There were mixed fortunes as Aldwick’s first and second XIs and West Wittering all began their campaigns in the West Sussex Invitation League.
Three Bridges v Aldwick
Invitation League div three
In Aldwick’s opening league game, Three Bridges amassed a healthy total of 228 for four declared from just 40 overs.
After an early breakthrough, the Aldwick bowlers and fielders allowed opener Liam Barrett (65) and Ross Legg (75) to pile on the runs in a convincing manner.
If Aldwick had held their catches, bowlers Keelan Belcher (2-60), Ollie Smith (0-65) and Joel Lodge (1-28) would have had better figures to show for themselves.
For their first batting performance in the new division, Aldwick opened with skipper Lodge (14) and Chris Redman (17). Both made a promising start but both were out just as they were starting to build a total.
Further wickets fell but the innings was given momentum by decent knocks from Dean Stokes (23) and Keelan Belcher (45) until Luke Johnson (3-37) and Tahir Liaqat (3-35) began taking wickets.
But Alex Cooper (15) and Jordan Bist (18) batted bravely at the end to ensure a respectable draw for the divisional new boys. Aldwick finished on 180 for nine.
Lancing Manor v West Wittering
Invitation League division five
West Wittering secured 30 points on their first outing of the season against Lancing Manor at a damp and dreary Buckingham Park.
Skipper Carl Tupper won the toss and elected to field on what turned out to be a lively wicket.
Rekindled opening bowler Rob Gray performed superbly, finishing with figures of three for 28. Chris Salt (20) put up some resistance for LMCC but was removed lbw by first XI debutant Steve Clunie (4-17), who had the batsman in trouble from the off.
Ben Cook and young debutant Joe Sissons bowled excellently but with no reward. Tupper claimed one victim while third debutant Liam Bates finished with two for one.
The team fielded outstandingly with Gray (2), Tupper, Bates, James White, Mitch Hackshaw and Richard Hammond all holding their catches. LMCC were all out for 81.
Mark Taylor and Jake Irwin-Brown opened and seemed comfortable and confident from the first delivery.
They were rarely troubled by the LMCC attack and scored freely, Taylor with a couple of uncharacteristic boundaries over the top of the infield. He finished with 42 not out and Irwin-Brown 33 not out to bring home the ten-wicket victory and 30 points.
Aldwick II v RMU
Invitation League div seven
For Aldwick II’s league opener, they welcomed RMU to the Felpham Oval. Batting first, opener Ahmed Nasseri top-scored with 48 and the next highest was Arj Shah with 25.
The rest of the visitors simply couldn’t offer any worthwhile resistance to the top-class bowling of skipper Grant Wilson and Andy Burtenshaw (3-15).
Wilson bagged seven for 49 in 13.2 overs as no other RMU batsman made double figures as their side were bowled out for 105 in 26.2 overs.
With 67 overs to reach target, Aldwick must have felt confident of a victory but their minds were not on the task at hand as they were soon reeling at 23 for six.
Opening bowlers Ahmed Nasseri (4-37) and Jignesh Agnihotri (5-39) wreaked havoc with great bowling spells and only Wilson (22) and Leigh Monk (21) made inroads. Aldwick were all out for 79 as RMC won by 26 runs.