Cricket: Promotion dreams fade for Stirlands

Nick Hunt turns his arm over for Stirlands Picture by Kate Shemilt
Nick Hunt turns his arm over for Stirlands Picture by Kate Shemilt

Stirlands travelled to Slinfold in division three west of the Sussex League knowing they had to keep winning to have any chance of catching leaders Billingshurst.

They won the toss and asked Slinfold to bat on a wicket that was soft after not having been covered overnight.

Their decision looked right as Anthony Butler and Chris May bowled a very good opening spell, reducing Slingfold to 13for two.

Guy Thorne (41) played freely and was able to take the score forward - but the introduction of Struan Cameron saw him caught at first slip by Will Gubbins.

At 59 for five, Stirlands would have expected to restrict Slinfold to a below-par score, but in came Sikhokele Camagu and Tom Coghill to steady the ship.

Coghill played some big shots and rode his luck and was able with Camagu put on 102 for the sixth wicket, Coghill scoring 60 from 64 balls before he was stumped off Cameron.

Camagu and Ethan Ansell (35no) were able to take Slinfold to 228 for seven, which was a good effort.

In reply Stirlands started poorly, losing Sean Heather and Leo Beal in the first two overs.

Will Gubbins looked like he had been batting all week. He made it look easy.

In important partnerships from Ed Clarke, Chris May, Adam Downing and Leon Fourie, Gubbins was doing everything he could to keep Stirlands in the game.

However wickets kept falling the other end and while Gubbins secured his second century of the season, Stirlands were short of the required target, ending 185 all out.

Gubbins finished 112 not out from 132 balls in a fantastic innings which showed his class and ability. The result effectively ended Stirlands’ hopes of promotion with four games to go. Unless Billingshurst hit a poor run of form, Stirlands will finish no higher than second.