Southwater jumped up to third in Division 4 as they got back on the winning trail with an exciting 15-run win at West Chiltington & Thakeham.
The visitors won the toss and batted, with Danny Humphreys making exactly 50 and Harrison Webb an ultimately-crucial 31 not out in a score of 217.
Captain Nick Baker had made an early 22 and Paul Osborne 29 to leave them at 73-4 when Humphreys entered the fray. He boosted them to 154-7, but Luke Berriman (22) and Matt Shuttlewood (15) added runs before Webb’s late cameo, batting at nine.
Chilt under-17s Eddie Miller and Charlie Davies took three wickets each for 13 and 54 runs respectively.
In reply, Chilt’s vulnerable top-order batting, missing Jack Elliott Monday and James Howgate, failed again with no-one passing 50. They lost four wickets with the score on 76 - that included Tim van Noort’s 43 and Tim Jarvis’ 21 - as Southwater grabbed the initiative.
At 113-8, the game looked up for the home team before Neil North and Jake Hodgson took the attack to the visitors.
They put on 79 for the eighth wicket before Hodgson was wonderfully caught by Johann Brouwer in the slips for 53.
Captain and last man Tim Monday was also smartly taken by Shuttleworth ten runs later as Chilt lost their third thrilling game in a row.
Osborne claimed 6-60 for the visitors, while Brouwer pitched in with 2-40.
Baker said: “It was a much closer finish than we would have liked it to be. It was a game that to-and-fro-ed all the time; one minute they were on top and the next us. I would say the track just suited the bowlers and 217 was a good score; it’s just a shame we were all out.
“You have to compliment the lower-order batsmen who got us up to a good score. Without Danny, (Humphreys) Harrison (Webb) or Matt Shuttlewood we would have got around 160.
“Paul (Osborne) bowled really well, he has a knack of getting under the opposition’s skin and found a way to get a few wickets. We got their overseas early one and Tim van Noort as well. Without them, we would have struggled a bit as they were only 15 runs short.
“It’s a really strange season. We would all agree we have not played well at all, but somehow we are still up there after ten games and very much have a chance of winning it.”
Batsman Hodgson said: “Northy and I knew we couldn’t bat out the overs and I only know one way to play. It so nearly paid off too but fair play to Johann for a terrific catch. We have to learn quickly how to win these tight games.”
The result leaves Chilt seventh with 151 points, leading four clubs at the foot of the table. They travel to Glynde and Beddingham on Saturday, while Southwater host mid-table Seaford.
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