Aldwick loving life in new cricket league

We have action involving Aldwick, Bognor and West Wittering seconds - among others - in out round-up from the lower divisions of the Sussex Cricket League, plus news from a friendly.

Get involved by sending your reports and team pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

West Chiltington & Thakeham 2nd v Aldwick

Div 6 West

Aldwick’s initial foray into the newly-formed Sussex Cricket League produced a cracker that gave them a victory with the last ball.

Batting first, West Chilts were finding life in the new set-up a tough ask and were soon reeling at 47-7. Ben Bambridge (2-52) made sure openers Alfie Reeves (5) and Will Fames (11) were quickly dispatched, then Ian Guppy (4-54) cut through the middle-order with relative ease.

Aldwick's Alex Cooper has had a fine start to the season with the bat

Aldwick's Alex Cooper has had a fine start to the season with the bat

However, when James Challenor (24) came in, he played the perfect anchor to Mick Armstrong (164 ) who raced to his unbeaten knock with 16 fours and 11 sixes. Together, they put on 93 runs for the eighth wicket and Armstrong’s total accounted for 75 per cent of the home side’s score of 215-8.

Aldwick started the run chase in a careful and sedate fashion but opener and skipper Alex Cooper (74) was solid throughout most of the innings with a knock that set up the real possibility of a victory. Cooper was eventually outdone by Armstrong who proved he could bowl as well as bat.

Good support from Harry Rossor (24) and Jamie Murphy (54) assisted the push for victory. However, when Murphy was brilliantly caught and bowled by Nick North, Aldwick still required 21 from six overs for victory.

In the final over, the scores were tied and the last pair of Arthur Bradbury (12*) and Liam Hicks (0*) needed one run for victory. Chilts did not concede any runs in the first five balls, but Bradbury scrambled a run off the last ball and Aldwick were victorious.

West Wittering seconds started their 2018 campaign with a convincing 61-run win over a depleted Barns Green side.

Big-hitter Mick Armstrong later revealed that he came over from Australia in 2009 to play cricket and his first-ever game was for Chilts against Aldwick in the league. On that day he took five for 35 and was the top batsmen with an undefeated 45* as his side rolled over Aldwick but nine years on, it was Aldwick who were celebrating.

This week Aldwick are at home to local rivals Selsey.

Bognor 2nd XI v Rustington

Sussex League Div 6 West

On a fine day at the Regis Oval, Rustington were put into bat by the hosts and were soon 23 for two.

However a thunderous 113 not out from Richard Hobbs with fine support from Paddy Chapman with 56 saw Rustington finish on 231 for four.

Sam Adams was the pick of the attack with 3-45.

Bognor’s reply never got going and with Harry Hughes bagging 5-23 and Alan Hodgson 3-28, Bognor finished on 82 all out, Rustington winning by 149 runs.

West Wittering 2nd v Barns Green

Div 9 West

West Wittering seconds started their 2018 campaign with a convincing 61-run win over a depleted Barns Green side.

After Barns Green stuck West Wittering into bat on a drying wicket, Steve Feazey and Trevor Delderfield set a solid foundation. Feazey reached his 50 in the 18th over.

With the score on 89, Greg Monk made the breakthrough, bowling stand-in skipper Feazey for 56. Delderfield and Nigel Twiddy kept the score ticking over until Thomas Drabble had Delderfield, on 32, stumped by Roger Southgate.

Twiddy followed soon after for 21, with Russell Parks chalking up his first wicket.

Lusty blows from Kevin Allsobrook (36) helped the home team reach 179-8 off their 40 overs. Parks (3-27) and Joe Kingsbury (3-31) the pick of the bowlers.

Wittering opening pair Jack Harte and Kieran Baker reduced Barns Green to 17-4 after nine overs, with tight bowling rewarded with two wickets apiece.

Wickets came sparingly as a hard-fought partnership between Parks (37) and Kingsbury (33) made Wittering wait for the next breakthrough.

Eventually, after various bowling and field position changes, Bobby Tera had Kingsbury caught by Will Finch at backward square-leg. Allsobrook, Delderfield and Tera picked up further wickets, resulting in Barns Green finishing on 118-9.

Aldwick 2nd v Lancing Manor 2nd

Div 10 West (South)

With many players not yet available, Aldwick fielded a weakened side but they did not disappoint and were rewarded with a maximum 30 points in a tense finish.

Aldwick openers Dan Cox (49) and Paul Gibb (25) battled sensibility and racked up 69 for the first wicket. Then it was quickly downhill with Yasir Iqbal (2-31) and Andy Murray (2-27) taking wickets with ease.

Dave Edwards (11) was the only other batsman to make double figures and the final total was only respectable because of 26 extras.

Chasing 129 for victory, opener Chris Salt (30) got going but he was let down at the other end as wickets tumbled to Dan Cox (3-16) and Paul Gibbs (4-23) and the home side became favourities.

A late rearguard action from Steve Luckhurst (10), Lee Stevens (23) and Andy Murray (18*) took their side within six runs of victory but the experienced Paul Gibbs kept his cool and dismissed last man Fin Cheal caught in the deep by Simon Shimell.

Middleton Academy v Bognor 3rd XI

Div 11 West (South)

At the Tangmere Oval Middleton were invited to bat were well placed on 80 for 2. Bognor skipper John Hooker introduced himself and promptly grabbed 6-33, ably supported by the safe hands of Elvis Millen and Milu Ahmed.

For Middleton, young Rocco Gamblin carried his bat for a patient and well-crafted 68 not out.

Bognor’s innings was ticking along nicely but a collapse from 49 for one to 68 for seven saw the advantage firmly with Middleton. Lower-order resistance from skipper Hooker and the burly Jon Whitewood in a partnership of 41 saw the game even out but with Whitewood’s departure Bognor couldn’t maintain the momentum, Hooker last out for 34 and Middleton winning by 17 runs.

Regis Rebels Sunday XI v Westbourne

Westbourne arrived for the Rebels’ first home game of year and were fielding after losing the toss. Bognor’s Iain Ashmore was the mainstay of the home innings with a battling 77 and formed a 67-run partnership with Ben Woolnough (24). Westbourne stuck to their task and with D Kehagias taking 3-23, Bognor finished on 187 for eight.

The visitors began steadily enough but a fine diving catch from young Benny Taylor gave Rich Lindsey his first Bognor wicket to dismiss Sagar Desai for 20.

More fine catching from Iain Ashmore kept Bognor in the game but it took a low snaffling catch from Taylor Jaycocks off of Woolnough to end Kehagias’ resistance for 50.

Veteran Dan Winslow’s sweet swing bowling earned him 3-3 and Westbourne were all out for 129, the victory seeing skipper Rich Lindsey claim his maiden win by 58 runs.