Cuckfield CC round-up: Gayler's unbeaten 57 not enough

Brad Gayler batting for Cuckfield last season
Brad Gayler batting for Cuckfield last season

Brad Gayler’s unbeaten 57 was not enough as Cuckfield lost to Hastings on Saturday.

Hastings won the toss and batted first. Abidine Sakande and James Thorpe tested the Hastings batsmen but it took until the score reached 53 for Thorpe to make the breakthrough.

The miserly bowling of Nick Patterson and Billy Meboroh-Collinson helped Cuckfield stem the flow of runs and reduced the visitors to 93 for 5.

A fightback, led by Elliott Hooper (49) and Harry Scowen (30), added 74 runs before Cuckfield struck again through Thorpe.

The return of Sakande saw the end of Scowen, a brilliant run out by Harry Clark and some late hitting by Jed O’Brien (23no) and John Morgan (21no), saw Hastings post 218 for 8 off of their 50 overs. For Cuckfield, Nick Patterson ended with figures of 3-37 and James Thorpe 2-44.

New Zealand test opener, Jeet Raval (47), looked confident from the start, despite losing opening partner Joe Ludlow in the third over to Elliott Hooper (2-40) but steadied the ship with James Mitchinson (19).

Cuckfield’s batsmen continued to get starts but never kicked on to capitalise until wicketkeeper Brad Gayler (57no) and James Thorpe (21) put Cuckfield back in the driving seat. A flurry of wickets saw Cuckfield then reduced to 136-7 until Sussex fast bowler Sakande (30) and Gayler brought Cuckfield to the brink of victory, needing 11 runs with four overs to go. The return of the experienced John Morgan (2-36) saw two wickets in two balls as Hastings claimed victory by 6 runs in a match that both sides could have won.

Cuckfield 2nd XI v Rye 1st XI

Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bat away at Rye. Having lost Tom Morrissey in the first over to Sandun Dias, George Galbraith-Gibbons joined Greg Wisdom to rebuild the innings.

The pair put on 84 for the second wicket before Galbraith-Gibbons was bowled by George Wathen for 33. Cuckfield lost wickets in batches and did not manage to find a partnership capable of building a decent total.

Wisdom also succumbed to Wathen for a gutsy 53 and a late flurry from skipper Matt Wynn (20) brought Cuckfield to 167 all out in the 43rd over.

Wathen did most of the damage with 6/34.

Rye also struggled to find a partnership as all of the top order got in and got out, but with almost everyone making a start, the scoreboard kept ticking over.

Two wickets for Joe White and one each for Denyer, Taylor and Morrissey wasn’t enough to stop Rye reaching their target for 6 wickets in the 42nd over. Harry Smeed top scored for Rye with 33.

Cuckfield 3rd XI v Palmers 1st XI

Cuckfield won the toss, for the first time this season, and put Palmers into bat. Cuckfield donned their jumpers on a windy, overcast morning in Hove.

Candfield and Watson didn’t let the openers settle and Harris gobbled up a genuine edge off Watson’s bowling in the second over. After more sustained pressure which brought another wicket, this time for Candfield, the skipper decided to make a change in the bowling and bring himself, M.Slinger, and Semmens on to bowl, which changed the game. Through good bowling and excellent fielding Slinger and Semmens both took 4 each and Palmers ended on 135 all out after 27.4 overs.

Rossiter and Harris set about chasing down the target at a vicious pace, both consistently piping the ball to the boundary. Rossiter getting bowled on 44 was the only blemish on a sparkling day for the mighty 3rd XI as they won in the 21st over. Harris ending on 82, after being dropped several times, and a respectable 0* for James Robinson.

Cuckfield 4th XI v Balcombe 2nd XI

Balcombe won the toss and put Cuckfield into bat on the North field. All of the top order got starts - Andy Middleton (34), Iain Pringle (33), Caleb Hawkins (41), Tim Mole (38), Mike Caidan (26) and contributed to a total of 224 for 5 from their 47 overs.

Harvey Mitchell took 3/46 for Balcombe. An early wicket for Peter Collins in the Balcombe innings gave Cuckfield hope, but it was short lived as Dudley Owen-Thomas (66*) and Hugh Griffin (138*) saw the visitors to victory in the 34th over by 9 wickets.