Crowhurst Park’s cricketers suffered a second successive home defeat on a frustrating Saturday afternoon.
The result leaves Park sixth in Sussex Cricket League Division Three, albeit only six points above their second-bottom opponents.
On what began as a hot summer’s day with the sun scorching down on a belter of a wicket, Park were unsurprisingly asked to bowl first against a Findon side relegated with them from Division Two last season.
Findon skipper Bradley Bridson got his team off to a flyer with 22 runs coming off the first three overs. Paul Brookes trapped fellow opener Jon Flower (8) lbw to stem the runs and when Clive Tong tempted Bridson (30) to edge behind, Park had Findon at 38-2 off seven overs.
Runs were still flowing on a superb batting track until Brookes trapped Mark Solway (19) lbw with the score on 68. A useful 42-run partnership between Cameron Young and in-form Glenn Bridson was ended when Young (27) fell lbw to Joel Bruun.
Bridson and Curtis Howell continued the momentum and the runs flowed with ease before Howell (29) was clean bowled by Bruun. Bridson was playing some glorious shots and helping his team to a substantial total before he was out lbw to Bruun for an excellent 75 with the score on 198-6.
Quick lower order runs continued to punish Park, who had toiled away all afternoon, and Findon would’ve been happiest going into tea as they finished on 262-8. Bruun was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 off 13 overs, while Brookes bowled unchanged to finish with 3-103 off 26 overs.
Chasing the highest total Park have required all season was going to be challenging and losing Dale Payne in the first over didn’t help the cause.
Bruun and Ben Phillimore were also enjoying a fast batting track, however, and compiled runs very quickly before the rain came and changed the complexion of the match.
The track was still playing very well, but overhead conditions certainly favoured the bowling side compared to the bright blue skies from earlier in the afternoon.
Bruun in particular didn’t seem affected by the rain break and continued where he left off, reaching his third half-century of the season off just 36 balls before being trapped lbw for 58 by Sam Dunkley.
Phillimore (22) soon followed and Park were now 95-3 off 15 overs. The in-form Brookes was scoring at run a ball and was looking very comfortable and put on another 25 runs with Joe Lovell before Lovell edged behind.
Park were up with the required run rate having reached 121 off just 20 overs, but when Brookes was trapped lbw for a useful run-a-ball 38, followed by Ed Smissen one run later, Park were in trouble at 142-6.
Clive Tong survived a drop on nought, but Nick Taylor was caught at mid-on for 11 and it was now looking unlikely that Park could still push for victory. Tong had other ideas, though, and along with Jon Peters took the score along to 206-8 to secure maximum batting points for the first time this season.
When Tong fell for an very useful 40, it was left to Peters (17 not out) and James Bunday to try and see out the remaining overs. but Park were all out for a very creditable 221. Claremont School man of the match was Bruun for his excellent all-round display with bat and ball.
A frustrating afternoon for Park, but with a strong team performance they will be looking to bounce back away to Steyning this coming Saturday.
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