Cuckfield drew with league newcomers Middleton on the opening day of the league season.
New Skipper Josh Hayward won the toss, and decided to bat on what proved to be a helpful deck for the bowlers.
Cuckfield limped to 42-4, pinned back mainly by Middleton opener Keelan Shoulders (4-35). Kristian Piolet and the promoted Nick Patterson then added 64 for the 5th wicket, starting slowly before attacking the spin. Patterson fell for 22, followed quickly by Taylor before Piolet too fell.
However, having been 129-8, a wagging tail, flattening pitch and an excellent 66 from Marcus Campopiano - who shared a stand of 79 with Kurtis Browning - left Cuckfield with 214 all out from their 58 overs.
Middleton began their reply steadily, with the pitch offering less assistance than it had done earlier, before Patterson had Heather caught behind with one that jagged back, then nipped one past Hemingway’s defences. Hansford then followed, chipping to mid wicket off the spin of Hayward, leaving Middleton 57-3.
Archer joined Burrows at the crease and played freely, before Patterson removed him for 20. Cuckfield then continued to plug away, two more quick wickets. Burrows, however, was proving hard to remove, and added 51 with Thompson.
Hayward returned to a pitch offering slow spin, removing numbers 8,9 and 10 - all bowled - to leave Burrows to face the last over on a spinning deck.
After seeing the first ball spin between bat and pad to miss leg stump, he played out the rest of the over without any trouble, leaving Middleton 19 runs short and 9 wickets down.
Cuckfield 1st XI v Sussex Development XI
Cuckfield beat the Sussex Academy Development XI by 3 wickets on Sunday, taking 30 points.
A Cuckfield side containing a mix of the young and the evergreen faced the Sussex Development XI on Sunday following their close-fought draw against Middleton the previous day. Home skipper Josh Hayward lost the toss, and the Development XI batted first on a pitch that looked like it would offer some assistance early on.
Horsham’s Ben Shoare slapped a half tracker from the otherwise exceptional Jamie Hutchings to extra cover, which was well caught by Tom Cummins. Hutchings then continued, taking the wicket of Hemingway caught on the drive, leaving the Development XI 33-2.
The home seamers continued, with Hutchings, Patterson and Piolet all gaining significant movement on a helpful surface, before Piolet removed Cammish for 3. Attritional batting seemed the order of the day, with the Develipment XI scoring slowly, only two big sixes from Moses added any impetus to the innings, before Patterson jagged one back at him to leave them 96-4.
Following his departure, the scoring rate slowed allowing Hayward to make use of a pitch offering some turn to leave them 135 all out. Having been the happier side at the break, the home side were quickly in trouble as Sussex’s Steffan Piolet was out without scoring. Debutant James Mitchinson battled hard against good bowling on a tricky surface, however his dismissal left Cuckfield 53-3 with a slightly lengthened tail.
Chris Mole, however, used his experience against a young side, blending booming straight drives with clever manipulation, all while maintaining a calm head while wickets fell around him.
A late order resistance from Damian Cummins and Josh Hayward allowed Mole to walk off the pitch on the winning side, having shepherded the tail expertly to end 69 not out.
Cuckfield travel to Preston Nomads next week where the competition will be tougher.