Eastbourne cricketers gave their Sussex Premier League survival hopes a huge boost with victory at Chichester on Saturday.
The Saffrons out-fit included two Test players in Alan Wells and Mohammad Akram at Chichester but it was Matt Cooke who sent Chichester tumbling to 132 all out, he returned figures of 5 for 42 as Richard Browning made 45 and Mark Bamford 34. Eastbourne won by five wickets at 133 for 5 with 36 not out from Alan Wells and 34 from skipper Mark Tomsett, James Stedman was the pick of the home bowlers, he took 3 for 39.
Elsewhere, Hastings were soundly beaten at Brighton and Hove after being dismissed for just 83 as Matt Wood took 4 for 45 and Sussex man Chris Liddle 3 for 5. In reply Brighton tumbled to 5 for 3 but 42 not out from Tim Jarvis helped them home at 84 for 4, 16 year-old Adam Barton took 3 for 16 to provide the early frights for the home side.
Preston Nomads have returned to the top of the Sussex Premier League following their comfortable win at Bexhill on Saturday as rivals Horsham and Hastings were both beaten. The relegation battle is hotting up after Eastbourne won at Chichester and Worthing were beaten at East Grinstead.
Rob Wakeford let the way for Preston Nomads with a top score of 63 in a total of 220 all out at Bexhill with veteran Kashif Ibrahim making a vital 32. For Bexhill, skipper Malcolm Johnson grabbed 4 for 65. The home side was then dismissed for 159, their top scorer was Jack Richardson with 73 as Carl Simon returned figures of 5 for 52 from 17 overs.
Horsham lost to Roffey for the second time this season but there was a nail-biting finish at Cricket Field Road with the visitors winning by a single run! Roffey struggled against the Horsham bowlers and were restricted to 167 for 9 as Michael Munday took 6 for 49, top scorer was opener Theo Rivers with 54. Horsham were dismissed in 43 overs for 166 with John Burroughs making 38, Owain Jones 35 and Sam Bell 30. In fact Bell and Michael Munday put together a last wicket stand of 42 to take their side desparately close to victory but Andy McGorian (4 for 67) and Abdul Khan (4 for 19) were the architects of the Roffey win.
There was an extraordinary individual bowling performance by young Sussex professional Lewis Hatchett at East Grinstead where the home side won by a mammoth 188 runs at home to Worthing. As Worthing were dismissed for just 57 Hatchett took 9 for 17 and also caught the tenth batsman off Ian Sturmer, it was the second time Hatchett has taken nine in an innings this season! Earlier Grinstead had made 245 for 8 declared of which James Adkin made 38 and skipper Phil Norman 31 not out. For Worthing Mason Crane took 4 for 84 and there were a staggering 37 extras in the home side’s total.