Rye Cricket Club’s first XI ended a run of five straight defeats with victory over Henfield at the Rye Cricket Salts on Saturday.
The three-wicket win makes Rye ever more likely to achieve their target for the season of a mid-table finish in Sussex Cricket League Division Four.
Fourth-placed Henfield are the type of opposition Rye have failed to dominate this summer, but the lessons of a hard season started to bear fruit in a match sponsored by My Sweet Etcetera.
Rye skipper Gary Willis invited Henfield to bat and Gandhi Tandoori man of the match Craig Pierce claimed two early wickets.
Adam Scott (34) and Brighton Mugochi (64) shared a 62-run stand for the third wicket before Neil Browne dismissed Scott and then caught Mugochi off the bowling of Pierce.
It was then very much the Pierce show. The opening bowler took 8-34 off 12.2 overs as Henfield were dismissed for 124 in just 37.2 overs. Pierce’s wickets were the product of good, accurate bowling as most batsmen perished bowled or LBW.
Dan Seabrook (36) and Browne (48) got Rye’s response off to a positive start, but 73-0 quckly became 99-5 as Scott (2-38) and Mugochi (4-34) transformed their batting partnership into a bowling partnership.
Rye were rocked and nerves were jangling. Young Ben Clifton (20) settled those nerves and although he was one of two more victims, Rye got across the winning line with seven wickets down.
This coming Saturday, Rye will travel to Hellingly, who eased their own relegation fears by defeating a Crawley side which now occupies the second relegation slot along with Lewes Priory - Rye’s final day opponents on September 6.