Park blast huge score in big victory

Clive Tong smashed a quickfire half-century with the bat and took three wickets with the ball in Crowhurst Park's victory over Hellingly.
Clive Tong smashed a quickfire half-century with the bat and took three wickets with the ball in Crowhurst Park's victory over Hellingly.

Crowhurst Park Cricket Club’s first team piled on the runs in a big victory on Saturday.

Park amassed 335-5 from just 45 overs en route to a 170-run win at home to Hellingly in Sussex Cricket League Division Four East.

Stand-in skipper Paul Brookes lost the toss and Park were asked to bat on a pitch which had yielded a lot of runs the previous week.

It did here too as openers Tim Hambridge and Peter Shepherd dug in against the new ball and then made hay in an opening stand of 158 in quick time. Both kept out the good balls with little trouble and punished the bad ball severely, particularly when it was short.

Shepherd finally fell to Hellingly captain James McDonald for 85, but Hambridge carried on regardless, supported by Ed Smissen. The pair added another 46 runs before Hambridge skied McDonald to Giles Hook in the deep to depart for 89.

Smissen followed shortly afterwards to the same bowler and at 204-3, with a good number of overs still remaining, Park needed another partnership to carry the momentum forward.

This was provided by Clive Tong and Fox Parker; the former the more aggressive with an excellent 57 off 33 balls to make sure Hellingly did not gain any momentum.

Parker provided a solid foil and when Tong fell to the bowling of Matt Hickman, he carried on the good work, aided by a brisk cameo from John Merrick (21). Parker ended up 39 not out as Park posted a very challenging total.

The pitch was very good, though, and Park knew they would need to bowl well to avoid the same fate the Hellingly bowlers suffered.

Tong made an almost immediate breakthrough when he had opener Arthur Rossi LBW for one and shortly afterwards he clean bowled Harry Gape for four.

At the other end, Josh Jones provided solid support, removing Harry Wootten via an excellent one-handed catch from Smissen. He also pinned Will Hutchings LBW, and with Tong removing Matt Hickman in the same fashion, Hellingly were seriously struggling at 20-5.

There followed a period of rebuilding from the visitors in the form of skipper McDonald and wicketkeeper David Rippengal. The latter in particular was very aggressive and brought up his 50 in reasonably quick time as Hellingly recovered to 126-5.

Park regained the initiative by introducing Shepherd to the attack and he broke through by having McDonald caught by Liam McClean at cover. In the next over, Samuel Walter was run out by a combination of skipper Brookes and Hambridge’s terrific effort in the covers.

Rippengal then hit Brookes straight to Jones in the deep and Shepherd removed Matthew Rippengal to reduce Hellingly to 126-9. A last wicket stand of 39 between George and Giles Hook followed before McClean finished the innings by having the latter caught in the slips by Merrick.

Park will travel to Cuckfield seconds this coming Saturday aiming to continue their form.

Standings (all played 5 matches): 1 RYE 126pts, 2 Buxted Park 111, 3 Rottingdean 101, 4 Mayfield II 93, 5 Bells Yew Green 92, 6 CROWHURST PARK 87, 7 Cuckfield II 80, 8 St Peters 75, 9 Glynde & Beddingham 55, 10 Hellingly 44.

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