Another impressive effort with the bat was not quite enough to see Steyning to a third successive Sussex League Division 3 West win on Saturday as they and West Chiltington & Thakeham fought out a draw.
Opener Christopher Barnett (52), stand-in skipper Oliver Collins (60) and innings top scorer Thomas Chalmers (75 not out) all hit half-centuries as Steyning declared on a sizeable total of 301-7 in their first league meeting at their neighbours.
Knowing what a good batting deck it was, Steyning’s bowlers knew they’d have their work cut out to take the ten wickets for victory.
In reply, captain Tim Jarvis (47) and vice captain Jack Elliott-Monday (68) put on over 100 for the second wicket; however once they were both dismissed, the home side fell behind the run rate and the draw became the only likely result on a benign surface.
Reuben Taylor on his return to the side made an unbeaten 62. Former captain Ed Lamb took 2-20 for Steyning.
Steyning skipper for the day Collins, standing in for the absent Luke Chapman, said: “It was particularly frustrating we were unable to get over the line and grab another win, but the past few weeks have been pleasing with us improving the execution of our skills as a team.
“We felt 300 was a big target but the runs were needed as it was pretty much what we considered to be a par score.
“Throughout the day the ball came on to the bat well, so we felt it was a target that could easily be chased if they approached it with a will to win because of the flat nature of the wicket, full value for runs provided from the short boundaries and quick outfield.
“However, it was slightly disappointing West Chiltington decided to shut up shop and block for the draw as early as they did. It could have been a really exciting finish with all three results possible had they shown more intent at the back end of their innings, which really deprived us of any late opportunities to pick up lower order wickets.”
Chilt vice captain Elliott-Monday said: “This is a good league and Steyning are a strong competitive side.
“However we are holding our own and great to see Reuben back. He adds a fair bit to our all round game.”
Chilt travel to unbeaten leaders Stirlands next Saturday, while Steyning travel to Pagham.