PORTSLADE Cricket Club secured their highest-ever Sussex League finish following a final day win over Haywards Heath on Saturday.
It proved to be another tightly-contested clash involving Paul Glover’s side but their eight-run success ensured a third-placed league finish. They finished just 24 points behind Crawley Eagles, who claimed the second promotion spot.
After being put in, Portslade struggled, with Danny Hansen (25), David Wainwright (33) and Tom Nickolson (35) the only players to make double figures.
A middle-order collapse saw them slip to 124 all out in 39.2 overs.
But, once again, a Tom Mooney inspired bowling effort ensured Portslade ended the season with a win.
Mooney secured his second successive five-wicket haul as Heath were skittled out for 116 in reply.
Skipper Glover, who missed the game through injury, was pleased to end the season with a win and said: “This game reflects our season, if I’m honest.
“We have struggled with the bat but the bowlers have managed to get us out of trouble.
“The amount of times this season we have not made at least 200 is disappointing.
“However, we have managed to win games with average totals thanks to our bowling and fielding performances.
“This was the case once again in this one.
“Tom Mooney has been absolutely fantastic as our overseas player.
“His five wickets in this game means he finishes the season with back-to-back five wicket hauls.
“It’s been a great season and I’m pleased we managed to claim third spot.”
Portslade made a strong start, with openers Hansen and Wainwright sharing a stand of 60.
However, once Hansen fell, all of the other batsmen, apart from Nickolson, struggled.
Nickolson top-scored with 35 but after he and Wainwright went, it became a real struggle and Portslade were dismissed for a below-par 124.
Heath made a solid start in response, with Chris Blunt making 24, while Jonny Phelps and James Austin both hit 21.
They looked to be on course for victory at 100 for four but a collapse cost them. They lost their final six wickets for 16 runs and lost by eight runs.
Mooney ended with figures of 5-22 from 12 overs, while Steven Case took three wickets.
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