Different story, same result... Nine-year-old’s Aldwick debut

Eastergate batting at Littlehampton / Picture by Derek Martin
Eastergate batting at Littlehampton / Picture by Derek Martin

There was no repeat of Eastergate’s 42 all out as they faced a quick rematch with Littlehampton - in fact this week’s game was a run feast.

Read how they and Aldwick, West Wittering and other local teams got on in the latest Invitation League games.

Littlehampton v Eastergate

Division one

When these sides faced off a week earlier Eastergate were bowled out for 42. This week they travelled to Littlehampton and scored rather more – but still lost.

Jack Stannard was facing his first game in his second spell as captain following the departure of Jamie Murphy to Aldwick.

Unfortunately, excitement surrounding the new 40/40 format quickly diminished.

Stannard won the toss on what’s always a batsman paradise at Littlehampton. Eastergate chose to batand put a few demons to bed by scoring 249-3 off 40 overs.

Stannard and Steve Grant put on 132 before Grant went lbw for a quick 65. Australian Jordan Samad joined Stannard and they put on 85 in quick time for the second wicket.

Stannard reached his second hundred of the season, making 115 which included 11 fours and five sixes before he fell to Chris Herberlein (3-54). Samad blasted his way to 56 not out.

Eastergate knew this was probably only about par on Littlehampton’s pitch. It proved just too much of an ask to defend as Littlehampton won with four balls to spare.

James Askew (79) and Ally James (88no) were the mainstays of the innings and made sure Littlehampton were always in touch, losing only three wickets.

It was a great day for the batsmen and a great advert for cricket. Eastergate remain third from bottom. Stannard said he was proud of how the team responded to last week’s result and would havee much-needed confidence going into this week’s derby at home to Arundel.

West Wittering v Balcombe

Division two

West Wittering won the toss and elected to bat on the sun-parched deck at the Millennium Meadow. Unfortunately, excitement surrounding the new 40/40 format quickly diminished.

The opening pair were removed for only one following some disastrous running between the wickets and a nick behind. But young guns Liam Bates and Charlie Caddy took to the crease and posted a quickfire partnership of 30 before Caddy’s nine-iron had him caught at mid-on.

Bates continued to bat with a fine technique top-scoring with 33. Some effective wagging of the tail took the home side to 166 off their 40 overs, with Matt Jewis scoring a tidy 25 not out.

Some fine grub energised Wittering who started with tight bowling and were rewarded with an early wicket. But opener Andy Stillwell and No3 Charlie Dowdall dug in for an impressive partnership of 130 before Stillwell (69) was caught and bowled by James Staight.

Balcombe held their nerve and knocked off the winnings runs with a superb straight six back over the bowler’s head.

This was good batting from the Balcombe side, but four dropped catches in the field leave the hosts something to think about.

Rustington v Aldwick

Invitation League division three

After a defeat to Rustington, Aldwick bounced back with an important victory by 31 runs in the return fixture and will have their sights set on an outside change of promotion if they continue in a similar vein.

Aldwick’s Charlie Barnett (54) opened and made a valuable half century with essential support from Alex Cooper (18), Joel Lodge (22), Keelan Belcher (18) and Harry Rosser (22), but then the innings fell away a little as Harry Hughes’ late burst of 6-32 had Aldwick posting fewer runs than they had originally envisaged with their strong start.

In the end, a total of 174 was more than enough as the Aldwick bowlers combined to take wickets at regular intervals despite the belligerent resistance of David Rodgers, who was the day’s top scorer with 72 before he became one of Liam Hick’s three victims in a spell that conceded only 12 runs.

After Rodgers, only Mike Ekins (16) and Paddy Chapman (16) made double figures as further wickets were shared among the visitors’ bowling attack including a brace apiece for Ollie Smith (2-16) and Keelan Belcher (2-38).

This week, buoyant Aldwick will hope to overcome Horsham III.

Aldwick 2nds v Findon 3rds

Division six

Due to circumstances beyond their control, Aldwick were forced to field a makeshift team made up of two players over 70, three over 60, and nine-year old Finlay Sampson making his debut under the watchful eye of his father Dion.

Not surprisingly, Aldwick lost but they competed to a degree and gained valuable league points despite the creaking bones and youthful exuberance on display.

Findon posted a massive 272-7 from their 40 overs but it could have even more if Rob Taylor (3-49) had not removed both Harvey Keffert (79) and Simon Cairns (65) who together were hitting boundaries without much difficulty.

Vice-skipper Jonny Knapp (1-41) bowled well in different spells but the home side were relieved when the 40-over mark arrived.

In reply, Aldwick made an almost respectable 136 all out chiefly thanks to a 71-run sixth-wicket partnership featuring Dion Sampson (53) and Arthur Bradbury (21).

Most of the early damage to the Aldwick top order was done by Archie Cairns (3-7).

With this heavy defeat by 136 runs, Aldwick dropped back to bottom spot but not before Finlay Sampson made his first league run in an appearance that is likely to be recorded as the youngest player ever to feature in a West Sussex Invitation League fixture.

Aldwick seconds go to Barns Green twos this week.

Bognor 3rd v Slinfold 3rd

Division ten west

At West Meads Park, Bognor’s thirds hosted Slinfold and batting first, old master Glenn West unfurled his trademark cover drives making a fluid 42, At 90-1, all was going nicely for the home team.

Slinfold’s Jon Berrill grabbed 3-7 to leave Bognor at 132-5 but a 77-run partnership between young Elvis Millen and skipper John Hooker took Bognor up to 210-6, Millen cracking nine fours in making 77.

Bognor’s bowlers were steady in reply and checked Slinfold’s advance at regular intervals. With two apiece for Babs Ahmed, youngster Harry Lindsey and the bounding Callum Teasdale, Slinfold were bowled out for 152, Bognor winning by 58 runs.

Middleton 2nd v Aldwick 2nd

Invitation T20 QF

Middleton lost eight wickets on their way to reaching 114 from their 20 overs with good knocks from opener Alexander Davis (38) and on Charlie Maginnis (24).

Aldwick’s bowlers never let the home side get out of reach with a consistent bowling display that was rewarded with two wickets apiece for Jonny Knapp, Ian Guppy, and Tom Hoare.

In reply, opener Ryan Purvis raced out of the traps with a speedy 30, and when he was out his partner Richard Gabb batted solidly for 48 and was unbeaten at the end with Tom Hoare (17*) with two overs to spare. Harry Pacey took 2-21 from his four overs.

Aldwick play Worthing in the semi-final of the plate, with the winners going on to play in the final at Preston Nomads in September.

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