BOGNOR ended with a victory over Stirlands that gave them a fourth-place finish in Sussex League division three – and there is plenty of promise for 2015.
Stirlands won the toss and batted and were 35 for no wicket after four overs before Graham Bush bowled veteran Marcus Viner for four.
The ever-lively Josh Broad saw off Nicholas Hunt (18), Torquill Deacon (11) and Will Gubbins (5) and Bush had Jonathan Phillimore (20) well caught by skipper Luke Seward at mid-off to leave Stirlands 63 for five.
Young George Briance and Michael Clowes steadied the ship as the languid Louis Paul bowled a miserly spell in support of Joe Ashmore’s devilish left-arm spin.
Vice-captain Elliott Clarke took over from Paul and removed Clowes for 18 with a well-disguised slider and followed up with another which Bognor gloveman Josh Seward expertly took to dismiss Adam Norris for six.
Joe Ashmore joined the party bowling Benjamin Moores and won his personal duel with Briance as Harry Hood, on his first-team debut, took a fine catch, the Stirlands man making 43.
There was still time for Mikey Harris to snaffle a wicket and Stirlands were bowled out for 145.
Broad took three for 24, Clarke two for ten, Bush two for 34 and Ashmore two for 43.
Bognor’s reply began steadily as Harris and Max Ashmore played solidly and had soon put on a fine 50-run partnership.
Harris had a low ball from Jason Moores scuttle through and was caught for 27.
Hood and Ashmore batted with a fine combination of calmness and panache. Ashmore drove a ball at his partner and struck him full on the elbow but went on to make a fine 70 not out and Hood hit an equally elegant 44 not out to see Bognor to a nine-wicket win.
Bognor 2nd XI v Stirlands 2nd XI
Bognor’s second XI game was cancelled, which gave them 30 points. Leaders Steyning had to lose to Crawley Eagles if Bognor were to be promoted, but Steyning played party-pooper by winning their game and earning promotion.
This doesn’t detract from an excellent season for the twos under the fine captaincy of veteran Andy Lee. After finishing bottom in 2013, they played some amazing cricket.