Heath still hoping for top five finish despite Chichester defeat

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Chris Blunt for Haywards HEath.ks16000898-2 SUS-160821-103019008
ks16000898-2 Spt Crick ChiHay phot kate Chris Blunt for Haywards HEath.ks16000898-2 SUS-160821-103019008

Chichester won the toss and decided to bowl first on a blustery day at Priory Park.

The rate increased against the change bowlers with Blunt in particular taking advantage of the windy conditions by playing aerially down the ground.

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ks16000898-3 Spt Crick ChiHay phot kate SUS-160821-103031008

Leckie too began to find the middle of the bat as the pair took the score to 63 before Blunt fell for 38. After a short spell of spin, Geffen and Joseph swapped ends and returned to the attack. It proved to be a good move as Phelps and then Leckie, who made 36, were both trapped lbw to leave Heath 97-3.

Captain Smith did well to balance the tricky task of upping the run rate whilst also preserving wickets, and after a middle order wobble found able assistance in the form of promoted second team player David Woodfield. Clearly keen to impress sons Dan and Josh – who were also in the Heath line up on Saturday – the experienced batsman showed great skill and placement on his way to 39 from 33 balls. Smith himself made 44 and by the time Woodfield became Geffen’s third victim the score had pushed on to 188 for 7, leaving O’Keefe and Josh Woodfield the closing overs to take Heath on to a solid score of 204 – 8. Daniel Joseph was the pick of the Chichester bowlers taking 4-72 from 20 overs.

O’Keeffe started well with the new ball and had both openers edge through to the slip cordon. However neither chance was taken, and for Heath at least, an unfortunate tone for the day had been set. O’Keeffe persisted on a good line and length and found the edge once more to remove Futcher for 14.

Heath kept things tight and took another wicket courtesy of Phelps to bring Stephens to the crease. Stephens proved to be the catalyst for a well-constructed run chase, he was busy from the start and ran brilliantly between the wickets to pressurise the Heath bowlers and fielders.

Lamb holed out on 39 off the bowling of Smith as Chichester looked to press home their position. All-rounder Harvey and Stephens (41) then put on 50 in quick time - including two huge sixes over square leg from Stephens - before the returning O’Keeffe found his outside edge. Harvey continued the attack and used the sweep particularly effectively throughout an innings full of controlled aggression. In combination with number 6 Caldera who made a brisk 26, Harvey saw Chichester over the line in the 45th over to finish on 61* from 48 balls.

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