Despite producing an excellent team performance, Crowhurst Park’s cricketers were beaten by an Eastbourne team which clearly belongs in the Sussex Premier League.
Park dismissed two of Division Two’s three highest runscorers and a Sussex professional for 22 runs between them before table-topping Eastbourne eventually triumphed by five wickets on Saturday.
Bradley and Dale Payne got Park off to a bright start before Henry Smith made the breakthrough by trapping Dale Payne lbw for 17 with the score 36. Ed Smissen fell soon after and Park were 41-2. A solid 36-run partnership came to an end when Clive Tong holed out to Mark Tomsett off Matt Cooke for a run-a-ball 20.
Bradley Payne was bowled by Devang Patel for a well-made 39 and Martin Barry soon followed him back to the pavilion. At 87-5 Park were struggling to secure any batting points, but Kellen Powell and Nick Taylor rebuilt the innings with an excellent 43-run partnership before Powell was stumped off Tomsett (4-25).
Paul Lindfield fell the same over and when Taylor was caught at cover, Park were still in trouble at 141-8. Paul Brookes and Pete Beaumont took Park along to 170 to gain some valuable batting points.
Bradley Payne gave Park the best possible start in the field by trapping Toby Finzel lbw in the first over. Tomsett then cut Brookes to point in the fourth over and when Bradley Payne removed the off stump of Sussex star Callum Jackson, Eastbourne were wobbling at 22-3.
Dan Wells and Matt Cooke, however, turned the game back in Eastbourne’s favour with a superb 140-run partnership before Cooke (60) finally became Brookes’s second victim. Peters then bagged Park’s fifth wicket, but Wells made a superb unbeaten 75 to take Eastbourne over the line.
Standings (all played 14 matches): 1 Eastbourne 344pts, 2 Goring-by-Sea 328, 3 BEXHILL 305, 4 Findon 273, 5 Ifield 230, 6 CROWHURST PARK 228, 7 St James’s Montefiore 197, 8 Middleton 190, 9 Pulborough 150, 10 Glynde & Beddingham 124.