Crowhurst Park Cricket Club’s disappointing start to the league season continued on Saturday with a heavy eight-wicket defeat away to leaders Worthing.
Park were outplayed by a very strong Worthing side which would appear to have aspirations of returning to the Sussex Premier League and have now lost their opening four league games.
After heavy rain the previous day, it was no surprise that Park were put in to bat. Unable to replicate the previous week’s solid opening partnership, both openers fell to the excellent Jamie Piper within five overs and it got worse with Park in deep trouble at 11-4 off 10 overs.
Brad Payne (30), who has been solid with the bat all season, led a mini-recovery by grinding out a partnership with Cam Flanagan (10), taking Park to 53-4 before Flanagan became the first of three LBWs for Martin Swift.
Any signs of that recovery were blown away by Swift and Park were soon 78-9. It was then left to skipper Paul Brookes and young wicketkeeper Fox Parker to try and give the team a target to defend.
They lasted 12 overs and put on an excellent 35 in the context of the innings before opener Piper returned to bowl Parker, who made a very useful 11.
Brookes, batting at 10, was unbeaten on 26 as Park were all out for 113 - seven runs short of the first batting points. Pick of Worthing’s bowlers were Piper (3-13) and Swift (4-9).
Defending a low target, Park needed early wickets and a bit of luck, but neither were present as Worthing survived a couple of chances early on before racing to 68 off 11 overs.
Payne earned a well-deserved wicket by removing the dangerous Matt Green for 36 and followed this up by bowling the other opener, Josh Wood, for 34 to at least secure a solitary point before Worthing reached Park’s total in just 17 overs.
Park must pick themselves up for another tough match this coming Saturday at home to Pagham, who have made an excellent start to their first season in Division Two and beat Park’s local rivals Hastings Priory on Saturday to move up to second in the table.
The curse of the British weather yet again struck Park on Sunday as they were unable to play Mayfield in the East Sussex semi-final of the national Davidstow Village Cup.
For the second time in this season’s competition, Park must give up home advantage and travel to a Mayfield side which will be looking to reverse the outcome from when Park beat them in the regional final two seasons ago. The rearranged match is scheduled for this coming Sunday.
Standings (all played four matches): 1 Worthing 100pts, 2 Pagham 98, 3 Findon 95, 4 Three Bridges 81, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 79, 6 Lindfield 70, 7 St James’s Montefiore 67, 8 Ifield 63, 9 Ansty 46, 10 CROWHURST PARK 20.
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