It was a good week for both our local Sussex League division-three sides, Bognor and Chichester.
Bognor grounded the Eagles to cement their position at the top, while Chichester racked up the win their recent performances have merited.
Here are the reports from both clubs...
Bognor v Crawley Eagles
Sussex League division three
With the halfway point of the season coming into view, Bognor maintained their unbeaten start to the season against the unpredictable Crawley Eagles at the Regis Oval.
Chichester take maximum points for the second week in a row and remain in sixth place, but they are much closer to the top teams.
On a fine day on the south coast, the visitors won the toss and put Bognor in. Once more Bognor’s little-and-large show of the impish Mikey Harris and burly Geordie Andy Quincey went about their work with relish, Harris with grace and panache and Quincey with lusty stokes and bags of vigour.
After putting on an excellent 161 for the first wicket, the fickle finger of fate befell Harris as he was caught for an excellent 98. Quincey soon departed for a fine 45 but worthy contributions from wicketkeeper Ryan Maskell (30) and skipper Zayne Bux with 39 not out, saw Bognor declared on 250 for five.
For the Eagles, Jibran Khan was the pick of the attack with three for 81.
To maintain their unbeaten start, Bognor knew they had to make swift inroads into the Eagles’ potentially-destructive line-up. Once more Bognor’s lithe paceman Graham Bush obliged and whipped out opener Azam Riyard and keeper Rehan Hasan to leave the Eagles 27 for two.
Not to be outdone, fellow paceman Charlie la Foret swept in with two wickets and with wily spinner Joe Ashmore picking up another two, Bognor had the Eagles in a pickle at 94 for six.
Jibran Khan looked to turn the situation around and played postively for 43 until Bush returned to have the Eagles man caught for 43, finishing with three for 54.
Ashmore ran out Anzum Jafer, grabbed his third wicket to finish with three for 41 and then passed the baton to La Foret, the blonde-bombshell bowling last man Mehboob to finish with three for 51.
Another fine team performance and a 51-run win from Bognor sees them extend their lead at the top – but with the job half-done, more hard work remains.
Chichester Priory Park v Goring
Following an excellent victory at Crawley, Chichester Priory Park continued their good form at home to Goring.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first but Priory opener John Edwards picked up where he left off and took the attack to the Goring bowlers.
He shrugged off a couple of early wickets and accelerated to his half-century in just 35 balls. Unfortunately he was out just two balls later for 53, clean bowled by Oliver Watkins.
When Peter Lamb was dismissed for a duck, Chichester were wobbling at 108 for five. George Stephens and Luke Emmett led the recovery with a crucial 45-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Stephens (39) fell just short of a half century when he tamely offered a return catch to the bowler Ross Baumann. Emmett followed shortly after for 25 followed quickly by Matt Geffen for a golden duck.
The innings ended a few overs later as Chichester were bowled out for 180 in just 36 overs. Ellis Woolley was the pick of the Goring bowlers with figures of three for 43.
Goring had 64 overs to reach their target of 181. Chichester needed to strike early and they did just that when Geffen removed Sam Thorns with the third ball of the innings. James Chriss dismissed Dan Pittam lbw to leave Goring 11 for two.
Chichester continued to bowl extremely well and soon Goring were 55 for four, although the visitors were left questioning a couple of lbw decisions.
Chris Bird and Adam Coutts held up the home side for nearly 23 overs as Goring kept plodding towards their target. Just 69 runs were added as time and again Chichester’s bowlers missed the edge of the bat.
They were finally rewarded when a smart piece of wicket-keeping by Edwards saw Coutts stumped for 28. Bird followed in the following over and Chichester sensed victory.
Goring continued to keep the hosts at bay and it took some fine bowling by Ben Caldera (3-13) to pick off the lower-order batsmen.
The ninth wicket fell with the score on 160 in the 54th over, leaving Goring 21 to win and Chichester ten overs to get the final wicket.
Finally in the 61st over, Geffen returned to take the final wicket as Goring were bowled out for 170, earning Chichester a narrow ten-run victory. Geffen took four for 37 in an epic 21.3 overs.
Chichester take maximum points for the second week in a row and remain in sixth place, but they are much closer to the top teams. They host Haywards Heath on Saturday.
Stirlands 2nd v Bognor 2nd
2nd XI div three west
At the picturesque Stirlands ground, the hosts won the toss and chose to bat. This initially appeared an unwise choice as Bognor paceman Jim Lee (5-66) cut a swathe through Stirlands top order to leave them 41 for five.
The recovery began with Dom Fecher putting on 82 with Adam Norris (40) and then a seventh-wicket partnership of 142 with Dan Mugford (72no). Fecher took his opportunity well to score 100 not out and Stirlands promptly declared on 266 for six.
Bognor started steadily but Fecher (2-24) nipped in to keep Stirlands in front. Bognor’s Max Ashmore kept the score ticking along but after he became one of George Briance’s five victims for 69, with Marcus Viner taking a fine catch, the pressure was on the visitors.
Josh Seward made a bustling 44 for Bognor but the tide was with Stirlands who bowled out the visitors for 213 to win by 53 runs.
The result leaves Bognor third.
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