Game of two halves at champions Willingdon

East Sussex Cricket League Ringmer 114-8 Willingdon* 98

IT was certainly a game of two halves in this low-scoring nail-biter as Ringmer travelled to current champions Willingdon.

Having won the toss, Wllingdon inserted Ringmer to bat first; a decision which would instantly pay dividends as a mix-up between the batsmen saw an early run out.

Tight bowling from the Willingdon openers meant runs were hard to come by as few boundaries were hit; Duncan Ford bowling a wicketless 14 overs for just 15 runs.

But wickets continued to fall every 10-15 runs at the other end – until a decent partnership of 30 between opener Steve Barnett and No 6 bat Aaron Halsey boosted the Ringmer score, with boundaries becoming more frequent.

The introduction of Danny Craven saw a late flurry of runs for Ringmer but also the loss of a few wickets, Barnett finally being bowled attempting a big shot at the death, to return to the pavilion with a gritty 28 off 133 balls.

Will Saunders finished the innings with a slightly brisker seven off three to bring the Ringmer total to 114, with Craven finishing with 4-31.

At tea, Ringmer pondered the prospect of returning home with no points in their first full game of the season.

The new ball was given to 17-year-old Freddie Wade and Will Saunders to get some pace out of a slow wicket.

Willingdon got under way with some tight singles and good running, but the run rate began to slow as wickets tumbled. The catalyst was a sharp direct hit from Aaron Halsey to run out Willingdon captain Michael Trewin for seven, leaving the home side on 11-2.

The Ringmer boys sensed an upset could be on the cards and quickly reduced Willingdon to 41-7 with all the bowlers chipping in with wickets as well as another run out.

The hosts’ tail began to wag with a 33-run partnership as the remaining batsmen looked to bat around Danny Craven, who would later finish stranded on 31 not out.

The victory came when Wade was finally allowed back to bowl a second spell – and it took him just two more overs to knock over the batsmen’s stumps to seal a memorable win for Ringmer with two overs to spare.

Craven finished with a third of his team’s runs on 31 not out.

The Ringmer bowlers shared most of the spoils, with Wade finishing with 3-16 and Saunders 2-22.