It is looking like a two horse race between last years’ Champions Preston Nomads and rivals Horsham for this year’s Sussex League title.
Nomads enjoyed their seventh win this season in ten scheduled games on Saturday with some comfort at Worthing but Horsham suffered something of a shock defeat at Chichester. Wins for Cuckfield, Roffey and Hastings helped them to move clear of the relegation zone.
Preston Nomads kept the Worthing batting in check with spinners Patrick Spencer and Kashif Ibrahim each taking three wickets while, for Worthing, Malcolm Lake hit 58 and Ian Gooding 59 in a total of 233 for 8 declared. Nomads found the task relatively easy and took their score to 234 for 4 with four overs to spare as Patrick Spencer hit 52 not out, Rob Wakeford 50 and skipper Jeremy Green 39 not out.
There were runs galore at Chichester where visitors Horsham set a tough target of 270 for 8 declared of which Will Williams hit 87 and Sam Attfield 37, Matt Geffen was the pick of the bowlers, he took 4 for 87. But Chichester set about their task with gusto and won the game at 274 for 7 with 77 from Chris Kirkham and 62 from Ashton Turner, Michael Munday, for Horsham took 6 for 81.
Cuckfield were bowled out for 221 at home to Three Bridges with 50 from Tom Cummins and 65 from South African Kesh Maharaj. Youngsters Abi Sakande (4 for 30) and George Garton (3 for 26) were the pick of the Bridges bowlers. But the visitors’ batting collapsed to 150 all out despite 46 from Conor Golding as Kesh Maharaj grabbed 5 for 53 and James Thorp 2 for 35.
Hastings enjoyed their fourth win of the campaign with a narrow two wicket margin at East Grinstead who they dismissed for 192 in 53 overs. Elliott Hooper was again the pick of the Hastings bowlers as he took 4 for 51. Aussie David Lowery then hit 90 to steer Hastings home at 195 for 8, Ollie Graham taking 4 for 77.
Brighton and Hove remain bottom of the tables following a six wicket defeat at Roffey. Skipper Matt Wood with 47 not out helped Brighton to the relative respectability of 202 for 9 declared, Rohit Jagota took 3 for 36. Roffey made light work of their task as they raced to 203 for 4 from 39.1 overs, Jagota completed a good day personally with a top score of 49.
Eastbourne continue to head Division Two following their 8th win of the campaign at home to Findon but Findon are still very much in the promotion shake-up along with Bexhill and Goring who both won their games on Saturday.
Skipper Mark Tomsett led from the front in a 108 run home win for Eastbourne against Findon. Tomsett hit 72 and Callum Jackson 87 as Eastbourne posted 284 for 7 declared, James Iago took 4 for 52 for the visitors. But Tomsett then grabbed 5 for 64 to bowl his side to victory as Findon tumbled to 176 all out with 60 from Alasdair Wilson.
There were thrills a plenty at Bexhill where the home side beat Middleton by one wicket as Josh Beeslee hit a six off the penultimate ball. Middleton posted 245 for 6 with 108 from Will Burrows and 93 from Rob Willway, Andrew Williams took 5 for 53. But the late win for Bexhill, albeit a narrow one, came at 246 for 9 with 66 from Jack Richardson and 51 from Tim Hambridge.
St.James’s won by just 13 runs at Crowhurst Park despite being bowled out for 159 of which George Taylor made 34 and Michael Murray 34. Taylor then took 4 for 38 and Mike Edmonds 4 for 29 as the home side were dismissed for 146.
Goring kept up the pressure at the top with a comfortable 8 wicket win at home to Pulborough who they dismissed for 134 in 38.4 overs as Aaron Wyatt took 4 for 9.
arnaby Lyons then made 72 in a winning total of 136 for 2 by the home side.
Ifield won their fourth game of the season so far in beating bottom club Glynde by nine wickets. Chris Stanyard made 54 and Matt Blount 50 in a Glynde total of 164 all out as Clayton Caltsounis took 4 for 56 and Russell Jacob 4 for 60. In reply Ifield raced to 165 for 1 with 93 not out from Greg Barton and 50 not out from Sam Billington.
DIVISION THREE ROUND-UP
Lindfield are now 40 points clear at the top of Division 3 East. They beat Rottingdean at home by 116 runs to complete the double over the league newcomers. Lindfield’s 220-7 was built around Gareth Allen’s 64 and Joe Newcombe’s 52. Rottingdean were bowled out for just 104.
Haywards Heath were without a game and both Ansty and Burgess Hill scored maximum points to move above them.
Ansty were able to declare early having racked up 260-3, Jon Young led the way with 103 not out while Harry Towler added 53. Keymer themselves passed 200 as Michael Johnson hit 94, Michael Poole 51. But they were eventually bowled out for 216 as Glen Anson claimed 5-85.
Burgess Hill enjoyed a comfortable 10 wicket victory at Southgate Park as Crawley were dismissed for just 91. Jack Simpson took 6-19 before hitting 46 not out to complete the formalities.
Struggling Lewes Priory were also bowled out cheaply for just 82 as Dan Pellett took 6-13. James Pooley then hit 51 not out to take visitors Hellingly to a straightforward 8 wicket win.
Billingshurst and Stirlands both won and are well clear at the top of Division 3 West.
Dhanushka Mitapalooraaci smashed 101 not out as Billingshurst won at Slinfold by 7 wickets. Sikho Camagu top scored 86 not out as Slinfold made 180-8 after electing to bat first.
Stirlands avenged their first day defeat at Steyning with a 155 run victory in the return fixture. Sean Heather and Will Gubbins added a unbroken 257 partnership for the second wicket making 169 and 110 respectively. Ben Buckley made a defiant 58 for Steyning but 5-36 from Anthony Ender ensured they were bowled out for 162.
Pagham and Henfield tied with the visitors bowled out for 233. Pagham had earlier lost 8 wickets.
Crawley Eagles lie in 5th after ensuring that Arundel’s season continued to be winless.
Amaar Khan 109 and Tuffail Dair 73 helped them amass 257-5 after winning the toss. Arundel reached 206 thanks to Richard James making 50 but Adil Mustafa took 6-36 for Eagles. Their afternoon was slightly tarnished by the loss of two points for a slow over rate.
Wisborough Green made a respectable 202 as Byron Napper hit 74 but they were pegged back by 5-42 from Luke Seward. Mike Harris made 75 as Bognor won by 4 wickets despite 5-54 from Raj Maru.
Tony Millard/Nick Clarke