Hayward-inspired Cuckfield beat Preston Nomads

Josh Hayward
Josh Hayward

Cuckfield welcomed Preston Nomads to Cuckfield Park on Saturday for the first round of 110 over games.

Cuckfield welcomed Preston Nomads to Cuckfield Park on Saturday for the first round of 110 over games.

Due to heavy overnight rain, a delayed start and loss of overs was inevitable. When the game finally got under way, Cuckfield won the toss and decided to bowl first. A careful start from the Nomads openers was interrupted by more rain, and when both teams returned to the field Cuckfield’s bowlers made the most of the conditions. The medium pace of Phil Semmens (2-26) proved particularly effective, removing 1 and 3 in quick succession, both caught behind.

The introduction of spin put further pressure on Nomads, with Josh Hayward taking a wicket with his first ball. Hutson followed soon after, leaving nomads 33-4. A rebuilding phase ensued, but tight bowling from Cuckfield meant that the visitors were never able to get away, and when Hayward removed Ibrahim for 33, regular wickets followed. Despite 28 for Shepheard batting at 8, the Nomads batsmen struggled to make an impact, with Hayward removing much of the middle and lower order to finish with figures of 7-37 (a personal best for Cuckfield) from his 18 overs.

Chasing 141 to win, with over 40 overs to get it in, Cuckfield felt comfortable on a decent pitch. Openers Nielsen and Wisdom saw off the new ball, taking the score to 36 before Wisdom fell. More rain came, which shortened the equation to a slightly less manageable 100 off 18 overs. Nielsen fell for a well made 46, and regular wickets followed.

Cameos from the lower middle order kept Cuckfield up with the rate, but when Campopiano was caught in the deep with 18 to win, the game was in the balance. Some good running and enterprising batting from Joe White and Hayward got the equation down to 6 off the final over. A single was taken first ball, leaving White on strike with five needed.

A huge slog-swept six on to the pavilion roof sealed a memorable win for a Cuckfield side missing many of their regular players against a strong Preston Nomads side.

Cuckfield 2nd XI v Balcombe 1st XI: Cuckfield won the toss at Balcombe and elected to bowl first. Andy Stillwell and Sam Blackburn opened up the batting and made a good start until the change bowling of Matt Denyer saw Stillwell caught by Dan Turner for 23.

Denyer followed up with another in quick succession. Adrian Ruzicka joined Blackburn and settled things down again until the leg-spin of James Robinson undid Blackburn caught and bowled for 60. Middle order cameos of 23 from Ruzicka, 17 from Gavin Elliott and 21 from Ben Lee helped Balcombe on the way, but Denyer (5/27) added three more wickets to his haul as the home side were bowled out for 174 at the end of the 40th over.

Fifties at the top of the Cuckfield order from Ben John (56) and Dan Turner (50) set up the innings for the visitors. Jack Waghorn followed up with a handy 29 to take the game away from Balcombe as Cuckfield reached their target in the 33rd over, losing 5 wickets in the chase. Charlie Dowdall took 2/52 for Balcombe.

Cuckfield 3rd XI v Ditchling 1st XI: Ditchling won the toss and put visiting Cuckfield into bat first.

An early wicket for James Earwicker gave the home side a boost, but Will Galbraith-Gibbbons (27) and Kenny Rogers (20) played watchfully to get the innings back on track. Their dismissals by Andy Westgate and Dan Gorringe respectively turned into a mini collapse as Westgate picked up another wicket and Gorringe two more.

This brought Billy Harris and Chris Osbourne together for Cuckfield and the pair took the score to 191 from the 40 overs as Harris hit 77 not out and Osborne 23 not out. Gorringe returned figures of 3/34.

The opening attack of Rodney Candfield and Osborne made inroads into the Ditchling top order with only Ben Sippy (11) and Johnny Coburn (19) making double figures. Wickets then tumbled as Tim Power picked up three and Matt Slinger two.

A late charge from Paul Ford (23) was thwarted by a caught and bowled from Tommy Watson as Ditchling were bowled out for 85 in the 33rd over. Power took 3/13, Slinger 2/24 and Watson 2/2.

Cuckfield 4th XI v Crawley Down 2nd XI: Cuckfield won the toss at home and elected to bowl first. Crawley Down’s openers, Adam O’Callaghan and Neil Jackson, set out with intent hitting 70 and 23 respectively before both were dismissed by the spin bowling of Greg Seed.

The rest of the top order also fired though as Kevin Mears (23), Simon Rawdon (44) and Danny Todman (64*) all made runs. This helped the visitors to 266 for 5 at the end of their 40 overs.

A promising start from Jeremy Crampton (40) and Tom Wright (35) followed up by a 74 from Tom Bonanate set the platform for Cuckfield. It was not to be however as Aaron Matz destroyed the middle order taking 4/37 with only Josh Downey (25) providing any resistance as Cuckfield were bowled out for 203 in the 40th over.