A SUPERB innings by Dan Pittham guided Goring Cricket Club to a two-wicket win at local rivals Findon on Saturday.
Chasing 123 to win, Goring got home with one ball to spare as Pittham finished unbeaten on 69 after hitting four fours and three sixes from his 152-ball innings.
Both captains praised Pittham’s knock, with Findon skipper Barry Meaney feeling it was the difference between the two sides. He said: “Dan batted very well but we were disappointed to lose the game as it swung back and forth throughout.
“It was a cracking game of cricket ultimately, decided by one outstanding innings by Dan.
“We had one sharp chance to get him out when he was on 30 and he made us pay for dropping him.”
Goring captain Ben Cartwright said: “Dan batted brilliantly, especially as we were 29-4 at one stage. He really applied himself on what wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on and he timed his innings beautifully. It was a massive relief when he hit the winning runs.”
Cartwright won the toss and put Findon into bat and they were all out for 122 in 45.3 overs.
Apart from Findon’s opening batsmen Bradley Bridson (13) and Jack Metters (23), Findon’s No 9 and No 10 batsmen were the only others to reach double figures.
Graham Manser and Sam Mannings rescued Findon from 76-8 as they put on 44 for the ninth wicket, with Mannings top-scoring with 25 and Manser finishing unbeaten on 18.
Matt Keen took 5-25 from 13 overs for Goring, new overseas player Australian Brad Page took 3-38 and Aaron Wyatt claimed 2-31.
Cartwright was fairly happy to be chasing 123, although was hoping for a score nearer 100, before the ninth-wicket stand.
Meaney, on the other hand, was pleased to reach 123 but was hoping for nearer 140 to 150 at the start of the innings.
Findon’s total looked plenty at one stage in Goring’s innings, though, as they were reduced to 46-6 and 63-7.
James Iago took a wicket with the first ball of Goring’s innings when he bowled Robin Marriott and wickets then fell regularly until a 41-run stand between Pittham, who was dropped by wicketkeeper Glenn Bridson off Mickey Demetriou when on 30, and Page for the eighth wicket.
After Page fell, Pittham guided Goring to victory with Kieran Leeming. Iago finished with 5-34 from 19 overs and Manser took 3-22, while left-arm spinner Harry Metters tied up one end with an economical 11-over spell.
Cartwright said: “It was a superb win. We said at half-time that the job was only half done and we had to apply ourselves but James Iago and Graham Manser picked up early wickets, which meant we had to rebuild, but Dan got us over the line.”
Meaney said: “We lost our first game of last season, too, but then got a win and built momentum and will be looking to do the same this season. It’s going to be a tough league but we’re more than capable of winning games.”
Goring host Three Bridges on Saturday, while Findon travel to Haywards Heath. Findon are then at Outwood in the opening round of the National Village Cup on Sunday.