Rye clinch promotion with derby win

Rye celebrate a wicket during their victory away to Crowhurst Park. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Rye celebrate a wicket during their victory away to Crowhurst Park. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Rye Cricket Club’s first team has secured promotion with a game to spare.

Harry Smeed’s side defeated local rivals Crowhurst Park by 10 runs on Saturday to make certain of a top two finish in Sussex League Division Four East.

Rye's overseas player Cleon Reece bowling to Crowhurst Park all-rounder Paul Brookes.

Rye's overseas player Cleon Reece bowling to Crowhurst Park all-rounder Paul Brookes.

Rye got off to a promising start batting first, reaching 112-2, led by Tom Williams (41). However, a flurry of wickets threatened to undermine Rye’s promotion hopes as Paul Brookes took 3-23 and Joe Lovell 2-31.

This year’s success has been built on a team effort, and this time Concepts of Rye man of the match Spencer Fielding hit 44 not out off 46 balls to take Rye to 211-9 off 45 overs, aided by 41 extras.

See also: * Rye take step closer to title
* Rye remain top despite first defeat
* Rye win again to go 50 points clear

Crowhurst Park made a strong start in reply as Clive Tong (58) and John Merrick (26) put the home side on course for victory. Just as in Rye’s innings, there was a middle order collapse, triggered by George Wathen’s 3-13 from nine overs.

Park rallied through Brookes (30 not out) and Josh Jones (24), but Ben Clifton (1-29) and Harry Smeed (2-30) ensured they fell just short, finishing on 201-9.

Josh Jones batting for Crowhurst Park.

Josh Jones batting for Crowhurst Park.

With promotion secured, Rye - who are 30 points clear of second-placed Rottingdean - need just one point from their final game of the season at home to Hellingly this coming Saturday to be crowned champions. The match sponsor is My Sweet Old Etcetera.

Rye have won 12 and lost just one of their 16 completed matches to date, and have already gone through the 400-point barrier.

Next season Rye will be competing at the highest standard yet in their history - a really commendable achievement for a club which is built on the strong base of a successful colts programme. In fact, six of last weekend’s team were former colts.

Following the match at 8pm, Rye Cricket Club will hold its annual awards evening in The Sidney Allnutt Pavilion for both the junior and senior sections. There will be a bar and barbecue.

Ben Clifton bowling for Rye at the back end of the Park innings.

Ben Clifton bowling for Rye at the back end of the Park innings.

Standings (all played 17 matches): 1 RYE 408pts, 2 Rottingdean 378, 3 Buxted Park 357, 4 St Peters 355, 5 Glynde & Beddingham 316, 6 CROWHURST PARK 260, 7 Mayfield II 236, 8 Hellingly 233, 9 Cuckfield II 211, 10 Bells Yew Green 205.

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