The Sussex Cricket League has begun for teams in some lower divisions and West Wittering, Aldwick and Selsey are among teams who have already played their opening matches.
West Wittering v RMU
Sussex League Div 5 West
West Wittering started their centenary year campaign with a loss to RMU.
Wittering lost the toss and were asked to bowl. RMU lost an early wicket with Harry Staight (3-43) dismissing the opener for a duck but Wittering were put under pressure with some explosive hitting in the powerplay.
James Munro (2-39) and Alex Salmon (1-32) slowed the rate and were rewarded with wickets. RMU continued to score with Michael Gould the top contributor with 118.
A good squeeze from Wittering meant wickets fell in quick succession in the final overs as West Wittering restricted RMU to 220-9.
West Wittering’s response was hampered by a regular loss of wickets despite moments of resilience from Carl Tupper (17) and Munro (23).
West Wittering were 92 all out.
Lots of lessons were learned in a competitive game which has set standards for the season. West Wittering continue their season at Pagham on Saturday.
Aldwick v Steyning II
Div 6 West
Things were looking promising for Aldwick in their opening league fixture at home to Steyning twos. Batting first, they had last week’s centurion Alex Cooper and last year’s top batsman Ed White at the crease to create a strong platform.
Despite the fine opening spell from Steyning’s Peter Smith,, Cooper and White battled bravely until Cooper (38) was outdone by Issac Tidley (1-33) with the score at 48-1.
White continued the fight until he was bowled by Jake Martin for 39. The introduction of Martin led to Aldwick’s downfall as he ripped through the middle order finishing with 6-28.
Aldwick slumped from 90-2 to 146 all out in the 36th over with only Jamie Murphy (31) and Ian Guppy (11) offering further resistance.
Aldwick gave five bowlers a go to hunt for an unlikely victory and despite wickets from Ollie Smith (1-17), Harry Rosser (1-21) and Tom Hoare (2-40) the visiting batsmen were always in control.
Opener Tidley was undefeated at the he end on 75 ably assisted by Peter Smith (38) in a 71-run second wicket partnership. Victory came to the visitors in the 32nd over by seven wickets.
This weekend Aldwick aim to bounce back at home to Rustington.
Div 7 West
Horsham asked Selsey to bat and Josh Stocks and Tom Cripps got the scoreboard ticking, but Cripps chased a wide one and was caught for five.
Brad Rose was out first ball before Nick Horner and Stocks put on 30. Stocks miscued a drive to cover, but a quick hard hitting 32 from Bhutta got the scoreboard moving along.
Will Smith (42) helped Selsey take control with some huge hits that got the score up to 179 all out.
Selsey knew a tight start was needed,and Cripps (1-21) and Stocks (1-32) opened well – and with Horsham 78-5 Selsey were well-placed.
Smith, Rose, Ash Humphreys and Matt Weller all took wickets, leaving Horsham 120-9. But their skipper Mark Haines joined James Brehaut and they put on 52.
With 12 needed from two overs Cripps turned to Paul Stevens for his first bowl and after one boundary he found a unplayable full toss to get rid of Haines.
This was a great start – maximum points for Selsey and something to build on as they host Crawley II this Saturday.
Portslade III v West Wittering II
Div 9 West
West Wittering twos started the season with victory over Portslade thirds thanks to brave new captain Andy Priest.
West Wittering were put in and looked comfortable with Marc Slowey finding the boundary and passing 1,000 runs for the club in the process.
Priest played sensibly for 27 before being out to a great catch.
Opening batsmen Trevor Delderfield anchored in for 30 overs to ensure wickets didn’t fall too quickly and his 41 proved vital alongside a quickfire 20 from Dom Daplyn to set the target of 142.
Opening bowlers Kieran Baker and Jack Harte had to bowl tight lines and restricted the batsmen and gained a couple of wickets.
Portslade seemed on top until Kevin Allsobrook and Ben Doyle displayed a bowling masterclass. Doyle and captain Priest set traps for the batsmen and Portslade fell short of the total, scoring 134 all out.
Middleton Academy v Aldwick II
Div 11 West
A great performance from the Middleton Academy bowlers resulted in Aldwick II being bowled out for a disappointing 104 in the 38th over.
The visiting batsmen did not capitulate too easily and promise was shown by Luke Spindler (26), Jonny Knapp (21) and Dan Cox (15) which bodes well for the campaign.
All six Middleton bowlers shared the wickets with Ethan Bell (2-26), Matt Pear (2-29) and Fraser Gamn (2 -18) bagging two apiece.
Middleton won in the 26th over by three wickets but not before Aldwick’s opening bowling pair of Knapp (2-12) and Cox (3-22) put the victory in doubt with breakthroughs at regular intervals. Late on, Charlie Maginnis (30) and Ethan Bell (16*) stood firm to take their side over the line.
This week Aldwick II visit Chichester IV.
Goodwood v Gosport Borough
Gosport batted first on a chilly day and openers Harrop (69) and Weller (33) put on 82 for the first wicket.
Goodwood opened their attack with Dan Brown (0-29) and Billy O’Brien (3-35) who on debut produced a blistering second spell.
Goodwood kept to their task well, though three difficult chances went down all off Steve Dudmano. However, there were good catches by Dudman, Dan Brown and Martin O’Brien, while Tim Odell took two stumpings.
The other wickets went to James Mayne (3-44), Martin O’Brien (2-64) and Tim Pitman (2- 32) with five wickets falling for 21 runs in the last five overs. Gosport were all out for 238.
Goodwood’s innings needed someone to bat all the way through. There were two anchors, both scoring at the same rate, Henry Whitby (32) and John Clifton (42*).
The cameos came from Matt Beard (52), Steve Dudman (18) and Dan Brown (14) with extras (31) the fourth highest scorer. But 238 was always going to be a big challenge and Goodwood finished on 208-5, 31 short.
* Eastergate hosted the University of Chichester in a pre-season friendly that went to the last ball.
The University scored 165-9, beating Eastergate (164 all out in 40 overs).
On Saturday Eastergate host Goring-by-Sea in their opening league fixture and on Sunday they host the Sussex Disability XI.