Tons of talent, but neither Bognor and Stirlands can force win

Bognor batting against Stirlands Picture by Richard Cobden
Bognor batting against Stirlands Picture by Richard Cobden

There were centuries on both sides but they were not enough to fashion a win for Bognor or Stirlands as their Sussex division three west game ended in a well-fought draw.

Stirlands asked Bognor to bat and they got off to a steady start with an opening partnership of 48, Elliot Clarke (34) continuing his fine form until the introduction of Stirlands captain Sean Heather saw him trapped lbw.

Robert Willway looked in fine touch and carried Bognor to 95 for one. But wickets from Heather (2-56) and Philmore (1-31) unnerved Bognor and they found themselves 101 for three.

Willway brought up his 50 with majestic stroke play and intelligence.

Young Michael Harris played a pivotal role allowing Willway to strike out. But spinner Struan Cameron (4-39) claimed two wickets in quick succession to leave Bognor 156 for five.

Oli Handson and Willway made good use of the final overs, running well and finding the boundary.

Willway reached three figures but after his controlled innings put Bognor in the driving seat he was dismissed for 102 off 109 balls including 12 fours and one six.

Late hitting from Handson (36*) and Jim Lee (16*) helped Bognor to a pleasing total of 241 for seven.

Stirlands lost opener Leo Beal (4) lbw early to in-form bowler Jim Lee (1-54), but Heather and Lewis Alan made batting look easy, smashing the new ball to all corners.

Australian Sam Taylor beat the bat a number of times but was thwarted by the hard-hitting Stirlands pair.

Young Josh Broad opened up an end dismissing Alan (25), caught at mid-off, then trapping William Gubbins lbw without scoring.

Heather continued to dispatch the ball to the boundary, reaching his half-century and punishing width with innovative and classical strokeplay.

At 90 for three, Stirlands looked a long way from Bognor’s total but Heather and Michael Clowes (41) saw through the critical overs without losing a wicket.

Their partnership of 84 squashed hopes of a fourth consecutive victory for Bognor and put Stirlands in a position where they felt they could go on and win.

Handson’s introduction into the attack produced two quick wickets including Clowes; however, no-one could claim Heather’s wicket as he completed his second century in two weeks.

Taylor (1-52) was reintroduced but Heather finished 109 not out off 131 balls including 15 fours and two sixes in Stirlands’ total of 199 for six off 47 overs.

The match finished as a draw despite centuries on both sides. Bognor remain top of the league with a tough awayday at Billingshurst this week.

Stirlands II v Bognor II

Stirlands’ decision to bowl was their undoing as they found themselves up against fine battling from Ricky McIntosh (70) and Bernie Burns.

The loss of skipper McIntosh saw Burns push on to a maiden century with Bognor declaring at 257 for two with support from Darren Coombs (36no).

Stirlands’ reply began steadily with Simon Everest making 50 but Rich Cox (5-71), Tanya Wake (2-18) and Milu Ahmed (2-2) saw the hosts finish on 207.