There was a fine win for Chichester as they kept pace with the division-three leaders - but Stirlands had to settle for a draw with the division-four leaders.
Here are the latest reports from the two clubs. Get involved by sending your match reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chichester Priory Park v Preston Nomads 2nds
Sussex League division three
Another home match at Goodwood marked the return to the more-familiar 100-over format and Chichester captain Johnny Heaven won the toss and, under sunny skies, elected to bowl first.
Nomads reached 51 without loss inside ten overs. The partnership was quickly broken by New Zealand overseas bowler Abz Patel, clean bowling Liam O’Brien for 23.
The status quo at the top was maintained with Crawley Eagles, Pagham and Haywards Heath all winning. Chichester stay in third place.
This triggered a collapse with Patel the destroyer in chief and very quickly they found themselves 82 for five. The Nomads innings spluttered, losing much of the early momentum because of good bowling by Mike Smith and Will Bateman, the former picking up two wickets.
While Preston’s batsmen struggled to post a big individual total, Abdul Shafi (29), Jason Robinson (20) and Owen Kernan (28) kept the scoreboard ticking over. Patel had the last laugh, bagging the final wicket to complete a maiden five-wicket haul for the club to finish with five for 30. Preston Nomads’ innings closed on 162 from 47 overs.
In response Chichester slumped to 17 for 2 when both openers departed cheaply. Jes Goode (20) combined well with the in-form Jay Hartard until the former was run out in a moment of miscommunication.
Hartard (52) continued his excellent start to the year with his third half-century; however, his departure triggered a familiar collapse from the hosts.
When Heaven chipped the ball into the air for a third-ball duck, Chichester looked a long way from victory at 124 for seven.
Patel (31 not out) came to the rescue with the bat. In conjunction with wicketkeeper George Perry (20no), the pair played some sensible, no-risk cricket to inch Chichester towards the finish line.
With the visitors wilting, Perry hit the winning runs to give Chichester victory by three wickets.
The status quo at the top was maintained with Crawley Eagles, Pagham and Haywards Heath all winning. Chichester stay in third place. They have to face all three of their nearest rivals in the coming weeks, starting with a trip to Haywards Heath on Saturday.
Mayfield 2nd v Stirlands
Sussex League division four
Stirlands arrived at the picturesque Mayfield ground looking to build on their five-wicket victory over Three Bridges – but ended up having to be content with a draw.
Mayfield won the toss and surprisingly inserted Stirlands.
Openers George Briance and Will Gubbins set about their task carefully against overseas bowlers Phillip McCormack and the experienced Andrew Cornford.
Briance comfortably outscored Gubbins as the pair passed 50. The partnership was worth 94 before Jamie Bird got the breakthrough as Gubbins was judged caught behind for 32.
Bird bowled Briance for a well-compiled 64 and captain George Coles and Torquil Deacon set about building on the good start. They put on 65 for the third wicket at a good rate.
Deacon was well held at long on by Steven Harman off Connor Saker for 35 and Ian Gooding joined Coles but was smartly stumped for seven.
Stirlands’ overseas star Jamaine Bullen arrived at the crease for his first Stirlands knock, and showed his class. Coles notched his first league 50 of the season before chopping on to James Chaplin for 64.
Bullen and Ed Clarke finished the innings strongly, Bullen finishing 26 not out and Clarke 23 not out as Stirlands reached an imposing 262-5.
Bullen bowled with great pace and control and trapped Steve Joyce lbw for four. Cornford joined James Chaplin and the pair progressed steadily.
The score reached 61 before Cornford’s attempted sweep off George Briance saw him caught by keeper Ian Gooding.
Carl Shankland and Chaplin put away anything loose, but the run rate was rising. However, Mayfield took advantage of an increasingly-flagging Stirlands.
Chaplin reached 101 but was bowled by David Briance round his legs.
Kiwi Philip McCormack ruined Raj Maru’s good figures, launching the left-arm spinner for three consecutive sixes and one off David Briance.
Mayfield needed 30 from the last three overs but David Briance bowled McCormack (29).
The last over was bowled by Bullen and Mayfield required 17. Bullen bowled Shankland for 92, and 14 from three were required. Saker struck a four from his first ball before a yorker from Bullen meant a legitimate last delivery would deny Mayfield a win. It was inside edged for four but Mayfield finished four short.
An excellent game included plenty of good contributions with the bat and the ball from Stirlands. Stirlands took 12 points, Mayfield five5. East Grinstead seconds visit Stirlands next.
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