WORTHING Cricket Club crashed to their first defeat of the season on Saturday when East Grinstead won by 225 runs at the Manor Ground.
Worthing went into the game second in the Sussex League Premier Division table after two wins and a draw from their opening three games.
But East Grinstead produced a dominant performance with bat and ball and Worthing veteran Andy Lutwyche believes they will be genuine title contenders.
He said: “They were much better than us on the day and are genuine league winners.
“They are a very well-balanced team and are a very good side.
“There’s no shame in losing to them but it was just the manner that we lost – we should have acquitted ourselves better.”
After winning the toss, Worthing bowled well at the start of East Grinstead’s innings and 15-year-old debutant Jamie Piper dismissed James Adkin for 23, with the score on 48.
From then on, East Grinstead’s Australian overseas player Timothy Davey, who is coached by former Worthing overseas player Ben Cameron, dominated the Worthing attack.
He put on 142 for the second wicket with Fynn Hudson-Prentice and then added 124 for the fourth wicket with Ollie Graham, who hit 53.
Davey was fourth man out with the score on 317 after smashing 187 from 164 balls, with 20 fours and six sixes.
Grinstead declared on 334-5 with two balls left of their innings and Worthing were then all out for just 109 in 41.2 overs.
Worthing captain Darryl Rebbetts (14) and Alex Harris (43) put on 53 for the fifth wicket after Worthing had fallen to 35-4, which included the wicket of Sussex batsman Matt Machan for 13. He was available for Worthing after Sussex’s County Championship match with Somerset last week finished inside two days.
Once the stand between Harris and Rebbetts ended, the final six wickets fell for just 21 runs as Worthing were unable to take any points from the game.
Sussex left-arm seamer Lewis Hatchett took 3-45 for Grinstead and Graham claimed 3-13.
Worthing travel to Roffey on Saturday and then host the Sussex Development XI on Sunday.