Aldwick still top – but only just

Dean Stokes batting for Aldwick
Dean Stokes batting for Aldwick

Aldwick saw their lead cut at the top of Invitation League division three - while West Wittering were denied a win in division four.

There’s also action involving Chi PP thirds and Middleton academy.

Brighton III v Aldwick

Invitation League div three

Aldwick hoped to continue their winning ways against Brighton – but because of commitments outside of cricket the side were short of at least five first-team regulars including skipper Joel Lodge.

The makeshift team fought bravely but in the end lost by just two wickets.

Batting first, the visitors used up all their allotted 49 overs to make a below par total of 142 for seven.

Opening bowler Anthony Statham conceded just nine runs in his 10 overs. Alex Cooper was easily Aldwick’s top batsmen with 66.

Cooper had solid support from Adam Rutter (23) and Dan Robinson (25) but wicket takers Kieran Buck (2-25), Craig Lees (2-34) and Gabriel Martin (2-36) were in charge.

At 103 for seven, it was anybody’s game during the reply but late knocks from Craig Lees (18*) and Ian Parker (22) pushed the hosts home in the 44th over.

Earlier Lachlan Stewart helped set up the home side’s victory with a top score of 35. Aldwick’s bowlers battled well with two wickets apiece for Ollie Smith (2-35) and Rassel Hussain (2-28) but the problem was lack of runs from their batsmen.

Despite their first defeat of the season, Aldwick remain top of division three, albeit with a reduced margin of just four points over Eastergate.

Aldwick IIs’ home game against Brighton IV was rained off.

Felbridge and Sunnyside II v West Wittering

Div four

West Wittering were asked to bat and Marc Slowey – back from injury – started with a duck in the first over which allowed the ton-up hero from last week, Carl Tupper, to come in early.

He and Mark Taylor moved the score along until Taylor was caught well at slip for 28. Tupper carried on his harassment of the bowlers with Simon Lowther and then Richard Hammond but both fell cheaply.

After Joe Pink came in, Tupper achieved his second century in a row with drives, cuts, pulls and a little luck – a great innings just when the visitors needed it.

Tupper played down the wrong line to be out for 102, Alex Salmon fell to a marvellous catch in the deep for 31, the same score as Pink went for.

West wittering declared on 219 for nine.

Felbridge started quickly but lost wickets to Pink and Tim Osborne. Regrettably the visitors didn’t take hold of the situation and the home players started to build an impressive platform.

Salmon and Sissons ripped open the middle order and Osborne stuck – but with one over left, West Wittering needed three wickets and Felbridge were 22 runs short.

Veteran Kevin Allsobrook was entrusted with the ball and a wicket with his third ball raised hopes. But Felbridge survived losing their ninth wicket off the last ball and ended on 198 for nine.

RMU v Chichester 3rd

Div six

Chichester captain Guy Montgomery won the toss and elected to bat first.

The ten men of Chichester, after losing an early wicket, looked like they may struggle – but Chichester opener Mohan Babu (36) and youngster James Stemp (21) steadied the innings and put on 44 for the second wicket.

Babu and Mike Alder (7) put on 23 before Chichester lost wickets at regular intervals.

Martin Troy (31), playing his first game for the thirds, displayed a mix of solid defence and attacking shots. His was the last wicket to fall as Chichester were all out for 125 in the 40th over.

RMU made light work of the Chichester total after early tight bowling from Guy Montgomery (1-31) and Mohan Babu (0-30).

Montgomery removed Tim Carthew (18) but that brought together Jabran Ali (58no) and former Worthing first XI player Michael Gould (48no) and they smashed their way to the victory total in just six overs.

Though the young Chichester side bowled well they had no answer to the onslaught.

West Wittering II v Middleton Academy

West Wittering invited the Academy team to bat and H Pacey and J Dawling started in a positive manner. Dawling was trapped lbw for 11. Academy captain N Pacey took a while to get going while H Pacey was growing in confidence.

West Wittering managed a breakthrough with H Pacey well caught by the keeper. Bell looked to take the game away from WW and was unlucky to be caught at extra cover.

Academy skipper N Pacey passed 50 for the second time this season and with six overs remaining, both batsmen looked to up the run rate and hit a couple of sixes. N Pacey went for one too many and gave a simple catch to extra cover.

M Dawling was bowled for a good 23. The Academy innings finished on 175 for five.

Middleton’s opening bowling pair of L Heffron and R Hambridge started well and reduced WW to 17 for two thanks to catches by C King and F Faires.

A quick single saw quick thinking from keeper H Pacey hit the stumps with a throw and direct hit. With WW 118 for four and 11 left, the experienced Brian Towner and C King were bowling well in tandem.

Towner removed opener Cook for a well-made 64 with a well-flighted delivery and King made further inroads into the WW batting, removing three batsmen in one over. It fell to King to remove the final two batsmen to give the Middleton Academy victory by 23 runs.