Slinfold captain Jonathan Hughes is hoping that their first league win can be a ‘catalyst for the remainder of the season’.
The Lyons Road outfit notched up their maiden Division 3 West victory thanks to a seven-wicket away win against Pagham.
The visitors won the toss and elected to field, and the hosts were bowled all out for 158 off 44.4 overs, Ryan Barratt (34) top-scoring for Pagham.
In reply, Slinfold picked off the total in 32.5 overs, finishing on 159-3, with Mushal Murad (56*) shining with the bat.
Hughes was delighted with the win, praising his side’s performance after a tough loss last week.
He said: “What a difference a week makes. We managed to produce a disciplined performance in the field and with the bat.
“I am really pleased for the team and I hope that this can be the catalyst for the remainder of the season.”
Slinfold struck early with Kemar Small (2-30) bowling Pagham opener Gary Young for a golden duck.
A 52-run fourth wicket partnership between wicket-keeper captain Stuart Hanks (28) and Barratt steadied the hosts’ innings but they lost their wickets in quick succession, leaving Pagham at 121-5.
After the loss of Barratt the hosts crumbled, losing their remaining five wickets for just 37 runs.
Slinfold lost skipper Hughes early for just 12, but a 50-run second-wicket partnership between Steve Haines and Murad got the visitors’ innings back on track.
Haines made 30 before he was bowled by Pagham’s impressive Rico Webb (3-45) as Slinfold found themselves at 70-2.
An 84-run third-wicket partnership between Murad and Small saw Slinfold just four runs away from victory before the loss of Small.
Small fell just eight runs shy of his half-century as he was taken lbw by Webb, leaving Slinfold within touching distance of Pagham’s total.
It was left to Murad and new man in Guy Thorne (five*) to wrap up the win for the away side, their first league success of the campaign.
Hughes added: “Our bowling performance was much improved on recent weeks with all bowlers being accurate and economical.
“It was in the middle overs with spinners (Tom) Filby, Thorne, and Harrison (Webb) really putting the squeeze on the run rate. They were backed up with an energetic fielding performance with all six catches taken, a different story from last week when three important catches were dropped.
“Our batting performance was pleasing.
“Once again we got off to a fast start, however when wickets were lost the incoming batsmen were able to maintain the scoring tempo rather than get bogged down by the opposition bowlers as has been the case recently.”
Up next for Slinfold is a league fixture away from home against third-placed Findon this Saturday.