Captain Oliver Collins wants Steyning to offer immediate response to shock defeat

Steyning captain Oliver Collins. Picture by Steve Robards
Steyning captain Oliver Collins. Picture by Steve Robards

Oliver Collins has demanded Steyning bounce back quickly after suffering a first defeat of the season on Saturday.

The Sussex League Division 3 West leaders saw their lead at the summit cut to just four points following a surprise 110-run loss at home to bottom side Stirlands.

But captain Collins is hoping his side’s off-day does not turn into a blip.

And he remains confident Steyning can offer an immediate response at Broadwater.

He said: “Fortunately we’re still where we want to be in the league, but we must take responsibility for our game and bounce back next week with a win at Broadwater to put things right.

“That way we can show it was just an off-day and not let anything develop into a blip.”

Steyning went into the game against struggling Stirlands full of confidence having won four from four to start the season.

Collins put the visitors in at the Memorial Field, but his side ended up being asked to chase a large total.

Cleon Reece removed openers Will Gubbins (26) and Jake Moores (14) in quick succession to leave Stirlands wobbling at 55-2.

However, large individual scores came down the order to put the visitors in a strong position at the halfway stage.

Number three George Briance (51) batted brilliantly to get his side back on track.

He and captain George Coles, who made a magnificent 104, shared a fourth-wicket stand of 105 to put the pressure on Steyning’s bowling unit.

Skipper Collins got the key wicket of opposite number Coles but only after he made a brilliant ton.

Steyning’s captain picked up another three wickets, ending with figures of 4-53, although Stirlands still amassed 268-8 off their 45 overs.

Wickets fell regularly in the reply, with the hosts never looking like chasing down the demanding target.

Steyning found themselves 29-2 then 87-5 as they attempted to chase down 269.

Opener Isaac Tidley (37) failed to kick on after making a good start.

Meanwhile, former skipper David Kennett could not find partners as he struck a half-century (51).

James Barker (5-25) produced a superb late spell to rip through Steyning’s lower order and they were all out for 158 from 39.5 overs in reply. Collins added: “It just wasn’t our day.

“We knew it would be tough, but just didn’t execute our skills as we had planned and had a few key decisions that went against us that prevented us from picking up frequent wickets.

“Stirlands batted well but we didn’t help ourselves by bowling well below our usual standards, giving ourselves 40-50 more than we were looking to chase to start with.

“We were confident going into the chase following previous successes doing this, but didn’t get off to the greatest of starts and got behind the rate quickly and wickets tumbled.”

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