Season-best Slinfold show extends gap over Steyning in promotion race

Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Andy Isaacs. Pic Steve Robards SR1715717 SUS-170307-112535001
Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Andy Isaacs. Pic Steve Robards SR1715717 SUS-170307-112535001

A season-best Slinfold show consolidated their hold on second-place in Division 4 as they took the local bragging rights over Steyning.

The home side grabbed a seven-wicket win at Lyons Road to extend their lead over their third-placed opponents to 43 points.

Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Imran Shah to Andy Isaacs. Pic Steve Robards SR1715728 SUS-170307-112651001

Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Imran Shah to Andy Isaacs. Pic Steve Robards SR1715728 SUS-170307-112651001

Despite winning the toss and opting to bat, Steyning could muster just 115 all out in 31 overs as Akeem Jordan grabbed 4-45 and Imran Shah took 3-22.

A top score of 24 from Ollie Collins and 22 from Johnny Burfiend was as good as it got for Steyning. It had set the scene after Jordan trapped Nick Colley lbw with the first ball of the match. He then quickly dismissed fellow dangerman Hywel Jones for four and Gary Hunt for a duck to leave the visitors at 13-3.

Collins added some resistance, before he went at 44-5, while Ed Lamb (15) and David Kennett (19) were the only others along with Burfiend to make double figures and push Steyning past the 100 mark.

In reply, Slinfold had an early wobble losing Dan Graycon (seven) and Sean Overton (16), before a top-score of 41 not out from Jordan steadied the ship.

Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Guy Thorn. Pic Steve Robards SR1715748 SUS-170307-112730001

Cricket: Sussex League Division 4: Slinfold v Steyning (batting). Guy Thorn. Pic Steve Robards SR1715748 SUS-170307-112730001

He and Guy Thorne (29) put on 56 for the third wicket, before Mushal Murad also finished not out with 16.

Slinfold captain Tom Filby said: “We produced our best display of the season in a vitally important match. It was an all-round good performance and it was really pleasing to see contributions from throughout the side in a real team effort.

“We would have bowled if we had won the toss and felt the conditions were going to favour the bowlers early on and that the pitch would temper throughout the day.

“Akeem took a wicket with the first ball of the match with a plum lbw and then took the key wickets of Hywel Jones and Oliver Collins. Once we had those two wickets we knew that we were in with a good chance of restricting Steyning to a low score.

“Dan Graycon backed up Akeem well with the new ball and then Guy Thorne (2-13) and Imran Shah came on and continued the good work. All the bowlers bowled well and we were delighted to restrict Steyning to 115.

“We had a slight wobble when we lost both openers in quick succession but Akeem and Guy soon eased any nerves and batted well to take us to the brink. Mushal then came in and made batting look very easy with a lovely cameo to finish off the chase.

“To knock them off just three down was very pleasing and it capped off an all-round fine display. We are half way through the season now and we are really pleased to be sat in the promotion places.”

Steyning skipper Kennett lamented his side’s efforts in such a ‘big’ fixture.

He said: “It was a big disappointment and a frustrating day. We just didn’t turn up, yet again for what was a big game.

“Having only posted 115, we knew it would be very difficult to defend, but a couple of early wickets did give us some belief that we could defend it.

“Unfortunately, for us, Akeem Jordan was in great form for them with both bat and ball.

“We struggled against the new ball when batting and Akeem swung it and bowled very well.

“Our top-five were taken out very cheaply and it was always going to be a tough ask after that.”

Steyning return to action on Saturday with a trip to fourth-bottom Three Bridges 2nd XI.

Kennett added: “All we can do now is focus on getting back to winning ways against Three Bridges on Saturday.

“We need to put a run of form together once again and put pressure on the top-two.”