West Chiltington secure title success and promotion in tragedy-hit season

West Chiltington CC V Pulborough CC- West Chilts Jack Elliott-Monday 11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-105325008
West Chiltington CC V Pulborough CC- West Chilts Jack Elliott-Monday 11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-105325008

West Chiltington & Thakeham were crowned Sussex League Division 5 West champions on Saturday in a season which has seen such tragedy.

With the heartbreaking sudden death of former captain Tim Monday during a match earlier in the season, Chilt have pulled together to show great bravery and spirit to honour their great clubman with the title and promotion.

They finished 22 points ahead of rivals Broadwater to clinch a promotion spot after the sides had been fighting it out all season for top spot.

The top pair both secured emphatic wins on the final day; Chilt beating Crawley by 230 runs and Broadwater a 245-run success over Pagham 2nd.

That produced maximum points for both sides and due to Chilt winning at Broadwater the weekend before, they were promoted as champions.

The sudden death of the much-loved Tim rocked the club and the whole of the cricketing community in Sussex during the season.

Fittingly, his son Jack Elliott-Monday led the way on Saturday with an unbeaten 137 in their title-winning victory.

In the other crucial game, Broadwater visited Pagham 2nd and amassed 403-7 in their 45 overs.

Keeper Gareth Challen made a century with four other batsmen making half centuries. James Salisbury then took 5-52 as Pagham were beaten.

At West Chiltington, Tom Chambers (119) and Elliott-Monday both made centuries and Tim Jarvis 61 as the home side also racked up 403-3.

Jake Hodgson and Reuben Taylor then took three wickets each as Crawley were hammered.

That means Chilt will be promoted to Division 4 unless another league structure is brought forward to next year.

Speaking at the end of a difficult season for the club, wicketkeeper Tom Chambers said: “This club gets in your blood. I’m now living in London but came down every weekend to play with a great set of lads. It’s well documented that we lost our former skipper and mentor Tim (Monday) in mid season and we could easily have buckled.

“But the captain got us together and with Jack (Elliott Monday) showing a maturity beyond his years, we have played consistently well as a team to overcome all opposition in the second half of the season.

“We look forward to more challenges next year.”

Despite a half century from captain Neil North, Chilt’s 2nd XI lost by six wickets at Crawley who retained their Division 6 West status.