Heathfield pick 18 points in draw with St Peter's

St Peter's' Sam Wheatley is bowled by Heathfield's Daniel James. Picture by Danny Simpson
St Peter's' Sam Wheatley is bowled by Heathfield's Daniel James. Picture by Danny Simpson

Heathfield Park 1st XI travelled to St Peters for the first league game of the season.

After the new changes to the playing conditions it was no surprise that Heathfield found themselves batting first after losing the toss. They made steady progress reaching 71 - 3 after 17 overs with Callum Matthews (17) and Russ Varney (20) scoring the bulk of the runs and St Peters overseas Sipho Mashele taking the first 3 wickets using the conditions well to swing the ball.

Heathfield lost Wise quickly which brought Captain Ian Long to join Oliver Robertshaw at the crease. The pair put on 69 for the 5th wicket when Long was bowled by James Brooklyn for 33. St Peters at this point rightly so must have felt they could restrict Heathfield to a score well below 200. However Josh Abbott and Robertshaw had other ideas and managed to put on 95 for the 6th wicket and as such took Heathfield to an imposing 248-6. After a watchful start Robertshaw passed 50 with around 8 overs left and managed to end 95 not out with 9 fours and 5 sixes.

Abbott was making a deserved call up to the first team after a long lay off with a knee injury which he has manage to over come with a hard winters' training that Club Trainer Daniel James put on. Abbott rode his luck to start with and after a number of close chances decided to go on the attack and mange to score 44 before being run out in the last over before tea.

After tea the familiar new ball partnership of Daniel (DJ) James and James Briggs bowled well. DJ continued his good start to the season by picking up the first 5 St Peters wickets and managing to restrict them to 47-5. DJ was replaced by Piers Cowley who took another quick St Peters wicket leaving them in real trouble at 65-6 but significant contributions from Michael Dawes (37) at the top of the order, Simon Coomber (38), Marco Lincoln (35) & Sipho Mashele (23) lower down halted Heathfield's progress and by the end of the innings St Peters managed to 174-8 with James Briggs and Simon Gayton taking a wicket each.

Heathfield were disappointed by not getting the result after taking early wickets but were happy to collect 18 points in the first game of the season after disrupted pre-season friendlies which only around half the side managed to play.

Next week Heathfield play Chiddingly at home with a 13:30 start.