Southwater made a superb start to the 2016 season with two derby victories in the Gray-Nicholls T20 Cup in one day.
They first edged out league rivals Slinfold in a dramatic penultimate-ball victory as they chased down their target with 115-5 in a midday start at Lyons Road.
They then secured a one-run win against Steyning in the second round, again in dramatic fashion as their opponents finished one short of chasing Southwater’s 142-4 in the 3.30pm match.
It was a perfect start for the season for Southwater, who were without captain Nick Baker and a number of other players. He said: “They were two fantastic results. After a washout of a pre-season, it was good to see two positives results. Harrison (Webb) looked the pick of the bowlers and to get through to the next round, I was really happy with that.
“In the first game, we won by five wickets, I know it came down to the last one or two balls, but it looks like we had control.
“The second sounds a brilliant game to watch that went all the way down to the wire. It’s always pleasing to get one over on Slinfold as our local rivals, but to know we can compete with a team from the league above, shows how far we have come.” Batting first after winning the toss in the second-round match, Southwater posted 142-2. Stand-in captain Alex Harding made 71 and Greg Young added 37 not out.
In reply, Steyning’s Gary Hunt scored 46, captain Dave Kennett hit 28 and Oliver Collins made 24 as they came up just short.
They posted 141-6 which included the late run-outs of Ed Lamb and Peter Smith as they tried to level the totals from the final ball.
Steyning skipper Kennett said: “It was a disappointing result for us in the end after getting so close.
“We should have restricted them to 125 really but they had a guy in on 50 and he struck the ball very well at the end.
“Batting, we got off to great start on what was a tricky slow wicket we just needed myself or Gary (Hunt) to be there at the end as it was easier once you were in on a pitch like that.
“All in all, our young lads did really well and it was a great experience for them and it was a great game of cricket.”
Slinfold batted first in the opening game after losing the toss and posted 112 in 19.4 overs. Webb came back to haunt his old side and claimed 5-19 against his former team-mates, for whom Akeem Jordan hit 17, Mushal Murad made 19 and Dan Graycon scored 16.
In reply, Greg Young made 14 and Dan Skett 23 before Johann Brouwer’s unbeaten 48 and Matt Shuttlewood’s three not out saw them home with a ball to spare.
Slinfold captain Guy Thorne said: “I wasn’t too fussed about the result, it was just good to get a few overs in our bowlers, our ground fielding was good, and everyone got a stint out in the middle, to dust off some of the cobwebs.
“Credit to Southwater who won their second match against Steyning, I hope they can go on a good cup run, best of luck from Slinfold.”
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