Worthing Cricket Club started their 2018 campaign with a thrilling Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup first round win over Littlehampton at Goodwood on Saturday.
Martyn Swift’s side managed to defend a total of 95-8 to run out five-run victors over division-lower Sussex League Division 4 West Littlehampton.
Worthing had their bowlers to thank for seeing them over the line, with debutant Finley Allen coming away with figures of 3-6 from his four overs as Littlehampton were restricted to 90-9 in pursuit of 96.
Skipper Swift, whose Worthing team were relegated from the Sussex Premier League Division 2 last term, was delighted his team started with victory.
He said: “It was a great start to get a win in our first competitive game of the season against our rivals Littlehampton.
“Looking at the conditions of the pitch and the outfield before the game, I thought that if we went at a run-a-ball we’d be competitive. So in truth I felt we were slightly under par.
“I thought our fielding was excellent and the energy and attitude of the team was superb.
“Everyone bought into the game plan, creating pressure on the incoming batsmen.
“A top bowling effort from Harry Dunn at the beginning of their innings. Giorgio Rigali was also great at the death to help seal the win.
“Fin Allen put in a great performance, taking 3-6 off four overs on his competitive debut. Setting the standard for the bowlers and leading the attack.”
The game was played at Goodwood as Worthing had awaited the winners of the preliminary round encounter between Chichester Priory Park and Littlehampton.
After discovering Littlehampton would be their opponents and being stuck in to bat, Worthing struggled as just four batsman reached double figures in testing conditions for batting.
Opener Nick Ballamy (17), overseas debutant Cameron New (12), innings top-scorer Giorgio Rigali (21) and Alex Harris (unbeaten on 14) were the only players to score over ten as Worthing posted 95 for eight from 20 overs.
Nathan Perry (2-21) led the Littlehampton attack as they put the squeeze on Worthing in tricky conditions for batting.
Swift would have wanted a response from his bowling unit and he got just that.
Littlehampton quickly slipped to 41-6 but 20 from Jack Turner gave them a slight glimmer.
Turner fell with the score 73-7 and Worthing were five run winners in the end.
Debutant Allen lead Worthing’s attack superbly, collecting figures of 3-6 from his four overs.
Allen was supported superbly by opening bowling pair Harry Dunn (2-15) and Rigali (2-17), while Swift and Ballamy both picked up a wicket apiece.
Worthing get their Division 3 West campaign going as they entertain Pagham on Saturday.