HORSHAM Cricket Club closed the gap behind Preston Nomads to just 18 points in the Premier Division following their 34-run win at Hastings, while Nomads were held to a draw in an exciting finish at Roffey.
Cuckfield trounced Chichester by 100 runs to move into the top three places, with Three Bridges moving clear of the bottom placings with a last-ball victory at Worthing.
Brighton and Hove stay bottom but were boosted by Sussex players Luke Wells and Michael Rippon to win at East Grinstead. Only 20 points separate the bottom seven.
It was a sad day at Hastings following the death of club stalwart Dick Morgan on Friday and the teams stood for a minute’s silence prior to the start, a prelude to Horsham making 234 of which James Johnson made 57, Sam Attfield 54 and Sam Bell 44. Sussex Academy left-arm spinner Elliott Hooper took 6 for 80 in 24 overs.
Hastings were then dismissed for 200 of which David Lowery top scored with 38 and Adam Maharaj-Newman made 34. Paceman Stuart Whittingham took 4 for 36 and the League’s leading wicket taker, leg spinner Michael Munday, grabbed 6 for 81.
Roffey were bowled out for 220 after winning the toss at home to leaders Preston Nomads with Josh Fleming making 69 and Rohit Jagota 60 as Carl Simon and Kashif Inrahim shared nine wickets between them.
In reply, Nomads finished at 216 for 9 having needed a six to win off the last ball with only one wicket remaining. Rob Wakeford made 43,Angus Stewart 41 and Jeremy Green 39. For the home side George Fleming took eight for 103.
Cuckfield were put in by Chichester and recovered from 2 for 2 to reach 255 for 5 declared of which Tom Cummins made 76 , Jason Oates 56 and Chris Mole 44 not out. Ashton Turner took 3 for 115.
Chichester then tumbled to 155 all out with Kesh Maharaj taking 4 for 28.
Wells and Rippon starred with the bat for Brighton and Hove in their narrow one-wicket win at East Grinstead but fellow pro Lewis Hatchett made things tough for the visitors as he made 102 in a Grinstead score of 221 all out. Chris Atherton took 4 for 59 and Jordan Shaw 3 for 24.
Rippon hit 69 not out and Wells made 69 in a winning score of 224 for 9, Hatchett grabbed four for 48 when given the ball.
Three Bridges enjoyed a spectacular last-ball victory at Worthing to move away from the bottom of the table. Batting first, Bridges made 226 for 5 declared with 76 from Brad Gayler, 47 from Richard Webber and 45 from James Chadburn.
Worthing reached 162 all out with skipper Darryl Rebetts top scorer, he made 51 as Victor Davies grabbed four for 38, including bowling Harry Dunn, Worthing’s last man, with the very last possible delivery. Abe Sakande weighed in with 3 for 33.
Eastbourne continue to set the pace in Division Two after winning by 48 runs at home to St.James, while Bexhill climbed above Goring into second place. Just three points separate the three clubs chasing Eastbourne with Goring and Findon joining Bexhill behind the leaders.
Pulborough won at Glynde, their first win of the season, but Glynde are yet to break their duck, these two currently hold the two relegation places.
Mark Tomsett led Eastbourne with bat and ball to earn them a home win against St.James’s to consolidate their promotion challenge. He made 52 and Toby Finzel 58 in a total of 246 for 7 declared, Michael Murray took 4 for 1, and George Taylor 3 for 93.
Tomsett then took 5 for 43 and David Twine 3 for 42 to dismiss their visitors for 198, of which Trinidadian Anthony Alexander made 71.
Bexhill bowled out Goring for 128 at the Polegrove in 47 overs with Callum Guest taking 4 for 37, Alex Maynard with 30 was top scorer.
In reply, the home side won by four wickets at 129 for 6 of which Tim Hambridge made 44 not out as Matt Keen took 4 for 32.
Findon kept themselves in touch with a narrow two-wicket win at Ifield who they bowled out for 182 of which Jack Groves made 55 as James Iago took 4 for 60.
Findon were 8 for 4 at one time but recovered to win at 183 for 8,Felix Jordan made 95 and James Iago 49 as the visitors won with three balls left.
Crowhurst Park won by 26 runs at home to Middleton. They were dismissed for 202 of which Clive Tong hit 63 and Paul Lindfield 45, Kieran Jones took 4 for 44.
In reply, Middleton reached 176 all out as Paul Brookes took 5 for 60, Jamie Thompson with
37 was top scorer.
Pulborough won for the first time this season but it was tight with the margin just one wicket at Glynde.
Glynde posted 201 all out with 54 from Joe Adams and 52 from Chris Stanyard. In reply, Pulborough won at 202 for 9 with Keshemal Waingankar hitting 81 and Jonathan Bennett 54, Chris Stanyard took 6 for 54.
At the halfway point of the season, Lindfield are top of Division 3 East after claiming their sixth victory of the campaign at home to Lewes Priory.
Shane Yelverton-Wilson’ s unbeaten 51 ensured a comfortable eight wicket win against Lewes Priory who could only reach 107.
Second-placed Haywards Heath are the only team to have defeated Lindfield to date and lie
22 points behind their near neighbours after also winning by 8 wickets on their home patch.
Electing to bat, Rottingdean found themselves in dire straits at 38-6. They did recover somewhat to make 151 although extras top scored in their innings. Everett taking 5-32. Jonny Phelps then made 68 as Heath won at a canter.
Ansty lie just behind Burgess Hill in fourth place after beating them by six wickets. Karl Boffey hit 68 not out, Ian Simpson 53 but 60 from Jon Young and 42 from Leo Anderson took the home side to victory.
Keymer& Hassocks suffered a 41 run reverse at home to Hellingly despite Joe Isted carrying his bat for 50 not out. James Pooley top scored for Hellingly in their 159 but Keymer were dismissed for just 118 as Adam Devlin claimed 6-24.
Billingshurst are now 32 points clear in 3 West after coming out on top in their top two clash at Stirlands. They restricted Stirlands to 180-8 with Sean Heather making 52. They then strolled to a seven wicket win led by Dhanuska Mitapaloorachi (71) and Scott Stratton (50).
Pagham lie in third position though are already 58 points behind Billingshurst. They restricted Arundel to 172 and Joe Metz with 70, Stuart Rutter 52 not out took them home with eight wickets to spare.
Bognor’s season is picking up and they beat Steyning by four wickets. Sam Taylor had a fine all round game bagging 4-34 in Steyning’s 175 then hitting 81 in the four-wicket win.
Crawley Eagles beat Wisborough Green by just 2 wickets in a game in which no batsman made more than 31. Wisborough Green were 156 all out.
Henfield claimed their first win of 2013 to leave Arundel 51 points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Adam Scott made 98 as Henfield posted a challenging 254-6. Guy Thorne took four of the six wickets to fall for 78 runs. In reply, Steve Haines made 54 and youngster Dan Graycon 40 but Brighton Mugochi took 5-43 to leave Slinfold short at 199.