GORING Cricket Club captain Ben Cartwright is expecting a tough couple of months ahead in the battle for promotion into the Sussex Premier League.
Middleton became the promotion-chasing side’s eighth scalp of the season on Saturday as they eased home with a five-wicket win in a low-scoring game.
Another 30-point win for second-placed Goring, along with similar triumphs for leaders Eastbourne and third-placed Bexhill keeps things as they were at the summit, and Cartwright believes there are five sides vying for the two promotion spots.
He said: “There are still seven games to go and we have some really tough games against Eastbourne, Findon, Ifield and Bexhill – all teams who are vying for promotion. I think there are five that can go up and now it is a tough time in the season for us.
“More pressure comes with every win and we are in a much better position than last year.
“Last year, we were struggling, but if we win all seven of our remaining games, I can not see us not going up and that is what we are aiming for. There are seven tough weeks ahead but the guys are ready and we want to keep playing good cricket.”
Cartwright took a gamble after winning the toss on Saturday as he put in the hosts, but he was confident of his side’s ability to chase a score on a historically-good Middleton wicket.
That thought on the wicket proved false, but the gamble paid off none-the-less as some magical bowling by Matt Keen (3-25) and Ross Baumann (4-31) skittled the hosts out for 98.
They were in trouble at 26-6, before a good knock from Brandon Hanley (28), but only two other batsmen – Rory Collier and Alfie Bunker, both with 15, made double figures.
It was all fairly simple for Goring and although they twice lost two wickets in quick succession, Cartwright was never worried they would not get home. Matt Keen opened up with 43, and, although Sam Thorns (five) and Shane de Beer fell in consecutive balls, Dan Pittham steadied things by adding 22.
With Pittham out and Ellis Woolley bowled, Cartwright and Alex Maynard both hit 13 not out to take Goring home.