Payne and Smissen both reached 50, however, and Park required 70 off the last 10 overs. Although Smissen (52) holed out to long on, Park seemed on course when needing 15 off 14 balls.

Brad Payne - who was severely restricted by a foot injury - was stumped for a fantastic 93, however, and Park fell agonisingly 12 runs short on 218 all out.

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