Martin Barry scored a magnificent hundred batting at number seven as Crowhurst Park rounded-off a decent season with a four-wicket defeat at Middleton.
Barry scored 117 off just 115 balls with 20 fours and two sixes to become Park’s first centurion of their maiden Sussex Cricket League Division Two campaign.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat, Park were in an all too familiar tale this season at 23-4. Kellen Powell continued his recent good form and Clive Tong (13) also looked in good touch until being trapped lbw. Powell (25) was unlucky to play on to a wide long hop off fellow Aussie Kieron Jones’s first ball at 71-6.
Barry was beginning to find his touch again and along with Pete Beaumont, started to provide Park with hope of posting a decent total. Beaumont and Paul Brookes were trapped lbw by South African bowler Rob Maier in the same over, however, and Park were 105-8.
With support from Jon and Nick Peters, Barry was in majestic form, hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. His ton came off 85 balls and he was finally caught at point to give Brandon Hanley his fifth wicket of the innings as Park were all out for 218.
Taking to the field for the final time in 2013, Park were determined to finish the season on a high and Brookes didn’t disappoint. He firstly tempted Ben Hansford to edge into the juggling hands of Ed Smissen at slip and then trapped Will Burrows lbw to leave Middleton 41-2.
Bradley Payne was unlucky to finish up with just the solitary wicket in an excellent spell before he heads off back to Norths CC in Queensland to spend another winter honing his skills. Brookes was continuing to cause problems and snatched his third wicket by trapping Rory Collier lbw.
With the score now 101-4, the match was tightly balanced but an excellent 86-run partnership between Rob Willway and Rob Maier (36) put Middleton firmly in control. Tong got Maier to edge one behind but Pat Colvin took Middleton past 200.
Brookes took his 49th wicket of the season and Park’s sixth of the innings to halt Willway’s excellent 89 only for Middleton to seal victory when skipper Hanley scored the winning runs to leave Brookes agonisingly one wicket short of his 50.
Final standings (all played 18 matches): 1 Eastbourne 428pts, 2 BEXHILL 383, 3 Goring-by-Sea 355, 4 Findon 353, 5 Ifield 314, 6 CROWHURST PARK 292, 7 Middleton 268, 8 St James’s Montefiore 241, 9 Pulborough 202, 10 Glynde & Beddingham 157.