Thrilling win keeps Rye top

Sandun Dias sealed Rye's victory over Buxted Park
Sandun Dias sealed Rye's victory over Buxted Park

Rye strengthened their position at the top of the East Sussex Cricket League with victory in a nailbiting contest on Saturday.

The five-run success away to Buxted Park was Rye’s fifth win in six matches and they lead the Division One table by a healthy 47 points with a third of the season now completed.

At tea Rye were 116 all out in 49 overs and facing their first defeat of the season. James Hamilton (33) and Dan Seabrook (22) were the only recognised batsmen to post a score on a pitch which looked good but lacked pace, making timing difficult.

Buxted seemed in the box seat, but Tommy Nunn dismissed Harris for nought. Liam Olive (29) and skipper Rob Raymond (29) batted sensibly, however, and Rye were then further hampered when leading wicket-taker Harry Smeed was injured and could not continue to bowl.

Rye seemed to be heading for defeat, but then the game turned. Martin Blincow took three wickets, which included a fantastic catch by Jo Lovell to remove Craig Olive.

Jackson Woodcock also took a wicket, and suddenly the nerves and pressure were clouding the judgement of the Buxted batsmen. Ben Ferns (23 not out) was starting to lose partners.

Sandun Dias (4-25) returned to the attack with the score 102-7 and removed the final three batsmen for the addition of just four runs to give Rye an improbable victory. See Friday’s Rye Observer for a full report.

East Sussex Cricket League Division One standings (all played six matches): 1 RYE 164pts, 2 Newick 117, 3 Ditchling 104, 4 Heathfield Park 102, 5 Seaford 96, 6 St Peters 92, 7 Plumpton & East Chiltington 88, 8 Buxted Park 82, 9 IDEN 80, 10 Ringmer 62.