Sunny conditions at Sheffield Park leaves one side smiling and other side frustrated

East Sussex Division Two – Fletching* 140 Laughton 107

A SUNNY afternoon in the beautiful surroundings of Sheffield Park should have provided ideal conditions for a game of cricket.

It did so for the home Fletching team but produced further frustration for the visitors from Laughton as they failed to take advantage.

Laughton won the toss and put their hosts into bat on a wicket that no one was too sure of, being the first match of the season here. This seemed to work to Laughton’s advantage, with early wickets falling to pace. Terry Lucas (36) put up good resistance but the introduction of spin from Charlotte Russell (4-24), assisted by her brother Jamie behinds the stumps with two catches and two stumpings, saw the home side all out for 140 with just the one ball to spare.

After the break it was the turn of Laughton to produce with the bat. However, Fletching had different ideas and once Jamie Russell had gone for 30 there was a collapse within the middle order to leave the newly promoted side on 73-6, although with plenty of overs in hand.

Excellent bowling from John Deverill (3-26) and, in particular, Henry Cope, with three wickets without conceding a run, finished the match off with Laughton 107 all out and eight overs in hand.

Whilst Fletching settle into mid-table, it’s time for Laughton to regroup and get their season going if they are to reproduce the form they enjoyed last summer.

Battle 253-5 Robertsbridge* 254-7

ROBERTSBRIDGE sealed a three-wicket victory over Battle off the last ball of a game where 507 runs were scored on an excellent Clappers wicket.

Battle won the toss and elected to bat. Jeremy Reid (24) got the innings off to a strong start alongside Stuart Reed before he was bowled by Robert Goodsell with the score on 26.

Reed (44) was then joined by Ben Ridgway (59) and these two put on 88 for the second wicket before Ridgway became the first of three victims for Allan Hughes (3-64).

Mike Gedye (34) came in to help keep the scoring rate at more than five runs per over. Captain Elliott Scrivener (53 not out) also pushed the score along to enable a declaration after 43 overs on 253.

The Robertsbridge reply got off to a somewhat slower start and, at 43-3 in the 13th over, thoughts of a victory were a bit remote. However, a fourth wicket stand of 124 between Matt Wilkinson (99) and David Collins (47) gave them some hope.

When Collins was out with the score on 167 a further 87 runs were needed from the last 10 overs. Cue Guy Ballard who scored 52 from 32 balls to leave the team needing 18 from the last 15 balls. Runs were scampered and the required single was scored from the final ball of an exciting match.

Hailsham 157 Bells Yew Green* 159-6

HAILSHAM arrived at Bells Yew Green desperate to make amends for their failures in previous weeks and to try and kick start their season.

Despite losing the toss Hailsham skipper Ciaran Treloar was pleased to hear his side had been put in to bat, an interesting decision by Bells Yew Green considering the track looked a decent batting wicket.

Despite Jaz Walder falling early on for a quickfire nine, Hailsham began well. The ball was coming on to the bat, with Treloar and Matt Dawber scoring runs at a very decent rate in the first 10 overs, Treloar with some beautiful cover drives and Dawber with some big sixes down the ground.

Unfortunately, Dawber was dismissed for a swift 30 and while Rahul Chauhan looked good at the crease he fell for 16.

At 118-4, Hailsham were in a very good position to push on and score in excess of 180 for the first time this season and set a defendable total. However, in true Hailsham style, it didn’t work out that way.

After Treloar was dismissed by a superb catch at third man for 60, the collapse began, with only Gareth Morgans and Jason Head reaching double figures. The last six wickets fell for just 39 with Hailsham all out for 157. Dominic Bowen took 4-37.

Hailsham had 40 minutes before tea to try and make inroads into the Bells Yew Green order. Overs were not an issue for the batting side so Hailsham needed to be on the attack from the outset. The session ended with Bells Yew Green struggling on 20-3 after great efforts with the ball from Mart Archer, Chauhan and Treloar and impressive fielding across the team.

Tea almost came at the wrong time for Hailsham as Bells Yew Green were able to re-focus. A gritty innings from Dan McInerney (59), with support from the rest of the batting line-up, stemmed the fall of wickets, with Bells Yew Green reaching the total in 49.5 overs, and six wickets down. Archer returned 31-3 in difficult conditions.

OTHER RESULTS: Rye 259-6 dec (42 ov; Sandun Dias 68, Jackson Woodcock 44, Will Wheeler 43) won by 117 runs away to Chiddingly 142 (33.2 ov; Martin Blincow 4-30). Crowborough 143 (49.2 ov; Chris Murphy 4-22) lost by 5 wickets away to Newick 144-5 (41.2 ov; James Waylett 43).