The battle for cricket’s Sussex Premier League title is still very much raging after the top two both won today (Saturday).
East Grinstead triumphed by four wickets at home to Eastbourne to remain 26 points ahead of second-placed Roffey, who won by an identical margin at home to neighbours Horsham.
Reigning champions Roffey, however, have a game in hand against the Sussex Development XI tomorrow and a win there would probably take them to the summit with two matches remaining.
On a day of scorching temperatures, Eastbourne totalled 237 after being asked to bat by Grinstead with Ben Twine making 52 at number nine and Ian Sturmer taking 4-53. Carl Cachopa (88) and Will Adkin (54) led Grinstead to victory despite David Twine claiming 3-57.
Roffey bowled Horsham out for 176 after choosing to field thanks largely to Ben Manenti’s 6-33. Will Beer top-scored for Horsham with 57 before bagging three wickets with the ball, although Mike Norris (53) helped guide Roffey home.
Preston Nomads look as though they will have to settle for third despite a comprehensive 127-run victory at home to Billingshurst. Nomads amassed 261-6 batting first before bowling Billingshurst out for 134.
Bexhill strengthened their grip on fourth place courtesy of a 63-run success away to Cuckfield, who are now hovering tantalisingly above the two relegation places.
Johnathan Haffenden (46) and Ethan Guest (44) led the way as Bexhill scored 218-9 batting first. Nick Patterson took 3-45 for a Cuckfield side which was dismissed for 155 in reply despite 64 from Steffan Piolet and 48 for Marcus Campopiano. Dean Crawford took 5-36 for Bexhill and Ashar Zaidi 3-50.
Having been well adrift at the bottom not so long ago, Middleton are up to seventh after winning by seven wickets at home to Brighton & Hove, who now prop up the division themselves.
Jofra Archer picked up 5-52 and Rob Willway 3-17 to bowl Brighton out for 124 despite 39 from Phil Salt. Will Burrows top-scored with 33 as Middleton knocked off the runs comfortably.
Standings (played 17 matches unless stated): 1 East Grinstead 407pts, 2 Roffey (16) 381, 3 Preston Nomads 363, 4 Bexhill 335, 5 Horsham 314, 6 Billingshurst 257, 7 Middleton 256, 8 Cuckfield 248, 9 Eastbourne 248, 10 Brighton & Hove 232.
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