After 14 consecutive league defeats spanning 11 months, including five from the end of last season, Crowhurst Park’s cricketers have finally put a tick in the win column.
Park won for the very first time at Findon on Saturday and there is now a sense of belief that maybe they can turn things around during their final eight Sussex Cricket League Division Two matches.
After losing the toss on a green, drying pitch, Park were surprisingly asked to bowl first and immediately Paul Brookes found the wicket was ideally suited to his bowling.
Park’s skipper caused problems from the very first ball and he duly picked up the first wicket in his third over.
With Richard Coleman bowling superb lines in tandem with Brookes, scoring shots were few and far between. Bradley Bridson’s patience ran out in the 16th over when he hit Brookes to Bradley Payne at cover.
Coleman then picked up the wicket of Felix Jordan to leave Findon 56-3 before Brookes struck again in the next over. Brookes removed two more batsmen to make it 62-6 and a sharp catch behind by Nick Taylor gave Park their seventh wicket with the score 67.
Ben Jordan and Glenn Bridson took the score past 100 in the 34th over, however. A couple of dropped chances could have affected Park’s belief, but Brookes, bowling unchanged, got the key wicket of Glenn Bridson (38) thanks to another good catch by Payne, putting an end to an excellent partnership of 82.
Findon progressed to 162-8 before a mix-up led to a run out and then Matt Peters took the final wicket to leave Findon 174 all out, with Ben Jordan unbeaten on an excellent 51.
Brookes finished with excellent figures of 6-59 off 25 overs and was ably supported by Coleman with 2-34 off 12.
Despite losing a wicket in the first over of their reply, Dale Payne and Rakesh Patel - newly-promoted to number three - were in attacking mode from the start.
A superb 74-run partnership came to an end when Payne played on off Felix Jordan for an excellent 31 and Patel followed soon afterwards, lbw for a superb 44.
Bradley Payne and Ed Smissen combined to steady things. Payne in particular was looking in fine form and between them they took the score along to 128 before Smissen was bowled by Harry Metters for a useful 14.
Still needing 46 runs, Park weren’t quite comfortable, but were certainly in control of the run chase. Although a couple of late wickets gave the team a slight fright, Payne saw Park home by four wickets with a match-winning 56 not out.
The whole team deserves huge credit for sticking together during the tough first half of the season and this victory may just be the catalyst for a change in fortune.
Standings (all played 10 matches): 1 Lindfield 242pts, 2 HASTINGS PRIORY 231, 3 Worthing 209, 4 Three Bridges 205, 5 Pagham 194, 6 Findon 184, 7 St James’s Montefiore 151, 8 Ansty 129, 9 Ifield 126, 10 CROWHURST PARK 74.
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