WORTHING Cricket Club continued their impressive start to the season with a three-run victory at Hastings on Saturday.
Hastings needed four to win with two wickets in hand but Luke Vinter took two wickets in the space of five balls to take Worthing to victory.
Wicketkeeper Ian Gooding played a massive part in the first of the two wickets as he stumped Kyle Adcock down the legside off the bowling of paceman Vinter
Left-arm spinner Harry Dunn, on his first team debut, also played a key role as he took five wickets to help Worthing to a narrow victory.
Worthing skipper Darryl Rebbetts said: “It was a little bit too close for comfort.
“Ian got a brilliant stumping down the legside standing up to Luke, who then got the final wicket in the same over.
“It was a relief to get the win after an under-par batting performance.
“The wicket was tricky but we should have got between 175 to 200. We were under-par but were also without four first-team players in Matt Machan, Matt Green, Stu Carter and John Glover.
“Harry was brilliant on Saturday, in his first game for the first team.
“He just bowled straight and got a bit of turn and snapped up the wickets.”
Worthing have now beaten last season’s champions Preston Nomads and Hastings, who finished third last season, in two of their first three games – with the other a draw against Brighton & Hove – and Rebbetts said: “It’s a brilliant start as these are games we would have lost or drawn last year.
“We’re still going to just take one game at a time, though, starting with East Grinstead, who have a strong team, on Saturday.”
Worthing won the toss and elected to bat on Saturday and were all out for 156 in 49.5 overs.
Rebbetts top-scored with 37 as he struck nine fours off 80 balls, while Malcolm Lake added 32 at better than a run-a-ball.
Gooding, with 24, and Alex Harris, with 20, also added vital runs as John Morgan and Freddie Hulbert both took three wickets for Hastings.
Worthing then dismissed Hastings just four runs short of victory as Dunn took five wickets, Vinter three and Lake two.
Elliott Hooper top-scored for the hosts with 31, while Kyle Adcock added 27 and Hulbert hit 25.
Worthing have Matthew Green and Mason Crane back available for Saturday’s match with East Grinstead but Machan – who is playing for Sussex in the County Championship match against Somerset at Horsham – and Dunn are unavailable.