Findon want to spoil West Chiltington party... Littlehampton edge past Broadwater
Findon CC go into the final day of the Sussex Cricket League season with a chance of the division three west title.
Such an outcome seemed highly unluikely mid-season when West Chiltington were running away with top spot.
But they have faltered – and Findon have chipped away at their lead with eight wins out of nine.
The latest came after a 103-run win at home to Ansty after 50s by skipper Brad Bridson and Archie Cairns and three wickets for Alex Stephens.
Bridson said: “We keep rolling. It was a very dominant performance by us against a good side.
“We were able to post a good score (272) with everyone chipping in, which is very pleasing.
“The wicket was very good, so we knew we needed to bowl well. Harrison (Grayston) and Kenny (David Everett) bowled well up top again like they have all season.
“The lads that followed did a great job as well, Alex picking up three wickets was great to see.
“We have a geniune chance of winning the league now, we’re only seven points behind.
“We’ve been on a great run, and won eight of our past nine, and it would have probably been nine if we had not been rained off against West Chilt when we were cruising, which would put us top now.
“But I’m immensely proud of the lads and we have now given ourselves a chance of at least a play-off spot to go up.
Findon go to Goring – who have been relegated to division four west for next season – on Saturday while West Chilts are at Littlehampton.
Broadwater v Littlehampton
Sussex div three west
Littlehampton have had a brighter season than Broadwater and that trend continued as they won a low-scoring game by two wickets.
Broadwater won the toss and batted and were grateful to Benn Challen as his 51 helped them to a score of 180. Paul O’Sullivan (29) and Alex Halls (24) were the others to pass 20 as Nathan Perry took 3-18 and Chris Heberlein 3-20 for Littlehampton.
The reply was not straightforward. An opening stand of 67 between James Askew (50) and Thomas Lee (24) put Littlehampton well on their way.
But Alex Halls took 4-49 and Challen 2-41 to check their progess.
The visitors eventually got home by two wickets thanks to 31 by Rachad Forde and 32 not out from Perry. Littlehampton are fifth, Broadwater eighth.
Littlehampton skipper Mike Askew aid: “It was another good performance from the lads.
“Things didn’t start well with Chaddy injuring his shoulder but Chris, Nathan, and Dan all bowled very well and we did well to restrict Broadwater to only 179 on a decent wicket and a very fast outfield.
“The run chase looked comfortable as we were cruising at 98-1 but a typical collapse occurred and we were 100-5.
“Chaddy and Nathan then got us out of trouble. Chaddy went big while Nathan batted very sensibly and almost looked like a batsman and he steered us to a two-wicket victory.
“We’ve got one game left now against title favourites West Chilts, who have slipped up recently, and they now have to come and win at the Sporty to win the league.
“We’ll be looking to make it as hard as possible for them, and hopefully help Findon win the league.”
Elsewhere Steyning have won division four west with a game to spare and Rustington have done likewise in division six west.
Broadwater CC’s visit to Slinfold will be opening batsmen and former captain Graham Waller’s last game before he retires from league cricket.
A top non-league footballer in the 80s and 90s with Worthing United, Worthing and Shoreham, Waller didn’t play first team league cricket until brother Nigel asked him to join him at Findon in 2000.
Waller, 53, began at Broadwater as a colt before a period at Findon which saw him score 100 on his debut at Petworth Park.
He also had the honour of captaining a Sussex club in a Lord’s final. Findon met Yorkshire’sWoodhouse Grange in the Village Knockout Trophy in 2007, something Waller will never forget.
“It was an experience none of us will ever forget, and we would have never done it without the team manager, the much-missed Tony Iago.”
After Lord’s, Waller and a number of Findon teammates, including brothers Nigel and Steve, returned to Broadwater, and in the 13 years since Waller has helped Broadwater play at their highest level of competitive cricket.
“I’ve played with some great players, the best almost certainly being between James Iago, Ben Challen and probably my brother Nigel. I will miss the camaraderie and the characters both on and off the field at Broady.
“I couldn’t have achieved what I have without the support of my parents and I know I will miss it.”
Last Saturday Waller watched his 17-year-old son Sam, make his debut in goal for Worthing United against Godalming. He saved a penalty and was man of the match.
- IAN HART
Cricketers from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force head for Arundel next week to compete for the prestigious Inter Services Men’s T20 Trophy in what promises to be a hotly contested day of action.
The UK Armed Forces Cricket Association are being hosted by Arundel Castle Cricket Club this year with players and officials relishing the chance to play on such a first0rate pitch in such scenic surroundings.
The chairman of the UK Armed Forces Cricket Association, Group Captain Paul Cole, said: “Having three teams available and able to play at this level is a great credit to the players, managers and unit commanders during a very busy year for defence.
“We are all very much looking forward to a fantastic festival of cricket at Arundel.”
The UK Armed Forces Secretary, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Thorney, added: “Sport within the UK Armed Forces remains a vital means of growing leadership, followership and team spirit through inclusivity and diversity.”
The event will bring together the very best players from each Service.
The teams are made up of service personnel from a wide range of ranks and professions based at locations around the country. You can follow the build-up and hear from the teams via Twitter – @UKAFCricket, @RNCricket, @UK_Army_Cricket and @rafcricket.
Tickets are available on the day with payment by debit/credit card only. Tickets are £15 for non-members with free entry for members and U18s. Gates open at 8.30am with the first match at 10am.
For more, go to www.cricketatarundelcastle.co.uk