Middleton managed to beat the weather after a downpour hit Sea Lane - but couldn’t overcome their visitors quite as well.
Read how their title bid faltered, plus the rest of the action from our local Sussex League division-three teams.
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Middleton v Ansty
Sussex League division two
Five minutes before the scheduled start time, torrential rain fell. So heavy was it that it left standing water on many areas of the ground.
Play was delayed for 90 minutes with the game reduced to an 84-over match.
Ansty had won the toss and elected to bat. With the score on 35 they lost their first two wickets, Tom Woodall bowled by Jamie Thompson for 22 and Chris Barnes out first ball lbw to the same bowler.
A partnership of 50 between James Newsome and Harry Smethurst saw Newsome contribute 41 on his way to 65, which included seven fours and five sixes.
The Ansty innings closed in the 45th over when the final wicket fell with Jack Palser run out by Beck Hemingway with the score on 191.
The pick of the Middleton bowlers were Craig Fowle (5-53) and Jamie Thompson (4-33).
In reply Middleton lost Hemingway with their score on one. Will Burrows and Sean Heather put on 40 before Heather was dismissed for 17.
Burrows and Ben Ferbrache took the score to 70 but Ferbrache was superbly caught and bowled by Jack Palser.
When Burrows was fourth out for 33 with the score on 70, the target of 192 to win started to look a way off.
Only Matt Reynolds with 24 displayed further resilience and when Matt Cooke was last man out for five in the 37th over, the Middleton total was 135.
This was a first loss of the season for Middleton. Jethro Menzies was the pick of the Ansty bowlers with six for 51.
On Saturday Middleton travel to second-placed Eastbourne.
Bognor had the better of a high-scoring draw at home to Crawley Eagles.
They totalled 271 for eight thanks largely to 78 from Zayne Bux and 79 not out from Joe Ashmore.
But despite two wickets apiece from Ashmore and Graham Bush, they couldn’t bowl out the Eagles, who finished on 214 for six.
Pagham lost by seven wickets at Three Bridges after they were all out for 118.
Crawley Eagles 2nd v Bognor 2nd
2nd XI div three west
Following last week’s draw, Bognor failed to return to winning ways against high-flying Crawley Eagles.
Having lost the toss and been put in, Bognor began steadily with skipper Josh Seward and Mark Woolnough keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Woolnough’s departure for 17 didn’t deter Seward but wickets were falling regularly at the other end as Shahid Raja (4-34) kept the Eagles in the hunt.
Seward made another fine century - his second in two weeks - finishing on 106 and with support from Rich Cox (30), Bognor ended on 198 all out.
In reply, the Eagles began brightly and despite Bognor’s best efforts chased the target down with vigour.
Waqas Hafiz finished on 116 not out as the hosts won the contest by eight wickets that saw Iain Ashmore (2-31) take his first league wickets for Bognor.
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