Rye Cricket Club’s first team consolidated its place at the top of the league with a convincing victory on Saturday.
The Sussex Cricket League Division Five East leaders won by 134 runs at home to Buxted Park in a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera.
Rye skipper Gary Willis again lost the toss and his team was asked to bat. Rye lost in-form batsman George Wathen early for a duck, and James Hamilton came and went quickly to leave them stuttering at 19-2.
But Harry Smeed (64) batted patiently alongside Sandun Dias (39) and they began to rebuild. Dias fell with the score on 77 and Dan Seabrook (18) helped Smeed take the score to 108.
Rye proceeded to lose quick wickets as they slumped to 136-6, but Tommy Nunn (33) and Tobias Farrow (35 not out) pushed the score up to 200 to ensure maximum batting bonus points. Rye were all out shortly afterwards for 209.
Rye knew they needed quick wickets in the field to bowl Buxted out before the forecast rain arrived. Craig Pierce (3-13) got Rye off to a great start, quickly reducing Buxted to 11-3.
Smeed was introduced and struck in his first over to make it 23-4. Marno Pretorius offered some resistance with 27, but after he fell to Smeed, Buxted collapsed. Wathen claimed 4-4 and Smeed 3-30 as Buxted were all out for 75.
The result leaves Rye 10 points clear of second-placed Seaford heading into the final third of the season. Next up is a trip to fourth-placed Cuckfield seconds this coming Saturday.
Standings (all played 12 matches): RYE 278pts, Seaford 268, Rottingdean 256, Cuckfield II 233, Glynde & Beddingham 232, Crowhurst Park 226, Buxted Park 209, Hellingly 203, Lindfield II 87, St James’s Montefiore II 85.
Rye’s remaining fixtures: July 29 Cuckfield II (a), August 5 Glynde & Beddingham (h), August 12 Rottingdean (h), August 19 St James’s Montefiore II (a), August 26 Seaford (h), September 2 Crowhurst Park (a).