WEST SUSSEX Invitation League division one leaders Crawley Eagles proved too good for their hosts at Selsey winning by five wickets to secure promotion and the title.
Selsey decided to bat first and opening pair Andy Horner (10) and Matt Leclere (8) looked comfortable for a while.
Leclere fell to a good catch by keeper Rehan Hasan, but Horner and Dave Benham (17) built a partnership.
But the top order was ripped out as Horner, Gary Mack (11) and Benham fell. It was a familiar story for Selsey’s batting.
Skipper Nick Horner reached 21 before being caught at point. Selsey’s batsmen were left frustrated to get out once they had looked settled.
Crawley’s spinners bowled consistently and strangled the run flow and picked up wickets regularly. Left-armer Shahid Raja claimed three for 20 and Fallah Udin two for 14.
Final pair Tom Amis (11) and Tom Cripps (18*) added vital runs to give Selsey four batting points but 138 seemed below-par.
Pete Horner and Amis (1-44) made excellent use of the new ball. Horner (3-21) bowled quickly and created bounce that troubled the top order and shocked Crawley as they stumbled to 34 for four, Amis claiming the other wicket.
But once the new ball had worn off, batting looked easier. Uddin (55*) and Usman Nawaz (46) batted on after getting in.
The pair levelled the scores before Nawaz was run out by Nick Horner.
The win secured Crawley’s promotion and their unbeaten record. Selsey edged away from the relegation fold but still remain in the battle. They travel to bottom-side Southwick this week.
Aldwick v Crawley Nayee
A solid gold performance from Aldwick against table toppers Crawley Nayee took them to within just one point of the top spot with just two games to play.
Aldwick’s batsmen set up the victory beginning with an opening partnership of 62 from Joel Lodge ( 89) and Louis Paul (34).
Lodge and Amit Chauhan (64) took the score to 181 for two. Aldwick settled on 218 for five after 45 overs.
Nayee never stood a chance against the superb ten-over bowling spells by Aldwick’s opening pair, Nabib Rahman and Ollie Smith. Extras was top scorer with 16, and only Raj Nehru (14) and Rakesh Parekh (10) made double figures in the rout that had the visitors skittled out for just 60 in 20 overs.
Rahman (4-18) and Smith (6-37) were unplayable and their team must now fancy their changes of overtaking the leaders.
West Wittering v Chichester III
West Wittering remain unbeaten after a rather unsatisfying losing draw against promotion-chasing Chichester.
Wittering decided to bowl, but Spike Western seemed out of sorts, failing to take a wicket for the first time of the season.
Tim Osborne (1-17) bowled well, but Bennison (62) and Alder (35) batted confidently until both were out caught by Osborne off Alex Salmon (1-28) and Harry Staight (2-49).
Spinners James White (1-16) and Richard Hammond (1-32) claimed a wicket apiece as Chichester finished on 210 for six.
For Wittering, Mark Taylor failed to trouble the scorers for the first time in two seasons and Carl Tupper (13) continued his poor form.
Ben Cook (68*) stayed in for the entire 45 overs, supported by a vivacious Mitch Hackshaw (37). O
Skipper Tupper sent in the hitters to try to up the run rate but to no avail, Wittering finishing on 171 for eight.
Brighton & Hove IV v Aldwick II
Aldwick did not take their chances and were second best against league leaders Brighton.
Richard Barnes (34) and James Marsh (39) got the home side off to a solid start but Andy Burtenshaw (3-39) and Liam Hicks (2-37) fought back with good spells and Brighton were wobbling at 98 for five.
Gritty knocks from Eric Cox (35) and Murray Lees (35*) swung the game back in the favour of the home side, who ended on a respectable 176 for five after Adam Robinson took two wickets in the final over to earn his side four bowling points.
In reply, only Dion Sampson (13) reached double figures as Aldwick had no answer to Kieran Buck (4-23) and Will Cox (3-18) as they capitulated to 77 all out. Aldwick still have a chance of promotion but they need to improve.