PREMIER DIVISION: There was a nail-biting finish to the game at Preston Nomads which saw last year’s champions lose by three wickets with a ball to spare.
Nomads were put in and made 238 for 9 declared as Joe Gatting hit 74,Patrick Spencer 48 not out and Rob Wakeford 45, Matt Machan took 3 for 45. In reply Worthing reached 224 for 1 with three overs left before panic set in. They lost a further 6 wickets before Ian Gooding made the winning hit with a ball to spare. Machan hit 84, Michael Gould 67 and Matt Green 66 for Worthing as Patrick Spencer took 3 for 54.
There was a low scoring game between the two newly promoted clubs as Cuckfield beat Three Bridges by two wickets. Bridges reached just 133 all out in 33 overs with South African newcomer Keshav Maharaj taking 4 for 26 and Nick Patterson 4 for 51, the top score was 24 extras! In reply Cuckfield, too, found runs hard to come by but eventually won the game at 134 for 8 as Oliver Altenhof made top score of 33. For Bridges New Zealand newcomer Victor Davies took 5 for 57 in a unchanged spell of 19 overs.
The game at Brighton and Hove, where Roffey were the visitors, suffered from rain interruptions as the home side were forced to close at 152 for 9 from 49 overs.In that total Tim Jarvis made 52 with Rohit Jagota taking 4 for 17. It took Roffey 42 overs to win by two wickets at 153 for 8 with Matt Davies their top scorer,he made 39 as Chris Atherton grabbed 3 for 42 for Brighton.
Horsham won by 103 runs at home to Chichester after being dismissed for 189 having won the toss. Ben Shoare hit 70 and Sam Attfield 37 to set the target, new Chichester skipper Richard Browning took 6 for 37. Chichester them tumbled to 86 all out as the Horsham leg-spinners shared 9 wickets between them. Will Beer took 5 for 25 and Michael Munday 4 for 13.
Rain prevented any play at Hastings where East Grinstead were the visitors.
Relegated Eastbourne started their Division Two season in as positive way taking maximum points from their trip to Findon. Put in to bat Eastbourne made 188 all out with 44 from Toby Finzel and 43 not out from Lewis Hammett as James Iago took 5 for 71. Findon were then dismissed for 149 as Stuart Pulford took 4 for 35 and Mark Tomsett 4 for 39.
Ifield also took maximum points from their visit to Glynde despite being dismissed for 204 of which Michael Norris and Paul Clifford both hit 41, for Glynde George Hobden took 5 for 55. Glynde them tumbled to 95 all out despite 48 from Chris Stanyard, as Clayton Caltsounis took 5 for 42 and Raza Ali 5 for 49.
St.James’s started their season well with a 42 run home victory against Crowhurst Park. Sam Chettlebrough, with 111, led the way towards a total of 224 for 7 declared. For the visitors Paul Brookes took 3 for 40.
Crowhurst Park were bowled out for 182 in 36.3 overs as George Taylor took 7 for 79, top scorer was Paul Lindfield who made 39.
Goring enjoyed a seven wicket win at Pulborough who they bowled out for 193 despite 72 from Jonathan Bennett. In reply Goring hit 195 fior 3 with 104 not out from Shane de Beer.
The remaining game was drawn after Bexhill hit 249 for 8 declared after being put in at Middleton. In that total Malcolm Johnson made 47 and Jonathan Haffenden 65,fro Middelton Mark Beddis took 3 for 38.In reply Middleton finished at 189 for 6 of which Rob Willway made 73 in his first game for the club.
DIVISION 3 (EAST)
In Division 3 East league newcomers Rottingdean suffered a nine wicket defeat at home to Lindfield on their County League debut. Scott Pearce took 6 wickets as Rottingdean were bowled out for 175 after being asked to bat first. Peter Barron’s unbeaten 117 ensured the visitors cruised to victory.
Ansty finished last season strongly and have started 2013 in the same vein beating Keymer & Hassocks by 8 wickets. Only George Christmas with 41 offered much resistance as Keymer were bowled out for 111. Glen Anson with 6-14 and Sam Palser 4-16 doing the damage. Jonathan Young’s unbeaten 60 hurried the visitors to victory.
Burgess Hill made hay after being inserted by visitors Crawley. They were able to declare after 47 overs on 247-4 with Tom Trowbridge making 111, Nathan Cooper 51. Crawley were never in the hunt and left pointless after being bowled out for just 98.
Hellingly elected to bat and made 207-9 at home to Lewes Priory. Isaac Leckie top scored with 57 while Charlie Hartridge bagged 4-43. Priory closed on 155-6 dominated by Andrew Hartridge’s 81. Adam Devlin took 3-66.
DIVISION 3 (WEST)
In Division 3 West three sides scored maximum point victories on the opening day.
Billingshurst beat Slinfold by 70 runs having been bowled out for 150 after being inserted by their visitors.
Steyning routed Stirlands by 10 wickets largely due to a fine all round performance by the returning Owain Jones. He took 4-30 which along with 3-37 from Ramesh Subasinghe meant that Stirlands could only 109. Will Gubbins fought a lone hand with an unbeaten 56. Then the Jones brothers Owain and Hywel joined forces with Owain making an unbeaten 73.
Wisborough Green made an encouraging start to their second season in the league with Byron Napper (6-42) and Ben Thatcher (4-17) sharing the wickets between them to send last season’s high flyers Bognor tumbling to 122. Despite a fightback from the visitors Green got home by 4 wickets.
Pagham clinched an exciting two wicket victory at Henfield overhauling the home side’s 238-8. Chris Crampton 69, Brett Moore 60 and Jack Parsons 50 all passed the half century mark for Henfield but it proved to be not quite enough.
Crawley Eagles made most of the running at home to Arundel in their first County League game but were thwarted by Arundel’s last pair. Eagles were sent into bat and raced to 260-7 led by Imran Khan and Amaar who made 83 and 69 respectively., Temple took 4-53 for the visitors. Arundel closed on 194-9 with Theodoridi 61 and Keelan Shoulders 48. R Mohamed took 4-47 for the Eagles.