West Sussex Invitation League round-up

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Paul Osbourne’s half century was in vain as Southwater suffered a second successive defeat in Division 1 of the West Sussex Invitation Cricket League.

Southwater won the toss at Clymping and decided to bowl, and on a difficult wicket the hosts’ 204-8 was a decent total, Gareth Challen top scoring with 63 from 64 balls. For Southwater Danny Humphreys took 6-54 with the ball. In reply number five batsman Osbourne led the fight with a fine 88, but the next highest contribution came from skipper Alex Harding (28) as partners came and went. Harding said: “I couldn’t fault the bowling or fielding really, they had a few partnerships and although their score was good but one we could definitely chase. Paul was brilliant, he came in and gave us a real chance but the wicket is always tricky and a few of us gave our wickets away. It’s disappointing to lose two on the bounce but we’ve got a double header against Crawley Eagles this weekend so hopefully we can bounce back.”

Division 2

West Chiltington & Thakeham 251-6; Eastergate 78

An unbeaten century from Mick Armstrong helped West Chilt go clear at the top of Division 2 with a comfortable 173-run win at home against Eastergate.

The hosts were inserted and hit 250-6 in just 42 overs with Armstrong (103 not out), James Howgate (65) and James Chaloner (37) with the bulk of the runs. In reply, despite a few dropped catches Eastergate were bowled out for under 100 - overseas player Armstrong also taking 3-11 and Chaloner 6-50 again with all the answers. More than half the side were under 25 and all played their part in the field. Acting captain Howgate was clearly delighted. He said: “Although Armstrong and Chaloner will take the headlines again, the youngsters in the side are all keen to learn and we’re planning for the future here. Chilt are already 32 points clear of third placed St Andrews whom they visit this weekend.

Serendib 261-8 dec; Storrington 85

Storrington’s woes with the bat continued as they were skittled out for a sub 100 score in a heavy defeat at Serendib.

Robert Haggart, with 49, was far and away the visitor’s stand-out performer with the next highest score just five. The extras total added ten to Storrington’s score but it still only took them to 85 all out as they fell well short of their host’s 261-8 declared first innings score. Having been asked to bat, both Azam Riyard and Mudalige Sam Burke scored half centuries for the hosts, allowing them to trot off for tea early. James Peake and Alex Barritt both took three wickets apiece for the visitors, but it was with the willow that they really struggled, crashing to a huge 176-run defeat. Skipper Rob Norris, who missed Saturday’s defeat along with several other key players, said: “When you concede 260 runs there’s obviously a few issues in the field but at the moment the real problem is the batting. We’ve posted disappointing scores in our last two games and even when we beat Trinity we lost five wickets for 56, so we’ve probably scored around 230 runs this season for 25 wickets. We always knew we’d have availability issues this week so to fulfill two fixtures at the weekend is a plus but there’s not getting away from the fact that we are struggling. The one exception was Rob Haggart, who at 16 years old opened the batting and fell one short of his first half century. His keeping has also been pretty good but other than that our batsmen need to get their heads down and work harder.”

Horsham Trinity 170-8; St Andrews 171-2

Only captain Angus Cox really performed with the bat as Horsham Trinity went down at home to St Andrews.

Opening the bat Cox made 60, but from there only James Rogers (24) and Rob Bartlett (28) made it beyond 20 as the home innings ended on 170-8 from the 49 overs. In reply St Andrews opener Steve Kingcome hit 67, and the Trinity bowlers struggled to make any real headway as Nick Elkins was 61 not out and Owen Male 26 not out. The visitors reached their target with only two wickets down in the 32nd over, Jack Gold and Angus Cox with the two wickets. The result, Trinity’s second defeat of the season, leaves them in the bottom two of Division 2 in the early standings.

Division 3

Barns Green 188; Broadbridge Heath 190-4

Broadbridge Heath recovered from a below par start with the ball to record an umtimately comfortable win against Barns Green.

Martin Hennock made a swuft start for Barns Green with 51 off 67 balls, but once Fred Bridges (4-28) and Jay Patel (4-43) took the pace off the ball, their spin bowling soon ensured Barns Green were kept down to a managable total.

And with 250 a par score at barns Green, Heath were confident, as Craig Skilton (42) and Neil Charman (59 not out) helped them over the line.

Heath skipper Skilton said: “We recovered well.”

Division 6

West Chiltington & Thakeham II 143; Eastergate II 130

A low scoring game saw a tight affair between West Chilt II and Eastergate II which the visitors just edged.

Eastergate won the toss and asked Chilt to bat. The country boys were soon in trouble and collapsed to 143 all out - former captain Jonathan Denton top scoring with just 28. In reply Eastergate looked to be in total control until captain Stephen Hodgson grabbed the ball. He and Rob Rydon shared nine wickets for just 60 runs to bowl the hosts out 13 runs short. Hodgson, celebrating after his third successive five-wicket haul said: “A few players were missing today but the same result. We’re not getting carried away but I’m happy with our progress so far.” Chilt 2nd XI stay top but as they didn’t pick up maximum points the table remains tight at this early stage. They host Chichester Priory 3rd XI at the Recreation Ground this weekend.

Division 10

Horsham 4th XI 177-8; West Chilt & Thakeham 55

Chilt 3rd XI continue to struggle in Division 10 and remain firmly anchored to the foot of the table.

Despite a good performance with the ball, they collapsed against Horsham 4ths to just 55 all out. Vice captain Cliff Richman was down but not out afterwards. He said: “We knew this year would be a challenge and just getting a side out was our first objective. We’re a mix of the young and the old and many have never played together. We’re confident we’ll get it right soon.” Chilt face West Wittering 2nds at Amberley this weekend.

Chilt’s Sunday side beat Bognor Regis Rebels by one wicket at the Regis Oval in the first game between the sides for several years