Must-win game for Stirlands turns into a can’t-win

A TRIP to Ifield was a must-win fixture for Stirlands in cricket’s Sussex division two – but victory was not to be as they went down by six wickets.

Batting first, Stirlands amassed 194 for nine with Nick Gubbins top scoring with an excellent 89.

He was supported by Gooding and Dorkings but otherwise the Stirlands batting lacked any real conviction and the total on a good wicket with a large outfield was always 40 to 50 runs below par.

When Stirlands took the field a strong and positive start was required not just to take control of the game but also set up the chance of winning. The strong start came ... but it was for the batting side as Ifield raced to 30 for the loss of one wicket, Garlick continuing his run of good form by removing one of the openers lbw for four.

The leg spin of Gubbins was introduced to slow down the rate, which duly happened, but Stirlands were unable to break through.

When Gubbins did strike to put Ifield 55 for two, this brought Clifford to the crease and he and Barton put on 120 to seal it for Ifield.

Stirlands must make up ground fast if they are going to keep their place in division two.

This week Haywards Heath are their visitors.