It was another busy weekend of mixed fortunes for Crowhurst Park Cricket Club.
The Telham-based club suffered a second successive Sussex Cricket League Division Two defeat on Saturday, but bounced back with another good win in the national Davidstow Village Cup on Sunday.
Park travelled to Lindfield in their second league match of the year and took on a side which had clearly strengthened over the winter months. Nottinghamshire 2nd XI player Max O’Dowd, and former Sussex Premier League players Simon Shivnarain and Hayden James all played a key part in Park’s downfall.
Winning the toss on a damp, green wicket, Park skipper Paul Brookes opted to field first and an early wicket gave Park an encouraging start. O’Dowd and Shivnarain fought back, however, coupling gritty determination with aggressive strokeplay to forge a second wicket partnership of 151.
Shivnarain was stumped for a well-made 50 having been deceived by the off spin of Matt Peters, but O’Dowd continued on the attack and proceeded to make a superb 143 before becoming Rakesh Patel’s maiden first XI victim.
Patel went on to grab two more late wickets before Lindfield declared on 248-5 off 47 overs. This left Park without a bowling point and made a successful run chase even more important.
Park lost their opening pair with just nine on the board. Laurence Coleman and Bradley Payne attempted to rebuild with a solid 41-run partnership until Coleman fell for a useful 18 with the score on 50.
Payne was still playing his shots, but wickets continued to tumble and when he was out for 33, it was clear that Park were in trouble. At 105-6, batting points were in sight, but when three wickets fell on the same score, it was left to some late hitting by Richard Coleman to at least secure a batting point. James bowled a superb spell to claim 5-26 as Park were bowled out for 124.
Park’s weekend improved thanks to another good victory in the Davidstow Village Cup.
Cameron Flanagan produced another excellent display, following the previous week’s century with five wickets and a fifty to be named Claremont School man of the match.
Batting first, Park got off to great start with Clive Tong and Dale Payne compiling their first 100 opening partnership before Tong fell trying to increase the pace for an excellent 59 off 44 balls.
Flanagan joined Payne and immediately upped the tempo, racing to 65 off 46 balls with five sixes. Payne spent some much-needed time at the crease in a solid 66 off 108 balls. A flurry of late wickets curtailed Park’s total, but they still reached a very respectable 262-9 off their 40 overs.
James Pooley and James McDonald got Hellingly off to a solid start in reply before Paul Brookes bowled Pooley with the score on 42.
Brookes went on to pick up the next two wickets, but it was Flanagan who really caused the damage with five wickets for 10 runs off six overs. Hellingly were bowled out for 132 in 30 overs.
Park will entertain Mayfield in the East Sussex semi-finals on Sunday May 31, hoping to continue on the journey to Lord’s.