Park triumph knocks leaders off their perch
Crowhurst Park Cricket Club's first XI pulled off a tremendous six-wicket victory away to a Haywards Heath side which began the weekend top of the table.
Park’s second Sussex Cricket League Division Three win of the season moved them up to sixth at the midway stage of the campaign.
On an afternoon full of dubious showers and sunshine, Park lost the toss and were asked to bowl.
Clive Tong picked up the wicket of Jonny Phelps for a duck in the very first over and Heath were 2-2 after Paul Brookes got the other opener, Chris Blunt, to edge to Dale Payne at second slip.
Heath looked rattled early on, and wickets fell consistently throughout the innings for Tong and Brookes, who carried on dismissing batsmen for low scores, putting Park on top.
A flurry from Charlie Mayne (40) in the middle overs showed Park that runs were available on the ‘carpet’, however Mayne could only stand and watch wickets fall at the other end.
Heath were 41-6 when Joel Bruun chased back for a chipped catch at short cover only to parry the ball into the air for Tong to grasp a Vince/Root-esque rebound catch millimetres off the turf to remove Matthew O’Keeffe.
Joe Lovell chased back from mid-off to hold a well-taken jumping catch over his own shoulder to dismiss Tim Upchurch. Tong now came off, ending a superb spell of 11-1-44-3, bringing on Rak Patel to do damage with Brookes.
Wickets again fell consistently, with Patel picking up 4.3-0-17-3 and Brookes ending his excellent spell of 15-3-41-4, leaving Heath all out for 106.
Park were confident going into the second innings and were given 18 overs to bat before tea. Openers Dale Payne and Ben Phillimore got Park off to a respectable start until Phillimore (8) was bowled round his legs by Phelps (10-1-28-2), leaving Park 32-1.
Bruun and Dale Payne kicked on until Bruun fell to Ollie Bailey (6-1-16-1) for a well-made 21. The wicket brought about tea, but Park were even more confident with the score now at 72-2.
Brookes fell quickly after the resumption, but Payne continued to score well. Park only needed three to win when Ed Smissen was trapped lbw for 11 trying to finish the game in style.
A few balls later Lovell flicked the winning runs off his legs in the 30th over, with Payne making a great 51 not out at the other end. It was a strong showing from Park to pick up the full 30 points.
Park are away to Chichester Priory Park - a team against whom they fought out a rare tie in the reverse fixture on the opening day - this coming Saturday.
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