Saints went into this game full of confidence having won their last 3 games and especially after their great win against East Preston last week.
Saints lost the toss and were asked to bat on a flat true wicket, but Littlehampton soon had Saints 63-5 with some good bowling aided by poor batting. Then came the fight back led by JJ Davies and the in-form Sam Kirwan putting on 45 runs. JJ Davies was dismissed for 29, which brought in Vice -Captain Ollie Brookes and he and Sam Kirwan built another solid partnership of 53 before Sam Kirwan departed for 47. James Hayden-Smith (30*) joined Brookes and they set about the bowling of Littlehampton with some powerful batting to get Saints to 226-7, with Ollie ending with a well-deserved undefeated 51.
After the break, Saints went to work with their bowling taking 3 early wickets before Lee & Askew started to build a dangerous partnership of 96. With 28 overs gone, Saints called on last week’s hero, Ollie Brookes, who had an immediate impact, breaking the partnership; getting rid of Askew (53) and then Heberlein with easy catches being taken. This left Lee with the tail of LA’s batting and as pressure built, skipper Alex Ellis removed Lee (77) with a beaut of an off-break which turned beautifully through the gate, bowling him middle peg. JJ Davies was returned to the attack to clean up the tail, which he did beautifully, leaving Littlehampton 20 odd short of the total giving Saints another 30 point win.
Saints 2nds travelled to bottom of the table Broadbridge Heath 2nds, who won the toss and batted on an even paced flat track. Openers Booker and Baker took the score to 68 before Baker (42) fell to the ever accurate Dan Nichols 1 for 30 of 9 overs. Booker and Broadbridge Heath debutante James Round took the score to 139 before Booker fell one short of his 50 to u14 Ollie Byatt, who continues his excellent development bowling 8 overs for 39. Although, White fell quickly to Josh Smith, Round continued to score quickly to complete an undefeated century of the last ball of the innings and post a tough 237 for 3 in the 40 overs.
With a young batting line-up, this was always going to be a tough ask for Saints, and even though Ryan Blake gave Saints a great start hitting 35 out of an opening partnership of 48, Saints lost wickets in the chase for quick runs. U14 Archie Hills impressed with a sharp 22, but at 83 for 4 Saints needed to re-build. Nick Dunning (43), Ben Noble (19) and Dan Nichols (42*) all batted well but the asking rate was too great and so Saints fell well short with 194 for 7 in their 40 overs.
After their excellent game against Crawley Down last week, Saints 3rds travelled to Horsham 4ths in good spirits with skipper Rich Gacsall getting together a young motivated and highly enthusiastic squad. Put into bat, Rich discovered that cricket is a hard task master as it repaid him for all of his hard work, by getting him plumb LBW from the first ball of the match and at 6 for 2, things were not looking good for Saints. However, a 100 run partnership between the patient Jason Charlton (23) and aggressive Adam Hills, who with 69 from 46 balls put Saints in a great position at 126 for 3 in the 19th over. Two wickets in the 20th over slowed Saints down, but youngsters Jack Cooper (23) and Jordan Cornford (15) took Saints to 185 for 7 in the 36th over, before George Hewer (20 ) and Dean Griffin (15*) saw Saints to a highly credible 210 for 9 in their 40 overs.
On an excellent wicket, Horsham were not daunted by the chase, and skipper Gavin Daisley played positively to score 62 out of the first 89 and then Joe Clark struck lustily hitting 28 with 4 4’s and a 6, so at 128 for 3 in the 23rd over, they were in a great position. However, the introduction of Jack Barton, who took 4 for 21 in 7 overs, stopped the flow of runs and a good Horsham squad fell 21 runs short of the Saints total. This was a great result for Saints 3rds against a strong young Horsham squad. All of the Saints team contributed with either bat, ball or in the field. A great team spirit ensured that even when Horsham were scoring quickly, Saints never gave up hope and great catching in the field gave their bowlers the support they needed to win the match.
Out into bat, Felbridge openers. Alan and Robin (u13) Pollard looked comfortable against the young and inexperienced opening attack, taking the score to 51, with Alan taking toll of anything short. The younger Pollard however, lost patience and lofted a catch to Ian Male at mid-on of Sam Bowyer-Frost.
Alan fell soon after, missing a straight one from Paul Ransome, who was then taken out of the attack with a bad attack of age as his shoulder had not recovered from last week’s efforts. Runs continued to flow at around 5 runs per over as each of the F&S batsmen got into double figures before getting out to the steady Saints young bowlers. Conor Dickson was the pick of the batsmen reaching 62 before missing a good one from Harvey Ransome, who was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 18 of his 7 overs. However, Felbridge’s total of 187 for 9 was a tough ask, even on a wicket which was still true and easy paced.
After the break, Saint’s openers set off in a rush with Holmes taking advantage of some short pitch bowling to race to his 50 in the 10th over, with the score on 61. After Ian Male retired hurt, Ray Cully and Holmes kept the momentum reaching 104 at the drinks break. However, on a warm day, the ageing bones (and everything else) took their toll and Holmes slowed down and was out for 85 with the score on 138 in the 29th over to a tired shot of the increasingly accurate googlies of Josh Bryant. Jimmy Warwick then struck twice in the 30th over removing Cully (23) and Paul Ransome to put a break on the Saints scoring. The scoring rate was hampered further by the introduction of the steady length and line deliveries of Andy Denby, who got the dangerous Joe Edwards to chip an easy catch to mid-on, leaving Harvey Ransome (18) and Emily Hodgkinson (9) to try and get Saints home at over 7 runs an over. This they were doing with some style and a considerable level of brave batting and running and the final over started with Saints needing 3 runs to win, with 3 wickets in hand.
However, Andy Denby was up to the task, bowling a wicket maiden. A great game of cricket with both sides being in with a chance down to the last over.