Cuckfield secure third place with win over champions East Grinstead

Back row: Dom Sear, Ben Candfield, Abi Sakande, Billy Meboroh-Collinson-Collinson, Joe Ludlow, Chris Mole, Harry Clark. Front row: Tom Weston, Nick Patterson, Josh Hayward (Captain), Jeet Raval, Brad Gayler
Back row: Dom Sear, Ben Candfield, Abi Sakande, Billy Meboroh-Collinson-Collinson, Joe Ludlow, Chris Mole, Harry Clark. Front row: Tom Weston, Nick Patterson, Josh Hayward (Captain), Jeet Raval, Brad Gayler

Cuckfield beat league champions East Grinstead by 93 runs to secure third place in the Premier League. Having been dismissed for just 59 in their earlier encounter, Cuckfield had a point to prove.

Captain Josh Hayward won the toss and elected to bat first. It was an inauspicious start as Lee Granger had Jeet Raval caught at mid on for a duck. Gayler joined Ludlow and they looked to play positively.

Abi Sakande bowling for Cuckfield

Abi Sakande bowling for Cuckfield

With the score on 44, Ludlow chased a wide down leg and was smartly stumped off the bowling of George Cave. Sear and Mole both fell soon after adjudged lbw off Cave and Fynn Hudson-Prentice respectively to leave the home side 55 for 4. Looking to keep the scoreboard moving, Gayler was then caught off the bowling of Darryl Rebbetts for a well made 40. Cameos from Tom Weston (20), Abi Sakande (20) and Ben Candfield (17) helped Cuckfield to 143 all out after 43 overs. Cave took 3/18 and Rebbettes 3/29.

With a relatively low total to defend, Cuckfield opened with the high class duo of pace down the hill from Abi Sakande and spin up the hill from Josh Hayward. Wickets tumbled as catches went to hand and the timbers were rattled. Will Adkin (17) top scored for East Grinstead as the visitors were bowled out for 50 in the 17th over as Sakande took 5/16 and Haywards took 5/33.

Cuckfield 2nd XI won the toss and elected to bowl first at Lindfield Common. This proved a good decision as Lindfield were bowled out for 74 in the 25th over. Only David Fricker (21) made double figures as Nick Walters took 4/15 and Sam Candfield 3/25. Greg Wisdom and Joe Cambridge opened the batting for Cuckfield and played their characteristic games, Wisdom accumulating watchfully while Cambridge smashed it to all parts. Wisdom carried bis bat for 18 and Cambridge for 51 from just 29 balls including 8 fours and 2 sixes.

Ashdown Forest won the toss and put visiting Cuckfield 3rd XI into bat. The openers were dismissed Cheaply by Frankie Macdonald and it did not look good for Cuckfield. Ben Caidan dug in, but Viplav Vadlamani picked up a wicket Macdonald took another to leave Cuckfield 4 down. Charlie Best joined Caidan and the pair built a partnership before Best (23) became the first of 5 victims for Ashdown paceman David Vernon. Caidan eventually succumbed to Macdonald for a well made 43, helping Cuckfield to 156 all out in the 43rd over. Vernon took 5/57 and Macdonald 4/61.

In the reply, Asdhdown quickly found themselves in trouble as young seamer, Matt Denyer ripped through the top order dismissing the first three batsmen for single figures reducing the home side to 7 for 3. Denyer then picked up a fourth, as Brent O’Hagan was caught for 17. Cuckfield skipper Matt Slinger then chipped in with two wickets, but Stefan Gooch was still there and building a score. Gooch clocked up 61 before being stumped off the bowling of Goff Baker at 123 for 7. Needing only 37 runs to win, Vernon took on the bowling, but two wickets at the other end, one for Osborne and a run out by Caidan left the home side 152 for 9. Denyer then claimed his fifth wicket, dismissing Vernon for 45, giving victory to Cuckfield by just 5 runs.

Cuckfield 4th XI won the toss and elected to bowl first at home. The Staplefield openers started well, playing watchfully against the opening attack of Collins and Bonanate. A change of bowling brought the first wicket for Cuckfield as Bryce Van Straaten bowled Paul Shepherd for 28.

Jordan Martin joined Robert Prevett and the scoreboard continued to tick along nicely until Van Straaten claimed his second having Prevett caught and bowled for 50. Martin anchored the rest of the innings carrying his bat for 80 while Neil Sadler made 33 and Greg Russell 20. Van Straaten took 2/51 and Sammy Hart took 2/22 as Staplefield declared after 45 overs on 235 for 6.

Nick Merardo took an early wicket for Staplefield as Hawkins was caught for a duck. A recovery looked on the cards as Pringle (24) and Bonanate (21) began to build a partnership. It was not to be Cuckfield’s day though as fuor more of their batsmen proceeded to get out in the 20s having done the hard work - Glenn Smith (29), Keith Rogers (20), Sammy Hart (21), Nathan Buckeridge (20*). The game petered out into a draw at 178 for 8 after 45 overs. Mercardo took 3/15 and there were two wickets each for Greg Russell and Darren Border.