Our local Sussex League division-three and division-four sides are in great form - Chichester Priory Park and Stirlands both won again to do their promotion hopes no harm at all.
Here are the reports below...
Chichester Priory Park v Crowhurst Park
Sussex League division three
Chichester kicked off the second half of the league season with a home win against Crowhurst Park which put them second in the table.
After winning the toss Chichester had no hesitation in batting first.
Chichester made a steady start but once again the loss of early wickets hampered their attempts to build a big score.
From a precarious position at 56 for four, Sam Harvey (35) and George Perry (21) put on 52 for the fifth wicket taking the score to 108. Chichester’s wickets have tended to fall in clumps and it was the same in this match. Four wickets fell quickly and the hosts were in deep trouble at 119 for eight.
Their chief tormentor was Crowhurst Park’s veteran medium-pace bowler Paul Brookes. His gentle pace and nagging accuracy accounted for seven Chichester batsmen, finishing with figures of seven for 50.
Chichester captain Johnny Heaven (27no) added a few late runs before his side were bowled out for 160.
If their batting has been their weakness then Chichester’s bowling has definitely been their strength so far this season. Almost immediately two wickets fell after the restart, the second assisted by a spectacular one-handed catch at slip by Matt Geffen.
Often the bane of opposition batsmen this season, Geffen played a supporting role this time as Rob Carver stepped into the spotlight. Fuelled by an intake of Lamby Juice during the tea break, he carved through Crowhurst Park’s middle order to claim his first five-wicket haul for the first team.
At 72 for nine, defeat for Crowhurst appeared a formality but Jon Peters and Fox Parker frustrated the hosts with an entertaining 36-run partnership for the last wicket.
Geffen returned to nab the final wicket as the visitors were bowled out for 108, giving Chichester a 52-run victory.
The win takes Chichester 17 points behind leaders Burgess Hill. On Saturday the two teams face each other at Burgess Hill.
Stirlands v Glynde & Beddingham
Sussex League division four
On an overcast day in Birdham, Glynde captain Robert Mouland won the toss and soon decided to bat first.
In-form Stirlands overseas man Ajinkya Deshpande and his new-ball partner Dan Mugford both struck early to remove the openers cheaply, leaving Glynde nine for two after only four overs, with a regulation catch by the keeper and a well-taken catch by Will Gubbins.
Desphande took another four Glynde wickets inside the opening 13 overs to leave the visitors reeling on 41 for six, with a superb display of swing bowling showing his worth.
Glyndewere forced into a rebuilding job, with Michael Warren displaying excellent strength of character to resist playing at anything wide of his stumps and he was able to add 27 with Matt Cramp in ten overs to frustrate the home side before home captain George Coles broke the partnership, with a well-taken catch by Alex Brazier.
Warren feathered an edge behind to give Deshpande his sixth wicket. Desphande wasn’t finished and quickly polished off the Glynde tail to finish with career best figures for 8-35.
The home side’s chase towards their target of 79 began positively, with both George Briance and Leo Wilkinson-Beal respecting the good deliveries while punishing the rare bad balls.
Stirlands chased down their target in just under 23 overs, without losing a wicket. Briance ended on 30 and Wilkinson-Beal 39 as the home side took all 30 points on offer which propelled them up to fourth in the table.
Next up for Stirlands is a trip to second-placed Rye for a game that will surely test both sides’ resolve in their promotion quests.
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