Cricket teams accept invitation to step up to new Sussex League

Pete Smith will captain Eastergate this season / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Pete Smith will captain Eastergate this season / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Welcome to the first part of our preview of the local cricket season.

This summer sees the former Sussex Premier league and its various feeder leagues merge into one new all-singing all dancing Sussex League.

For sides that previously played in the Invitation League it will be an interesting challenge, and here we run the rule over four sides who will move into divisions five and six of the new division.

DIVISION FIVE WEST

EASTERGATE

Division and finishing spot in 2017: Invitation League Div 1, 7th

Division this year: Div 5 West.

Realistic hopes: A mid-table finish.

1st team capt: Pete Smith.

Players out: Jack Stannard (to Pagham), Jordan Samad (returned to Australia), Ashley Rule (Arundel), Dan Jadzevics (Arundel).

Players in: Eastergate have a strong history of developing young players and we have many colts who expect to push strongly for first and second X1 places in 2018.

Any other news? Jonathan Dakic continues as second XI captain and is also a member of the England disability cricket team. The second XI play in the division nine west. The first X1 start the new season with an away fixture at Horsham Trinity on May 5 then welcome local rivals Arundel on May 12.

WEST WITTERING

Division and finishing spot in 2017: Invitation Div 2, 5th

Division this year: Div 5 West

Realistic hopes: Compete in the division, sneak promotion.

1st team capt: Carl Tupper

Players out: None

Players in: John Daborn (umpire), Jordan Harrison, Chris Rouse, James Munro

Any other news? West Wittering CC host juniors from seven to 14-year-olds on Friday evenings and will be an All Stars Cricket Centre on Wednesdays from mid-May. We play our opening league game this week (April 28).

DIVISION SIX WEST

ALDWICK

Division and finishing spot in 2017: Invitation Div 3, 5th

Division this year: Div 6 West

Realistic hopes: When all players are available our first team are a match for most teams in the division. As they have been promoted a division (through another club asking to go down a division) they will do well to finish third, although are confident of promotion

1st team capt: Alex Cooper

Players out: Grant Wilson has emigrated

Players in: Jim Amis ( from Selsey), Morgan Murphy and, returning, are David Edwards and Herman Paul

Any other news? We have been without a pavilion since January 2017 (destroyed by an arsonist). The planning permission for the new building has eventually been passed after a very long, drawn-out process. Arun council, who are in charge of the project, are now putting the building work out to tender.

We are investing moniey donated to us in this project. We hope to have a new pavilion by the end of the season. Despite all this, the club are optimistic about the future and with the help of our good friends Predators Football Club, who let us share their facilities, Aldwick are confident they will rise from the ashes of their clubhouse.

SELSEY

Division and finishing spot in 2017: Invitation Div 1, 8th

Division this year: Div 6 West

Realistic hopes: Compete every week, fulfil all fixtures, stay up and try to push a few colts through into the first team.

1st team capt: Tom Cripps

Players out: Tom Amis (Purbrook)

Players in: None yet

Any other news? It’s going to be a long season – we’re hoping we can attract a few new players to help us make it through the season. We have couple of exciting youngsters to keep an eye out for. It will be a nervous but also exciting time at Selsey.