Rye Cricket Club’s first team was Sussex Cricket League Division Four East champions after winning its final game of the season.
Rye only needed a point at home to Hellingly in a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera to secure top spot, but they picked up the full house of 30 from a four-wicket victory.
Hellingly decided to bat first and it wasn’t too long before Rye were celebrating. It came in the 11th over when Concepts of Rye man of the match Tobias Farrow bowled Harry Wooten.
From the moment of celebration, Rye carried on in their season-long winning style. Farrow produced an excellent spell of fast bowling to take 4-20 and Cleon Reece 1-22 as Hellingly limped to 105-5.
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Spin then took over and Hellingly collapsed to 124 all out. George Wathen (3-18) and Martin Blincow (2-10) spun Rye towards victory.
Rye’s response was muted as in the eight overs prior to tea, Hellingly removed James Hamilton and Wathen, leaving Rye 3-2.
After tea, skipper Harry Smeed showed the leadership that has carried Rye forward all season. Smeed made 39 and with Tom Williams took Rye into the 80s.
When both were dismissed, it was left to Dan Seabrook (29 not out) and Tobias Farrow (17 not out) to take Rye over the winning line.
Rye ended the season with a record of 13 victories, three draws and only one defeat from 17 completed matches - a tremendous achievement for the team and the club, built on an indoor season where a league and cup double was achieved, training sessions every Wednesday night and the majority of the team having played in Rye’s colts teams since the age of 11.
It was an all-round team performance, with seven different players receiving a Rye Concepts man of the match award.
Overseas player Reece took 45 wickets and Hamilton scored more than 500 runs, but at all points in the season there was always a player to put in a match-winning performance with bat or ball, orchestrated by skipper Smeed.
Planning now begins for the 2019 season, when Rye will be competing at the highest level in the Sussex Cricket League, in the club’s history - a remarkable achievement for the club.
Rye will begin the recruitment of an overseas player during the autumn, indoor competitions will start next month and winter coaching will begin on February 20 at Rye Sports Centre.
Rye Cricket Club would like to extend a big thank you to the support of all the local sponsors, through whose generosity cricket is made possible for Rye’s three Saturday teams and four colts’ teams.
Thank you to Heringtons Solicitors, Contour Contracts, Rush Witt & Wilson, Old Dairy Brewery, Concepts of Rye, Mermaid Inn, Peter Farrow Jewellers, Martin Channon, Mahdi Spice, Phillips and Stubbs, Grammar School Records, Tony Bowles Carpets, Rye Cleaners, Rye Locksmiths and My Sweet Old Etcetera.
Sussex Cricket League Division Four East final standings (all played 18 matches): 1 RYE 438pts, 2 Rottingdean 402, 3 Buxted Park 387, 4 St Peters 368, 5 Glynde & Beddingham 346, 6 Crowhurst Park 270, 7 Mayfield II 266, 8 Hellingly 238, 9 Cuckfield II 220, 10 Bells Yew Green 218.