Steve Haines stressed Slinfold ‘can’t make any excuses’ following their five-wicket defeat at East Preston in Division 4 West on Saturday.
EP won the toss and put Fold in and Haines’ side scored 218-8 off 45 overs as Sean Overton (96) topscored.
But a quickfire century from Glenn Whitaker (100 off 83 balls) fired the hosts to victory as they hit 219-5 in 36.4 overs.
Slinfold’s first loss in four sees them remain second and 18-points behind top-of-the-table Chippingdale.
Haines said: “We found ourselves in trouble early on with both Adam Goacher and I both out for ducks, with Adam particularly unlucky with his dismissal.
“Sean rebuilt the innings and was desperately unlucky to be run out just four runs short a maiden league century.
“Sean fully deserved a ton but will have many more opportunities in the future and can take great confidence from his knock.
“East Preston chased our score with relative ease. We can’t make any excuses, though, and had enough opportunities to win the game. We did not adapt quickly enough to the conditions and our spin dominated attack was not suited to the smaller boundaries at their ground.
“We learnt a few lessons on Saturday and hopefully we can turn them into positives for the rest of the season.”
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A superb opening bowling spell from EP had Fold at 8-2 but a 70-run stand at three from Dan Smith (33) and Overton righted the innings.
Slinfold inched to 126-5 but a 64-run sixth-wicket knock from Overton and Guy Thorne (30) pushed the visitors to 190.
Overton was run out at 208-7 before Imran Shah (golden duck) was bowled by Joe Carter (2-63) moments later.
Atif (seven*) and Mubbasar Hussain (ten*) added ten to the total before the innings concluded.
EP’s Gary Weedon (47) and Carter (19) put on 46 for the opening wicket before Fold pegged the hosts back to 51-2.
A 141-run third-wicket partnership from Weedon and Whitaker powered EP to 192 but the loss of Weedon to Atif Hussain (1-35) sparked a collapse from 192-3 to 196-5.
New men in Paul McCafferty (20*) and Jack Sunderland (three*) then kept their heads to take EP to victory.
Slinfold host local rivals Henfield on Saturday.