PREMIER DIVISION: Preston Nomads have opened up a gap of 49 points at the top of the Sussex Premier League following their 8th win of the season on Saturday, a 43 run victory over Cuckfield.
Nearest rivals Horsham were beaten by East Grinstead to help Nomads chances of retaining their title. Brighton and Hove have moved off the bottom following their win against Worthing who have replaced them as potential wooden spoon holders.
Nomads found runs hard to come by against Cuckfield after deciding to bat first and were forced to battle for recovery from 20 for 4. Angus Stewart then made 52, Kashif Ibrahim 39, Hugh Richards 37 and Patrick Spencer 30 to help them to 203 all out as Kesh Maharaj took 5 for 54 and James Thorpe 4 for 36. Marc Gardner was top scorer for the visitors with 37 as they were bowled out for 160 as Carl Simon took 4 for 41 and Patrick Spencer 3 for 33.
Horsham’s chances of closing the gap on the leaders were thwarted by a 28 run defeat at home to East Grinstead. Grinstead made 217 all out with 50 from Ollie Graham and 45 from Will Adkin as Michael Munday took 5 for 59. In reply Horsham fell to 189 all out despite 63 from skipper Craig Gallagher. Ian Sturmer and Craig Fowle each took three wickets.
Hastings enjoyed a six wicket home win against Roffey who were held to 184 for 9 from 58 overs after deciding to bat. Matt Davies hit 50 and Michael Norris 43 for the visitors but the bowling heros for Hastings was young spinner Elliot Hooper who took 6 for 63 in 22 overs, David Lowery grabbed 2 for 39. Hastings, too, found runs hard to come by before winning at 185 for 4 with three balls to spare. Lowery hit 86 and Byron Gould 35 in that “chase” for victory.
Three Bridges pulled well clear of the relegation zone with a 119 run win at home to Chichester after racing to 257 for 6 declared of which Conor Golding hit 103 not out and James Chadburn made 75. For the visitors Richard Browning took 4 for 33 but then his side tumbled to defeat at 138 all out of which Ashton Turner made 31.
For Bridges Ollie Blandford took 3 for 22 and Michael Rose 2 for 33.
It was quite close for Brighton and Hove who won by 30 runs at home to Worthing after being dismissed for 237. In that total Craig Young made top score of 40 as Luke Vinter took 5 for 58. Worthing were then dismissed for 207 with Benn Challen hitting top score of 51 as Chris Atherton took 4 for 36.
Eastbourne lead Division Two by 32 points ahead of Goring who, in turn, lead Bexhill by just 3 points in the promotion places, all three won their games on Saturday. At the bottom Glynde are still without a win and are just behind Pulborough who have enjoyed just a single victory all season.
There was a real feast of runs at Glynde where Eastbourne rattled up 320 for 6 from just 42 overs with 160 from Toby Finzell and 55 from Jamie Goddard as Charlie Hobden took 3 for 84. In reply Glynde were dismissed for 219 as David Twine took 3 for 50 and Mark Tomsett 3 for 33. For the home side skipper Dominic Shepheard made 45 and Charlie Hobden 39.
Goring decided to field having won the toss at Middleton and then sent their hosts crashing to 98 all out. Ross Bauhmann took 4 for 31 and Matt Keen 3 for 25 in the innings as Brandon Hanley top scored, he made 38. The winners then lost five wickets to reach 99 for 5 as Hanley took 4 for 48 and Matt Keen hit top score of 43.
There were some shocks for Bexhill before they won by six wickets at St.James’s as the first four in their batting order all made ducks to send them reeling to 17 for 4.
Earlier St.James’s had made 135 all out in 42.2 overs with 57 from Adam Davies as Calum Guest took 5 for 35 and Josh Beeslee and Joe Cox grabbed two wickets each. After the early collapse Jonathan Haffenden with 69 not out and Guest, who made 51 not out, took Bexhill home at 137/4.
Findon kept alive their hopes of making the top two with a five wicket win at home to Crowhurst Park who they restricted to 181 for 7 after putting them in. In that total Callum Powell made 52 as James Iago took 4 for 45. In reply Findon reached 185 for 5 from 37.4 overs with 99 from Alasdair Wilson.
Ifield made 240 for 5 after winning the toss at Pulborough with Greg Barton hitting 122. The home side were then dismissed for 151 as Russell Jacob took 4 for 45, top scorer was Stuart Barber with 65.
Division 3 Round Up
Lindfield’s inactivity gave an opportunity to the chasing pack to close the gap at the top of Division 3 East . Both Ansty and Haywards Heath recorded away victories to move closer to their near neighbours.
Ansty, at home, overhauled Hellingly’s 203 to win by 5 wickets. James Pooley made 54 while Ansty’s young paceman Sam Palser took 5-48. 87 from James Wgybow took Ansty home.
At St John’s Park Jonny Phelps with 5-75 helped restrict Burgess Hill to 184-9. Jack Simpson made 75 but then Haywards Heath cruised to a 7 wicket win with Charlie Gold and Sam Reading undefeated on 73 and 59 respectively.
Put into bat by visitors Crawley, Keymer & Hassocks could only reach 138 With their top score being just 26. Harry Chaudhary took 4-54 before Rhett Bridgens hit 53 not out to seal a 5 wicket success for Crawley.
Lewes Priory’s 142 all out proved to be insufficient as Rottingdean got home by 4 wickets. Richard Eborn top scored with 35 while Mark Grantham bagged 4-45 in 20.3 overs. James Grantham then top scored for Rottingdean with 73 not out.
Billingshurst and Stirlands are well clear at the head of Division 3 West while Arundel are looking vulnerable at the bottom of the pile.
Billingshurst beat Pagham by 7 wickets taking revenge for their only league defeat earlier in the season. Stuart Rutter hit 85 for Pagham but Ben Williams took 6-65. Needing 188 for victory Billingshurst got there with 7 wickets in hand as Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi once again starred with 74 not out.
Struan Cameron took 5-28 for the visitors as Stirlands bowled Wisborough Green out for just 93 and then claim a 10 wicket win.
Despite the all round efforts of Slinfold’s Sikhokele Camagu Steyning crept home by 3 wickets. Camagu hit 70 not out and later claimed 4-53. However Ramesh Subasinghe took 3-74 as Slinfold’s 208-8 was not quite enough.
Crawley Eagles and Bognor Regis played out a high scoring draw with Eagles posting 259-6 aftr electing to bat. Imran 68 and Amaar 55 were their principal contributors but they were unable to take Bognor’s final wicket. Ryan Maskell 64 and Luke Seward 60 made significant scores while Adil claimed 4-52.
Henfield enoyed a 7 wicket win versus Arundel who are now in considerable trouble being some 55 points adrift at the bottom of the table. Paddy Horne made 52 not out for Arundel but Brighton Muguchi’s 5-40 restricted them to just 157. Henfield then moved to a 7 wicket win as Adam Scott made72 not out and Brett Moore 56.
TONY MILLARD/NICK CLARKE