Priory start cricket season with a thriller

Chichester celebrate a wicket at Crowhurst Park / Picture by Simon Newstead

Chichester celebrate a wicket at Crowhurst Park / Picture by Simon Newstead

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There was a tie for Chichester and a draw for Stirlands as local clubs began their Sussex Cricket League campaigns.

Here are the two clubs’ opening-match reports...

Crowhurst Park v Chichester Priory Park

Sussex League division three

After finishing the 2015 season strongly, Chichester Priory Park are hoping to mount a strong challenge for promotion in 2016.

Winter training was encouraging and saw the addition of several promising players to the squad. Their first league game of the season saw the team make the long journey to Crowhurst Park.

David and Jamie Wynn-Griffiths opened the batting for Stirlands and a series of excellent shots from both got the scoreboard to 90-0 before David was dismissed for 30.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat first. New first-team captain Johnny Heaven took the first wicket of the season, removing opener Ben Phillmore for just five.

Dale Payne and Joel Bruun soon made hay under the clear skies, putting on 63 for the second wicket. Heaven (4-64) continued to lead from the front and removed Payne (31), Paul Brookes (4) and Ed Smissen (0) as the hosts tumbled to 83 for four.

Bruun was the anchor of the innings, batting aggressively for 78 from just 71 balls. Once he was dismissed by Richard Hancocks, the home team petered away.

Australian overseas player Sam Harvey mopped up the tail with three for five. Crowhurst Park’s score of 170 looked challenging but very gettable.

The chase didn’t start well for Chichester as the top three fell cheaply, leaving them on 33 for three. Peter Lamb (23) and George Perry (24), rebuilt the innings but neither was able to kick on and anchor the chase.

Batting in his typically-attacking style, Heaven (43 from 44 balls) pushed the visitors closer to the target, but when he was dismissed the visitors were struggling on 139 for seven.

As the last recognised batsman, Rob Carver marshalled the tail well but began to run out of partners. The ninth-wicket fell with the score on 165, just six runs away from victory.

Carver and last man Garry Austerberry added three more runs and looked to have won the game when Carver hit the ball into the deep. They had completed two runs when the throw from Jon Peters hit the stumps with Carver short of his ground. It meant Chichester were also dismissed for 170, leaving the match a tie.

Chichester begin their home campaign on Saturday against Burgess Hill.

Glynde & Beddingham v Stirlands

Sussex League division four

Glynde and Stirlands began the afternoon with a minute’s silence in memory of Sussex cricketer Matt Hobden, who used to play for the home team.

Glynde elected to bat but heavy traffic on the M23 meant Stirlands started with eight players on the field.

Leo Wilkinson-Beal and Struan Cameron opened the bowling and responded well to the shortage of fielders by bowling decent line and length.

It wasn’t long before Stirlands had a full complement of fielders and Cameron got the early breakthrough. Having bowled eight good overs Wilkinson-Beal was forced off the field with an injury.

Glynde opener Murray batted sensibly and was soon joined by Charlie Hobden, whose big hitting got the scoreboard moving.

George Briance replaced Wilkinson-Beal and settled in to a good rhythm. Cameron picked up a couple of wickets, before being replaced by Matt James at the pavilion end.

Murray reached his 50 and Briance was rewarded for his 20-plus overs with three wickets. Cameron bowled really well and ended up with six wickets. After 53 overs Glynde were 232 for nine.

David and Jamie Wynn-Griffiths opened the batting for Stirlands and a series of excellent shots from both got the scoreboard to 90-0 before David was dismissed for 30.

Jamie reached 50 but was dismissed shortly after. Briance started brightly but a series of wickets swung the advantage Glynde’s way.

With Stirlands reduced to 132 for eight of 32 overs Glynde looked to push home the advantage. Stirlands tail-enders dug in and the visitors hung on for a well-earned draw.

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