Crowhurst Park’s cricketers produced another good performance despite suffering a four-wicket loss at home to Worthing on Saturday.
Park batted first after losing the toss, and Nick Peters and Dale Payne put on another solid opening partnership to take the score along to 64 before Payne became the first of Andy Lutwyche’s five wickets for a useful 28.
With Cam Flanagan unavailable due to injury, Ed Smissen was promoted up the order, but he soon fell LBW for four and when Peters was bowled in Lutwyche’s next over for an excellent 36, Park’s good start was in jeopardy.
Although Brad Payne was in good touch and went on the counter-attack, when Kellen Powell edged behind and Payne (20) was trapped LBW, Park were wobbling at 108-5.
Following up on the previous week’s excellent knock against Sussex Cricket League Division Two leaders Middleton, Clive Tong continued to show his good form. He put on an excellent 55-run partnership with Matt Peters before a loose shot saw him caught on the boundary for a very useful 40.
Peters (8) followed soon after, but Fox Parker (4) and Pete Beaumont (14) added another 20-run partnership before both fell in quick succession.
It was down to skipper Paul Brookes (15 not out) and Richard Coleman (9) rolling back the years to see Park post 200 for the first time at home since the redevelopment of the ground. Park finished on 209 all out.
A fine opening spell of bowling by Brad Payne and Smissen restricted Worthing’s opening batsmen, and when both fell in successive balls to Smissen and Payne with the score on 14, they got the rewards their spells deserved.
Andy Reid counter-attacked with some aeriel shots and put on 49 with Benn Challen before Coleman clean bowled Reid (26) in his first over. Nick Peters replaced Smissen and was also in the action when he clean bowled Ian Gooding.
At 68-4, Park sensed they were in control and pushing for victory, however a superb 110-run partnership between Challen and Nick Ballamy took the game away from Park.
Payne came back for a second spell and removed Ballamby (60) and followed that up next over by tempting John Glover to edge a useful delivery to Nick Peters at gully.
At 192-6, Worthing needed another 28 runs off five overs. Challen was still at the other end and closing in on a what would have been a well-earned century only to be stranded on 97 not out when Corey Altis scored the winning runs with three overs to spare.
Payne bowled superbly to finish with 3-47, and received good support from Smissen 1-33, Peters 1-43 and Coleman 1-34.
There were many positives to be gained from this defeat against a strong Worthing side, not least picking up 13 very useful points and a growing confidence with the bat.
Park now have a handy 45-point cushion above second-bottom Chichester Priory Park and will be looking to extend that gap when they travel to bottom team Goring-By-Sea this coming Saturday.