It's tie time for Middleton ... Pagham hopes fading ... West Wittering wilt

A wicket for Stirlands against West Chiltington / Picture by Kate Shemilt
A wicket for Stirlands against West Chiltington / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Middleton were involved in a last-ball thriller at Cuckfield - while Pagham, West Wittering and Aldwick were among sides to suffer defeats as the season draws to a close. This week's 1st Central Sussex Cricket League reports are below...

Cuckfield v Middleton

Sussex Premier

Middleton secured a share of the spoils in a thrilling tie at Cuckfield.

Heavy rain overnight left the outfield very damp and the wicket green so it was no surprise that on winning the toss, Cuckfield put Middleton into bat.

The openers weathered the first 14 overs with Harry Hovey the first to fall lbw for 29 with the score on 66 in the 15th over. Progress was difficult and at the mid-point of the innings Middleton were 95-2.

With the score on 105 Middleton lost their third wicket, which brought Mahesh Rawat to the wicket to join Middleton skipper Sean Heather.

The pair added 86 for the fourth wicket off just 74 balls, at which point Heather was caught for 89. Rawat shared partnerships of 39 with Ben Hansford and 36 with Mason Robinson. Middleton finished on 266-6 from their 50 overs with Rawat 69 not out.

Following the fall of their first wicket at 37, Cuckfield batsman Joe Ludlow and Jo Cambridge seemed to have control of the game, adding 118 for the second wicket.

Cambridge was bowled by Matthew Reynolds for 78 and in his following over, Reynolds bowled Ludlow for 61 and had Ben Candfield caught by Heather at slip for 0. This reduced Cuckfield to 156-4.

Marcus Campopiano and Ben Caidan added 40 for the fifth wicket before Caidan was well caught by Will Burrows off Heather for 26. Wickets fell regularly with Campopiano the dangerman.

At the start of the last over Cuckfield required seven to win, with their last pair at the wicket. Hovey was the bowler and five runs came from the first three balls. The following two balls saw no runs scored and so it all came down to the last ball.

Nick Patterson was dropped then Campopiano on 51 run out by Hovey as he turned for a second winning run. The teams left the pitch with the game tied.

Pagham v Ansty

Div 3 West

Any slender hopes Pagham may have had of getting promotion this year were well and truly extinguished.

Ansty batted first and got off to a flying start before the introduction of Pagham’s spin trio slowed them down and the home side were happy to have restricted Ansty to 199-9. Sam Palser with 49 and Tommy Green 48 were the pick of the Ansty batsman and Rico Webb picked up some late wickets to finish with 4-53.

Pagham made a good start thanks to another gritty innings from Jack Stannard ,who was eventually out for 50. At 138-3 Pagham looked very comfortable but a lose shot from Ryan Barratt opened the door for the visitors and Pagham lost all impetus.

All remaining batsman seemed to adopt a rather all-or-nothing attitude losing the last six wickets for 29. Stephen Best finished with 4-33.

Horsham Trinity v West Wittering

Div 5 West

Wittering lost the toss on a damp squib of a wicket and were asked to bat.

Wickets fell quickly and at 32-5, Wittering were in trouble. James Munro (44) and Harry Staight (7) worked hard to bring the game back with a partnership of 52.

Spike Western (12) and Jack Harte (7) batted nicely at the end and took Wittering to 107 before Western was run out bringing the innings to a close.

Wittering’s bowlers believed they had the ability to take it to Trinity. Unfortunately finding length was an issue and the Trinity batsman flew out the gates. They lost only one wicket and the game was over in 19 overs. Wittering remain mid-table.

Aldwick v Clymping

Div 6 West

Aldwick blew the chance to go into the last two games of the season confident of being champions.

They inexplicitly lost to Clymping by four runs when at one stage they only needed 31 runs for victory with seven wickets remaining.

Aldwick remain top, albeit by just two points, but with only ten points separating the top four sides, the title is up for grabs to the team who can finish on a high.

Aldwick are away to Steyning this weekend and their final game is at home to Eastergate the following week.

Clymping were inserted and openers Alan Budd (29) and Charlie Home (33) got the visitors off to a good start creating a solid platform with an opening stand of 52 before Horne became the first of Ian Guppy’s victims in his 3-19.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals before Paddy Horne in the middle order contributed a valuable 25. John Young was in his usual wicket-taking form finishing with 2-38 and Ollie Smith was as tight as ever conceding just 14 runs in eight overs.

But the eventual reason for Clymping’s unlikely victory were the runs made by Richard Waddington (25*) and Darion Bird (10*) who came together with seven wickets down and the score on 119 and finished the innings unbeaten and posted for their side a defendable total of 148-7 from their 40 overs.

As usual, Aldwick opener Ed White made runs – this time it was 69, taking his league tally to 723 at an average of 90.38. He eventually fell to the Hornes - caught by Charlie off the bowing of Paddy (1-22) but apart from Harry Rossor (34) the rest of the Aldwick batsmen capitulated mainly to the bowling of Kieran Leeming (4-24) and Carl Harris (2-16) and were bowled out with four balls remaining and four runs required.

* Aldwick twos had a week off but this week are at home to Middleton Academy.

Bognor II v Littlehampton II

Div 7 West

At the Regis Oval, Littlehampton batted first and their innings was anchored by Andy Lee, who top-scored with 45 before becoming one of the veteran Mark Hood’s three victims.

With wickets for the zippy Ed Firlotte and Harry Hood, Littlehampton finished on 181-9.

In response Bognor never got going as Lucas Stubbs and Connor Finneran with three wickets apiece and Oliver Hemsley with 4-27 consigned Bognor to a 56-run defeat.

Bognor III v Littlehampton IV

Div 11 West South

Over at West Meads, Bognor were invited to bat and got off to a decent start with an 85-run opening partnership between John Hooker and Babs Ahmed.

With Ahmed departing for a spritely 54, the well-coiffed pairing of Joe Delaney (46) and Ethan Teasdale (34) helped see Bognor up to 213-5 from their 40 overs.

Littlehampton replied in steady fashion but a fine run-out from Teasdale and an excellent over-the-shoulder catch from young Charlie Forster to remove Dan Clarke for 30 saw Bognor wrest the initiative.

Bognor’s ladies joined the fray as Lulu Millen and Hannah Stemp bowled tidily to grab three wickets between them which saw Littlehampton end on 136-8, Bognor winning by 77 runs.

Worthing IV v Chi Priory Park IV

Div 11 West South

This was a delightful match, played sportingly by both sides. Father and son opened the batting for Worthing.

Tom Simpson was out LBW for 16 while dad Julian remained not out for 79. A few partners stayed for short periods and Simon Rushbridge scored a swift 20 as the innings ended on 148-7, a good recovery after being 43-4 after 20 overs.

In the reply Tim Gregory scored an impatient 25,and Tom Phizackerley hit a solid 50 including eight fours. When Steve Price was dismissed for 1 Chichester could feelthe game slipping away.

Leo Patterson (46no) and Mike Maynard (14no) had a lively partnership and Patterson hit the winning runs in the23rd over.

Chichester look forward to promotion and can really enjoy their final matches with no pressure, with all players still keen to make their mark in the team.