A poor performance in the league followed by a very impressive team performance in the cup made it a weekend of mixed emotions for Crowhurst Park’s cricketers.
Park were hopeful of securing their first Sussex Cricket League Division Two win of the season as newly-promoted Pagham came to the Walcott Ground on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be as they suffered a nine-wicket defeat.
After a solid start with the bat by openers Clive Tong (14) and Dale Payne (33), Park were looking relatively comfortable at 85-3 with good support from Brad Payne (28).
The middle order was unable to build on the decent start, however, and Park collapsed to 132 all out with Nabib Rahman taking 5-35.
Park’s bowlers were yet again having to defend a low score, but Brad Payne got the ball rolling by clean bowling Pagham skipper Stuart Rutter with 24 on the board.
This proved to be the only success, though, as Stuart Hanks (59 not out) and Ryan Barrett (45 not out) took the game away from Park with an unbeaten 110-run partnership. Both survived dropped chances as they saw Pagham home within 30 overs.
Pagham are now top of the table with Park firmly rooted to the bottom after their fifth consecutive league loss.
The gloom of Saturday was lifted on Sunday when Park pulled off an emphatic seven-wicket win away to Mayfield in the rearranged Davidstow Village Cup third round tie.
Fielding first, skipper Paul Brookes and Brad Payne delivered an excellent spell of tight bowling, restricting Mayfield to just 52 runs off the first 20 overs. Brookes also removed in-form opener Jack Skinner.
The introduction of Tong following Brookes’ fine spell of 1-21 off nine overs brought immediate reward as he picked up two wickets in his first two overs.
Mayfield skipper Rob Sharma began to accelerate the innings before being bowled by Matt Peters for a useful 35. Terry Lucas and Toby Wallace then took over from their skipper and a score above 200 was looking likely.
But Brad Payne tempted Wallace (29) into a mis-timed pull shot which was well caught by Josh Jones and followed that up by bowling the next batsman first ball.
Lucas (42) was run out thanks to a sharp piece of fielding by Jon Message and Peters returned to grab the final two wickets as Mayfield were all out for 184.
Tong and Dale Payne then batted superbly. With a combination of fine strokeplay and aggressive, confident hitting, they reached 136 before Tong fell for an excellent 55.
Dale Payne continued to play some lovely shots and took Park to an impressive victory with more than 11 overs to spare, finishing unbeaten on 81. Park are away to Rottingdean in the East Sussex final this coming Sunday.
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