Cuckfield hosted league leaders Preston Nomads, having been buoyed by last week’s remarkable win at Middleton as well as an earlier season win against Nomads.
Cuckfield skipper Josh Hayward won the toss and elected to bat. The returning Chris Mole, accompanied by in-form Greg Wisdom, set about building a score on a pitch that was looking increasingly flat. Both played their shots, and the usually dependable Carl Simon struggled initially. The Cuckfield openers played with relative ease to take the score to 84 before a change in the bowling, in the form of Dan Phillips, saw two quick wickets fall, firstly Wisdom for 38 before Roston Chase was dismissed for 0, both LBW.
Tom Cummins joined Mole and took on the role of the aggressor as Mole began to slow, taking the score to 133 before a returning Simon struck him on the pads, out for 55. Cummins followed soon after as a lapse in concentration saw him out caught for 36.
Cuckfield then lost regular wickets, with Harry Clark (19), Tom Mole (18) and Ben Candfield (23) all playing enterprising knocks before being ended. The Cuckfield lower order, usually so dependable, fell trying to increase the run-rate off spinners Ibrahim and Rigg - Patterson caught sweeping, Hayward stumped and Candfield caught to leave Cuckfield 211 all out on a surface that offered little encouragement to the bowlers. Stephen Rigg took 3-36 and Kashif Ibrahim took 3-47.
Faced with chasing an under-par score on a good pitch, Preston Nomads were the happier team at the break. This, however, quickly changed, as the Cuckfield opening bowlers Patterson and Hutchings both bowled superbly, extracting seam movement while controlling their lengths. Hutchings got early rewards, Gatting caught at gully after catching the shoulder of his bat. Left-hander Dan Phillips had other ideas, with a display of powerful hitting, before Patterson nipped one back at him to catch him LBW for 33.
Wilkes-Green played watchfully while new man Rob Wakeford played some fantastic shots, before the introduction of spin, in the form of left-armer Josh Hayward, led to a breakthrough for Cuckfield - Wilkes-Green caught on the crease LBW for 26, leaving the score 89-3. After drinks, the Nomads batsmen showed continuing signs of intent, increasing the scoring rate. This proved to be their undoing though as Wakeford on 30 saw a leading edge caught at mid-off, giving a deserving Patterson his 400th league wicket.
Carl Simon, having already played a number of key innings this season, came out and looked to continue where Wakeford had left off, playing expansive drives and attacking shots down the ground.
Aaron Phillips was the next to perish, miscuing to mid-on off Hayward, leaving the game well in the balance at 136-5 with time running out. However, a wicket followed next ball as Ibrahim tried to cut Hayward, seeing an arm-ball crash into his off-stump. Wicket-keeper James McKemey joined Simon and both continued to play shots, including a huge six over long-off from McKemey, taking the score to 167, leaving only 45 to win off 8 overs. Cuckfield then grabbed the big wicket of Carl Simon, knicking Hayward to the ‘keeper, well caught by Mole. While Cuckfield felt they now had the upper hand, Nomads injured captain Jeremy Green walked out in the unusually lower batting position of 9. At the other end, McKemey was done by a ball that Patterson got to jag sharply, taking his off stump. Cuckfield now needed just 2 more wickets, while Nomads still had a chance with 32 to win. Green looked to be aggressive, striking Hayward over long-on for 6, before he misjudged the repeat dose, watching the ball strike his off-stump. With just one wicket left to get, Patterson, having operated nearly all the way through the Nomads innings got Kernan caught at short extra leaving Nomads 181 all out from 47.4 overs. It proved to be an extremely strong display for Cuckfield with the ball and in the field to defend what was a below-par score on a very good pitch. Patterson finished with 4-91, while Hayward took 5-59, taking his season tally to 37.
Cuckfield 2nd XI v Preston Nomads
At Fulking, Nomads won the toss and elected to bat first. Chris Taylor dismissed James Silk lbw before a run had been scored. This brought Richard Dexter (43) out to join Taron Ikram (92) who proceeded to put on 97 for the second wicket curbing Cuckfield’s initial exuberance. Wickets came slowly for Cuckfield, but Nomads skipper Jason Robinson (63*) anchored the remainder of the innings helping his side to 255 for 7 after 51 overs. Damian Cummins (21) and Chris Taylor (13) started well for Cuckfield, putting on 41 for the first wicket, but the chase was never really on. A middle order resistance by Kristian Piolet (47) and Luke Cummins(19) showed promise but Henry Gane took 5/29 from 7 overs to dismiss Cuckfield for 152 in the 34th over.
Cuckfield 3rd XI v Chailey
Cuckfield won the toss and asked Chailey to bat on a surface that looked like it would offer some assistance to the bowlers. No fewer than eight catches were put down as Chailey set a demanding target of 211 for 5 from their 47 overs. Nick Robertson (99) was denied his century by Rodney Candfield (2/62) and Danny Andrews scored 50 before being bowled by Ben Caidan (2/28).
The Cuckfield innings started poorly losing two quick wickets, Mark Rowlands removing both openers. Ed Catt (38) and Piers Harrison (86) put on 108 for the 3rd wicket setting a platform for others to build on. Another 50 partnership between Harrison and Jack Best (25) saw the score to 175 for 4, but the lower order couldn’t get Cuckfield over the line as they were dismissed for 203. Peter Dembrey was the chief wicket taker for Chailey raking 7/77.
Cuckfield 4th XI v Lindfield
Stand in Cuckfield skipper, Caleb Hawkins, won the toss and asked Lindfield to bat. Malcolm Page (44) and Graham Page (53) were the main stays of the Lindfield innings as they accumulated 172 for 8 after 47 overs. James Hayes took 3/41 for Cuckfield.
The Cuckfield innings got off to a slow, but solid start as openers Tim Mole (36) and Tom Wright (12) put on 53 for the first wicket. Both fell in quick succession and Hawkins followed soon after. Keith Rogers joined Sam Candfield and the pair added 48 for the 4th wicket taking the score to 115 before Rogers (19) was bowled by Fielder who also then took out Will Temple-Smith leaving Cuckfield 115 for 5. Charlie Best (28*) joined Candfield (68*) as the required rate had crept up to 8 an over. The young pair proceeded to knock the runs off with an over to spare winning the game for Cuckfield by 5 wickets.
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