Cuckfield endure a weekend of disappointment
On a sunny day at East Grinstead CC, Cuckfield CC won the toss and elected to bat in Saturday's game in the Premier Division.
Joe Ludlow and Joe Cambridge opened the batting and dug in through the early overs facing some tight bowling.
It was Lewis Hatchett (5-45) that achieved the breakthrough, first bowling Cambridge (six) and later having Ludlow (16) caught behind.
This brought the in-form pair of Nipun Karunanayake and Ollie Graham to the crease, who proceeded to make batting look very easy.
It was only a run out which saw the demise of Graham (53), who looked certain to score many more.
At 115-3, the innings looked set for Cuckfield to kick on. However, Bradley Hatchett claimed Karunanayake (46) and two more quick wickets left Cuckfield at 146-6.
The pitch continued to play true and enable Brad Gayler and Ben Candfield to put on a good partnership towards the end of the innings.
When Candfield was cleaned bowled by Lewis Hatchett for 26, Cuckfield has climbed to 213. Unfortunately, they could not finish as hoped and the remaining three wickets fell quickly leaving Cuckfield all out for 216.
Brad Gayler was unbeaten on 55, including a pair of delightful sixes over mid-off. Lewis Hatchett was the standout bowler, finishing with figures of 5-45 from his 16.4 over spell.
Knowing it was a good pitch, Cuckfield needed some early wickets to put the pressure onto EG.
A good opening spell from Joe White built the pressure, with Josh Hayward being rewarded with the wicket at the other end, claiming Will Adkin for eight.
It was Hayward that struck again soon after, picking up Tom Haynes (24) and three balls later Toby Margetts lbw.
This left EG at 62-3, and in need of a partnership. Unfortunately for Cuckfield, Darryl Rebbetts joining Leo Cammish and the pair made batting look very easy.
The pitch offered much less in the second innings than expected, but the EG pair played very sensible knocks, taking the game long and putting on a partnership of 146.
It was Rebbetts that eventually fell to Candfield for 67 with the score at 208. Cammish struck the winning runs, ending 114* in a practically chanceless innings.
Josh Hayward was the standout bowler for Cuckfield, taking 3-55 in his 20 over spell. Cuckfield play Middleton CC at home this coming Saturday, hoping for the same weather but a different result.
CUCKFIELD CC 2ND XI
Another glorious weekend saw Cuckfield CC 2nd XI entertain Felbridge & Sunnyside CC, looking to continue their unbeaten run in Division 4 West.
Skipper George Galbraith-Gibbons won the toss and elected to bat on a perfect day with not a cloud in the sky and a batsman’s paradise for a pitch.
After the early loss of Dom Sear (one), captain Galbraith-Gibbons (56) and Richie Amer (21) struggled to score quickly as Rhodri Lewis (1-10) and Jack Williams (1-39) bowled accurately, ably supported by excellent fielding from Felbridge.
Gradually, both started to find their feet and began scoring more freely until Amer fell, caught behind to Chirag Chauhan.
Chris Taylor (27) picked up where Amer left off and at 110-2, Cuckfield were growing in confidence. Three quick wickets left the innings in the balance as Cuckfield were reduced to 115-5.
Up stepped Jason Oates. Bludgeoning anything full, endangering cars in the car park and horses in the adjoining field, Oates (114*) and Will Galbraith-Gibbons (17) shared a stand of 105.
By the end of the 45th over, Cuckfield had reached 251-6, with Galbraith-Gibbons and Nick Patterson (two*) contributing only 19 runs out of the 136 scored since the fall of the fifth wicket.
Cuckfield were in high spirits at tea, but on a track made for runs, they were going to have to bowl and field well to come out victorious.
Felbridge openers, Robin James (45) and Aaron Willsher (33), punishing the bad ball and aided by some woeful catching by Cuckfield, put on 71 for the opening partnership to lay the foundation for the run chase.
Wickets regularly fell in the middle overs, with Will Galbraith-Gibbons (2-45) suffering from creating chances, only to be dropped by the Cuckfield fielders.
Felbridge were in the driving seat at 197-3, but a flurry of wickets brought Cuckfield back into the game. Theo Barker (2-37), Matt Slinger (2-42) and Patterson (2-43) reducing Felbridge to 217-8, needing a run a ball to win.
Rhodri Lewis (24*) and Sebastian Pollard (seven*) saw Felbridge over the line with four balls to spare leaving Cuckfield to rue the many missed chances that they let slip throughout the second innings.
CUCKFIELD CC 3RD XI
On another lovely day at Cuckfield, the 3rd XI took on Division 7 Central leaders Scaynes Hill CC.
Captain Goff Baker finally won a toss and decided to bat on a track that looked like it might offer a bit early on.
Openers Jeremy Crampton (seven) and Joe Cotton (two) fell to good bowling from the Scaynes Hill openers, Tom Ellis (3-31) and Matt Church (1-24).
Sam Candfield (77) and Dom Seed (48) then set about their business, putting away any bad balls, as they built the score to 123 before Seed edged Louie Gray (3-37) to slip.
This brought ex-first XI captain, James Robinson, to the crease, a delightful six over mid-off being the highlight of his 19.
His wicket brought Jack Best (29) to the crease with the score at 164-4. Wickets fell regularly, with only Best offering resistance.
Cuckfield were bowled out in 38.5 overs for 214. Maybe 20 runs short on a good deck but confident they could defend the total.
Dan Tingley (30) and Laurence Ridgewell (12) started steadily for Scaynes Hill with Rodney Candfield (2-19) and Tim Mole (0-41) bowling tight lines and lengths.
Mole was replaced by Paul Meader (0-27) who bowled a temping length with little reward. Louie Gray (40) and Alan Ridgewell (37) continued to accumulate watchfully, punishing the bad balls and keeping out the good.
Cuckfield struggled for consistency at one end to support the evergreen Baker (3-35) who bowled with cunning and guile in equal measure to drag the game back in Cuckfield’s favour, reducing Scaynes Hill from 129-2 to 146-6, with a little help from James Robinson (1-36).
However, the attacking stroke play of Charles Copsey (44*) and Rob Deane (20*) proved too much for Cuckfield, taking Scaynes Hill to the target with 3.5 overs to spare.
CUCKFIELD CC 4TH XI
On a very hot afternoon, Cuckfield CC 4th XI won the toss and elected to field at Newick CC 2nd XI in Division 11 Central (North).
With a mix of juniors and 'seasoned heads', Cuckfield opened with Adam Jull (1-15) and George Ponsford (0-39).
Runs were not easily scored due to some very tight bowling, which prevented Josh Essex (80) and Joshua Coppard (five) from getting away, and resulted in the Coppard being bowled early on by Jull.
Having bowled their six overs each, it was decided to see what the junior bowlers could do. Will Ward (1-49) and Matthew Power (1-39) each bowled their full quota and although both had a few runs scored against them, especially when the Essex decided to hit out, both of them held their nerve and were each rewarded with a wicket.
Once their nine overs were bowled, Ellis Buckeridge (3-14) came on and his first ball was so wide, point got nervous. However, this did not stop Essex from having a go and sticking it down Richard Loveridge’s throat.
Buckeridge continued to bowl hittable balls which resulted in another two wickets from catches by Ponsford and Tom Wright.
As Newick needed to push for runs, they took too many chances with only Gary Waylett (24), Nick Geddie (19) and Rounok Haque (12) reaching double figures. Julian Thorpe (1-27), adding his name to the wicket takers.
Runs were not flowing quickly and on the last ball of the innings, the batsman nicked it past keep Keith ‘Buck’ Rogers and took off like a (wounded) rabbit.
With no-one behind, Rogers had the unenviable task of retrieving the ball, but gravity took over halfway and the result can only be described as 'watching a fish out of water'.
With the batsmen still running, Rogers retrieved the ball and threw it in. This did the trick as the ball hit the stumps with the batsman in the middle of the wicket.
This left Newick on 185-9 at the break.
Cuckfield opened with Tomas Wright (24) and Richard Loveridge (five). The early loss of Loveridge brought Caleb Hawkins (21) to the crease to steady the ship with Wright, who then also fell lbw for 24.
Cuckfield never really recovered when Hawkins got a leading edge and skied the ball back to Mark Evans (3-26).
Adam Jull (21) batted really well and just after hitting a massive six, fell to the spin of Rounok Haque (3-22) when he charged down the track.
George Ponsford (nine) was caught after hitting an absolute bullet over Mark Evans’ head with Nick Geddie at mid-off doing a seriously impressive aerial dive to take the catch.
Wickets continued to fall but it was really good to see how Matthew Power (14*) and Will Ward (one) batted as the final pair, scoring with some classic shots.
Newick are top of the table, and this is mainly due to their bowling attack. Unfortunately, Cuckfield were not up to the job with the bat but did keep up with the run rate for the first 20 overs.
Had wickets not fallen so regularly, the result could have been very different. Cuckfield were bowled out for 116, but this does not give a true picture of the overall performance.
Despite the scores, the game was competitive, but very friendly, just the way it should be.