Cuckfield still searching for first league win after Three Bridges loss

Cuckfield CC's hunt for a Premier Division win continues following Saturday's one-wicket loss at home to Three Bridges CC.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 9:43 am
Josh Haywards was the pick of the Cuckfield bowlers in their narrow defeat against Three Bridges. Picture by Steve Robards

On a glorious sunny day, Three Bridges won the toss and elected to bowl on a wicket with remnants of the midweek rain.

After the early loss of Joe Cambridge (nine), Cuckfield built slowly with Joe Ludlow (35) and Nipun Karunanayake (54) taking the total to 81.

The middle overs saw Will O’Donnell (4-13) and Oliver Blandford (3-44) apply pressure with wickets falling regularly to leave Cuckfield reeling at 161-9.

A useful tenth wicket partnership of 26 between Josh Hayward (16*) and Nick Patterson (15) added some respectability to the total with Cuckfield finishing at 187 all out.

The reply saw Jimmy Anyon (1-27) dismiss Sam Cooper (two) to leave Three Bridges at 14-1. However, Conor Golding (74) and O’Donnell (36) started scoring freely and raced to 75-1.

The wicket of Joe Walker (11) and then Golding opened the door for Cuckfield, who proceeded to take several quick wickets through Hayward (3-20) and Karunanayake (2-21).

With Three Bridges needing 12 runs to win with one wicket in hand, Cuckfield could not find the breakthrough.

CUCKFIELD CC 2ND XI

Cuckfield CC 2nd XI travelled to Stirlands CC of Birdham looking to continue their winning form in Division 4 West.

The weather was fantastic and the ground magnificent, perfect for a game of cricket. Closer inspection of the pitch showed a slightly tacky top which led captain George Galbraith-Gibbons to decide to bowl first.

This proved to be a shrewd move with Stirlands making a slow start with Sam Candfield (3-22) taking early wickets and wicketkeeper Nathan Buckeridge instigating a superb run out, reducing Stirlands to 35-4.

After a brief resurgence from James Barker (26) and Dan Mugford (23), Greg Wisdom (3-21) and Henry Rogers (3-0) wrapped up the Stirlands innings, leaving Cuckfield to chase 85 for victory.

Galbraith-Gibbons (14*) opened with Will Rossiter (57*) and promptly set about chasing down the total. The skipper played steadily supporting the buccaneering Rossiter in chasing the Stirlands total in ten overs.

The ten-wicket victory means Cuckfield 2nd XI have won three of their first four games with one abandoned due to weather thus laying a solid foundation for the season ahead.

CUCKFIELD CC 3RD XI

The sun shone, the wind disappeared, jumpers were discarded, but despite a change in captain some things remained the same as Cuckfield CC 3rd Xi lost the toss again at Portslade CC 2nd XI in Division 7 Central.

Boosted by an influx of young bowlers and, more to the point, (from the perspective of the elder generation) young fielders, hopes were high that Cuckfield would bowl first, but it was not to be.

On a two-paced pitch, Cuckfield’s openers (with a 38-year age gap) were soon dismissed – Sam Hardwicke (four) to a poor shot, Jeremy Crampton (three) to an appalling shot.

Alex Hardwicke (23) looked classy in stabilising the innings before being adjudged lbw. Thereafter, veteran Richie Amer (76) and Jack Best (54), careful at first, more expansive after drinks, put on a wonderful partnership of 106 which together with clean hitting from Theo Barker (28*) got Cuckfield to 239-9.

Adam Nash and Chris Chambers (both 3-34) were the pick of Portslade’s attack.

Perhaps, thinking 239 was a good score on a tricky wicket, over-confidence led to some poor fielding and, at times, poor bowling.

All of Cuckfield’s bowlers’ first overs failed to find the right length or line. Portslade’s openers Scott Ridge (14) and Jamie Howick (24) looked comfortable in putting on 45 in quick time before Barker (3-35) found his length and bowled the dangerous Jamie Howick for 24.

Wickets fell at regular intervals afterwards despite some big hitting from Cyrus Dean (24) and Chris Chambers (25) as Portslade finished on 141 all out.

CUCKFIELD CC 4TH XI

Cuckfield CC 4th XI faced Dormansland CC 2nd XI in Division 11 Central (North) this week with the promise of some sunshine at last, quite a change from the waterlogged cancellations having been the usual so far this season.

Cuckfield lost the toss and were put into bat first on a somewhat damp pitch but were confident we were up for the task.

The early loss of Tom Wright (one) in the second over with Dom Seed (14) quickly following, it looked to be a bad toss to lose. However, Sam Shepherd (86) and Adam Jull (30) steadied the ship.

With the introduction of Andrew Digby (3-28) and the reintroduction of Ollie Holman (4-24, including a hat-trick), Cuckfield proceeded to lose six wickets for ten runs, including four first-ball ducks, to end their innings on 176.

On a drying wicket, Cuckfield managed to get an early wicket through Bertie Sheldon (1-19) but the partnership of skipper Mike Mullins (35) and powerful stroke play from Jack Ray (120*) saw Dormansland to victory with five overs to spare.