WORTHING Cricket Club remain on course for promotion into the Sussex League Premier Division despite drawing at local rivals Goring on Saturday.
Worthing have now drawn three successive matches and won just one of their last six, while the draw extended Goring’s unbeaten run to four games and keeps them in with a shout of promotion.
Worthing’s lead over second-placed Bexhill has been cut to 25 points, but Goring, who sit in fourth place, host Bexhill, who they trail by 28 points, on Saturday.
Worthing had won the previous clash between the sides by 10 wickets earlier in the season and Goring, who won the toss on Saturday and elected to bat, looked in trouble at 109-7.
But Matt Keen and Rowan Bezuidenhout then put on a 51-run stand for the eighth wicket before Bezuidenhout added a further 47 for the ninth wicket with Alex Maynard as Goring finished on 207-8 from their 53 overs.
Bezuidenhout, who went in at No 9, crashed 57 off 51 balls, with six fours and one six.
Goring’s opening batsman Gordon Costick had earlier scored 47 from 45 deliveries as all but one of his runs came in boundaries, with 10 fours and one six.
Ollie Rogers led the way with the ball for Worthing with 4-27 from 13 overs.
Goring made early inroads in Worthing’s reply and had captain Michael Gould, Ben Chambers and Benn Challen all back in the pavilion with just 37 runs on the board.
Dominic Clapp and Darryl Rebbetts steadied things before Clapp was adjudged lbw for 26 after a 39-run stand.
Rebbetts then saw Bradley James (21), Stuart Carter (seven) and David Marshallsay (one) all fall to leave Worthing 135-7. But Rebbetts, who finished unbeaten on 68, and Rogers, who hit 25 not out, ensured Worthing held on for the draw.
Worthing skipper Gould said: “We could have won the game about four or five times, which is a bit disappointing.
“We had them in all sorts of trouble at 100-odd for seven but their No 9 (Bezuidenhout) came in, rode his luck and got them past 200.
“The dismissal of Clappy swung the game their way and we then got bogged down and didn’t show enough intent.
“We’re limping towards promotion now. We were so far ahead at the halfway stage that I don’t know if we got complacent but we, maybe, could have pushed on more.
“We need 25 points from our last two games to be promoted. It would be lovely to get 30 points on Saturday at home to Stirlands to seal it and I still want to win the title as well.
“Fair play to Goring on Saturday, they played a lot better than when we beat them earlier in the season.”
Goring captain Dan Pittham said: “It’s a fairly decent result for us, considering what they did to us at their place first time around. We batted well to get up to what we did and, bowling wise, we took wickets at good times and dismissed their main batsmen at the right times.
“Darryl Rebbetts batted well for them but, at some stages during their innings, their didn’t seem a lot of impetus to go for runs – it was that or their shots just weren’t coming off.
“The scorecard shows they were only 20 or 30 runs short but that was only because Ollie Rogers gave it a bit of a hit.
“Rowan had earlier batted really well for us and we bat all the way down our order.”