There were victories for Eastergate, Aldwick and West Wittering in the latest round of West Sussex Invitation League gamees.
Here are the reports - and don’t miss all the local cricket in the Observer, every Thursday.
Eastergate v Horsham Trinity
Invitation League division one
Eastergate welcomed newly-promoted Horsham Trinity and returned to winning form with an impressive 71-run win, putting them firmly in mid-table.
Eastergate made six changes from last week’s defeat at Southwater and welcomed back several senior players. Eastergate elected to bat first and with Jack Stannard providing the anchor to the innings, he scored at just over four per over to build a good total.
Matt Langmead, in his first game of the season, joined Stannard at 103 for two and these two put on 102 for the fourth wicket with Stannard reaching his century before Langmead was out for an impressive 50.
The home side reached 239 for eight from their 49 overs with Stannard batting throughout the innings for an unbeaten 115 from 174 balls. Louie Donnelly took four for 40 for the visitors.
In reply Horsham Trinity were soon in trouble at 35 for three, but a partnership of 69 for the fourth wicket between Donnelly and Jamie Gandy provided some resistance.
Captain Jamie Murphy rotated his bowlers to good effect, however with six wickets down and only three overs left, the away side looked safe for a draw.
Sam Bushby had batted well for 24 but then tried a reverse sweep and was bowled by Rejo Raju, and the final three wickets fell quickly, Stannard proving an inspired bowling choice and picking up two wickets in two balls in the 43rd over.
Horsham were all out for 168 after 44 overs with captain and opening bat Louie Donnelly unbeaten on 72. For Eastergate, Raju was the pick of the bowlers with four for 28 from 14 overs.
Eastergate travel to Ram next, followed by derbies against Arundel and Littlehampton.
The Eastergate second XI stayed top of Invitation division five with a two-wicket win away to Chichester Priory Park thirds.
West Wittering v East Preston
In their top-of-the-table clash, both teams were severely depleted by players who chose to head to a local music festival, so it proved a test of the strength in depth for both.
EP won the toss and inserted West Wittering. Gareth Lendrum and Jack Allsobrook had a solid start including one massive six from Lendrum before he was brilliantly caught in the slips.
Mark Taylor and Allsobrook took the score to 88 until Taylor (19) was caught off a full toss. James Staight (1) and Joe Pink (28) continued to build with Allsobrook laying the platform for the assault.
The 40th over saw the introduction of stand-in skipper Harry Staight who demolished an already-flagging EP attack, scoring 40 from 17 deliveries. Allsobrook moved to a brilliant 105 not out, his first ton for the club, WW finishing on 236-5
EP’s innings start slowly with wickets falling regularly as they tried to match the run rate. Wickets were spread evenly between the bowlers with Harry Staight (3-26), Steve Day (1-25), Jack Harte (2-22) and Charlie Millar (3-19) all weighing in.
The end result was a resounding victory for WW closing the gap at the top of the table. Both teams remain well placed for the promotion push.
Also in division two, Selsey slipped up at home to Broadbridge Heath in division two. The home side were 98 all out and Heath knocked off the runs losing only two wickets.
Henfield 2nds v Aldwick
After adefeat to Clymping, Aldwick bounced back to winning ways with an emphatic win away to Henfield seconds.
The Aldwick bowlers set up the nine-wicket victory with a return to form.
John Young (3-19) made his usual inroads with an impressive ten-over spell, but the welcome support of Ollie Smith (4-14), Tom Hoare (1-30), and Harry Rosser (1-24) was the key to Henfield’s demise.
Opener Martin Jepson (28) top-scored, but otherwise only Kevin Johnson (19*) and Mike White (19) made double figures as their side tumbled to 109 all out in 39 overs.
Aldwick’s run chase was initially thwarted at the first hurdle when last week’s centurion, Ed White, faced the harsh reality of an opening batsman’s fortunes with a duck. George Stewart (1-21) removed the in-form White to give his side a faint home of a fightback but it was short-lived as Dean Stokes (49*) and Charlie Barnett (44*) comfortably guided their side to victory in the 35th over.
After a shaky start to the season, Aldwick are now only ten points off third place – with a game in hand. This week Aldwick host table-toppers Scaynes Hill.
Aldwick 2nds v Storrington
Aldwick twos’ woes continued with another defeat, this time at home, albeit to leaders Storrington.
Their bowlers started well, removing both openers cheaply to give their side early optimism. Ian Homewood (4) was removed by Jonny Knapp (3-29) and his partner Tim Lake (5) fell to skipper Ian Guppy (2-44) but then Mike Scerri (84) and Jonathan Carpenter (66) put the nails in the home side’s coffin with match-winning batting displays.
Further runs from Mark Haggart (34) and Andy Livermore (29) contributed to the visitors’ final total of 259-9 from their 40 overs. Additional wicket-takers for Aldwick were Liam Hicks (2-71) and Will Pegg (2-39).
Defeat for Aldwick came in the 36th over when they were eventually bowled out for just 93, losing by 166 runs.
Openers Chris Redman (20) and Aiden Miles (14) fared better than their opposition counterparts but the rest of the out-of -form team were rolled over by Adam Homewood (4-20), David Livermore (3-24) and Steve Livermore (2-30) with relative ease.
For Aldwick twos, the only way is up – starting hopefully away to West Wittering seconds.
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