Gregory and Browning carry Chichester to great end to cricket season

Chichester try for a breakthrough against Brighton
Chichester try for a breakthrough against Brighton

Chichester finished their Sussex Premier League season with an emphatic home victory against Brighton thanks mainly to seven for 34 from Richard Browning and 162 not out from Matt Gregory.

Neither side had much to play for, having escaped any threat of relegation the previous week, and Brighton elected to bat.

There was an ‘end-of-term’ feeling to the batting of Craig Young as he played with total freedom for the visitors and swung his bat at any remotely loose deliveries.

His approach paid off and his innings of 124 allowed Brighton to pose a sizeable total of 268 all out, but the score could have been far greater but for the bowling of Browning.

He bowled a devastating second spell to produce his best performance for Chichester with seven for 34 as he ploughed through the Brighton lower order as they lost their last six wickets for just 50 runs.

A score of 268 is normally a match-winning one, but makeshift opener Justin Scott (51) scored his first half-century for the club and with Gregory put on 125 for the first wicket.

Gregory batted extremely well and punished a depleted Brighton bowling attack on his way to his third century of the season. However, he didn’t just settle for 100 as he batted on to see the side home for the loss of just four wickets.

This capped a great season for Gregory as he finished the highest run scorer in the Sussex Premier League with 759 runs at an average of 50.6.

Victory for Chichester ensured they finished seventh out of the 11 sides in the league in what was ultimately a satisfying season, having struggled for the first half.

Chichester recorded six victories and finished comfortably away from the relegation zone, four victories from the final five games proving crucial.

Chichester had become regarded as something of a ‘yo-yo’ club following a cycle of relegation and promotion between 2006 and 2009, but under Mark Bamford’s captaincy they gained promotion in 2009 and have stayed in the Premier League for the past two years.

The addition of a couple of quality cricketers should enable them to move further up the league next year, but the players will look forward to a break before they turn their attention to 2012.