Lindfield prove Alan Hansen's prediction may just be right

Adam Wright in action for Lindfield 2nd XI
Adam Wright in action for Lindfield 2nd XI

It was famously once said, and proved wrong, that “you don’t win anything with kids.”

However, judging by Lindfield’s performance against league leaders Three Bridges this weekend, Mr. Hansen’s premature prediction may finally be bearing fruit.

Having been inserted, the hosts got off to a steady start against a barrage of short pitched bowling from the visiting quicks. Yet, when Nathan Pugh finally lost patience and mis-timed a hook to mid wicket, a Lindfield collapse ensued.

Tom Hinley got caught at cover point for the third time this season, wafting uppishly at a wide one. Recent hero Toby Shepperson came and went in a similar fashion, giving himself just two balls before falling into the bouncer trap, and a fourth wicket fell when Harry Moorat again lasted two balls, not moving his feet to a rare full pitched delivery.

From 30 without loss, Lindfield found themselves 40 for 4 and a rebuilding job required to make a game of it. Overseas player Callum Parker started things going having earlier been hit amidships by the what must have been some supremely accurate bowling. Joined by Simon Shivnarain, Lindfield’s two most experienced top six batters were at the crease and the innings took a more professional approach.

However, having both moved into the twenties, and pushed the total to 90, they inevitably succumbed to the Three Bridges onslaught, which effectively finished any hope of setting a demanding target. With more wickets falling, it was down to the last pair to see the home side to a meagre 147 and just four batting points on a peach of a surface. Matt Blandford was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 33, whilst Michael Rose aided him with 3 for 26.

So what could be said about the Lindfield efforts in the field........not a lot as it turned out. The total never looked in danger as James Russell set about the chase with assurance and skill. He deserved to make a century but finished with an unbeaten 91 to see Three Bridges over the line with the clock barely past 5pm. David Winn chipped in with 38 not out.

For Lindfield, only Dom Morgan troubled the scorers taking one wicket, in what proved a thoroughly abject display in both major disciplines. The hosts’ investment in youth at academy level has seen many of the lads push themselves into the first team on merit, however it is proving unfair to expect 14, 15 and 16 year olds to perform week in and week out. Captain Shivnarain has got a big job on his hands next week when his young side take on the experienced and talented Billingshurst.

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Burgess Hill CC 2nd XI v Lindfield CC 2nd XI: A couple of months ago, the unthinkable happened when Burgess Hill came to Lindfield and took the 30 points thanks in the main to an astonishing six wickets from veteran sea dog Matt Charman.

However a much changed second string went to St. John’s Park this weekend and blew away any Hillians' thoughts of doing the double.

In an innings that never really got going, Burgess Hill struggled against the bowling of Scott Pedley (3 for 23) and Phil Weir (2 for 18) as they meandered to 157 for 7 in their 47 overs. Only Charlie Punter got on top of the attack with an unbeaten 69, which anchored the batting effort. Old timer, Dan Maskell, who has been playing for so long his batting was once described as Edwardian, supported Punter with 18.

In reply, Scott Clarke provided the impetus to the Lindfield innings with a well made half century, whilst Hillian pace bowler George Willett got into the top order with 2 for 53. When Adam Wright joined Clarke at the crease, the chase got an injection of momentum in the only way Wright can do it........with little technique but big enthusiasm.

His horticultural 57 put an end to any chance Burgess Hill had in getting back into the game, whilst Weir chipped in with 25. Lindfield’s self-styled finisher Matt O’Brien spent the afternoon making more friends, and got the visitors over the line with an unbeaten 8, with plenty of overs to spare and by five wickets.

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Lindfield CC 3rd XI v Turners Hill CC 1st XI: Another disappointing batting display did for Lindfield’s third eleven in a one sided affair against Turners Hill, despite bowling heroics from Ross Pedley.

Batting first, the visitors’ top order were blown away by Pedley’s 7 for 28. However, Joshua Allard stood up to the probing line and dug deep for what proved to be the match changing innings. His unbeaten 89 was supported by Ben Fernando who came in down the order and hit a cultured half century. Thanks to their efforts, Turners Hill got to 177 on a pitch that offered some help to the bowlers.

Lindfield’s chase never really got going with only Alex Pedley (22) offering any resistance whilst the magnificently named Brennie Dias Mendes took 4 for 32 and Peter Falconer 4 for 36. The total never looked in danger and the innings stuttered to an end 48 runs short.

Brunswick Village CC 1st XI v Lindfield CC 4th XI: Lindfield racked up another defeat in Division 10 despite a spirited batting display saw them reach 189. Phil Hogan top scored with 48 whilst debutant Spencer Grout hit an encouraging 32 and his son Barnaby made 21. Tommy Blanden was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 46.

Brunswick Village replied confidently with opener Dipen Patel hitting an unbeaten 55 and Peter Styles 39 as Lindfield toiled in the heat. In the finish, the hosts reached the target with little problems and just three wickets down, leaving the visitors rooted to the bottom of the league.