August Cup Round-Up
So we didn’t get a full season in, but what we did get was competitive cricket for our Firsts, Seconds and Thirds and wow, didn’t we do well.
The Firsts finished second in their group on net run rate (NRR) only. Four wins and a tie with top of the table Bognor Regis was an impressive return, with three of the five sides playing in the Division above us normally. The group started with what we thought would be the toughest game against Bognor and so it turned out to be. Reuben Taylor was the hero, bowling the final over to snatch a tie from the jaws of defeat with a final ball wicket. Hugo hit a fast century in a huge win over Worthing, and there were wins over Chichester after a Machan ton, and Pagham too. Only the game against Billingshurst caused us any grounds for concern, where we triumphed by one wicket in the final over thanks to a 17 run 10th wicket partnership from Toby Witham and skipper Howgate.
As already mentioned we had two centurions, Josh and Charlie Tear also hit half centuries and in total we had eight batsman score 30 or more at some point. No doubt it would have been nine had Howgate batted himself higher than 11. Ben Lucking took 12 wickets at 8.83 and Charlie Davies 11 at 13.45. Reuben chipped in with 7 including that massive wicket at Bognor.
Down in Group B8, the Seconds went one better and topped their group with five wins out of five. Things started cautiously with a one wicket win against Broadbridge Heath. Fitz and Phil getting us out of jail with the bat. The next two were far more comfortable, a win over Rustington and a seven wicket demolition of Steyning II. Against Goring II young Charlie Woodage and Ed both scored centuries in a 215 run opening partnership, surely a record (Will?), as we piled on the runs. Goring got close but the result was rarely in doubt. Top of the group was secured with a game to spare, a more relaxed Chilt narrowly escaped from Littlehampton II with a final weekend win, by just five runs thanks to a final over run out.
Ed White was our top run scorer with 320 at an average of 80! Not up to his high standards set last season, but it will do. Charlie Woodage scored 217 at 43.40 and Callum chipped in with a 50 of his own on the final weekend. With the ball, Malcolm was the stand out bowler taking 17 wickets at just 10.53 – the second highest wickets tally in the whole of the August Cup!
Finally the Thirds, who also topped their group, came from behind to top the standings only on the final day after a massive win over Southwater II. Things started well with a fantastic chase against Barns Green II where Ben van Noort scored 82 not out. We lost our only game as a club against Wizzy Green II despite Kipp and Gus striking fifties, we couldn’t defend 207. From there it was one game at a time. Ollie Holden scored 93 in a massive 107 run win at Trinity II, Sam Stace also scoring 55 and this was followed by a thrilling one wicket win at Storrington. Kipp again was the hero smashing 62 including a six to win the game. Going into the final game against Southwater we knew we had to win big and that we did, rolling them for 99 before knocking it off inside 12 overs. The improved NRR mattered not in the end as Wizz lost and we topped the group by two points.
Ollie scored 141 in four games, BVN 126 and similar to the Firsts there were contributions all over the team, nine batsmen with scores of 35 or more! BVN also took 14 wickets, the most in the team, Hugh chipped in with 8 in just 19 overs, most of them lower order Storrington bunnies though ;)
All in, a hugely successful group stages in the August Cup, in fact as a club we are the only club in Sussex with three teams through to the play-off stages! Just let that soak in, our little village is the only club in Sussex to get this far. 15 games played, 13 wins, 1 tie, 1 loss. Give yourselves a pat on the back.
This weekend, 5 September, the Firsts go onto play the winners of Group A4 St Peters who overcame St James and Burgess Hill in their group. The game will be played at Preston Park Velodrome. Should they win they will play the winners of Bognor or St James in a ‘final’. The Seconds take on Eastergate 1st XI and the Thirds play Slinfold II. All three games will prove real tests.
It’s not all August Cup of course, elsewhere we fielded a Fourth XI in seven friendlies since cricket recommenced. That in itself is an achievement having only done it once (?) last year, and we won three games, lost two and had two cancelled. We beat Barns Green III by nine wickets and Findon IV by 15 runs.
Matt Hennings scored 111 runs in three games, and there were fifties for Matt, Dylan TC, Sophie Grayson and BVN. Asmus fell just short of his milestone with 47. Simon Crisp is pushing for a Third XI spot next year with five wickets in six overs. Chris Seaton also took five at an average of just 5.20!
There was other Saturday fixtures, we played some friendlies before the August Cup started, six friendlies for the Firsts, Seconds and Thirds combined and of course, six wins.
Performances of note – Charlie Tear run out on 99, Reuben 108 and Ludo Milne taking 5-19 at Findon. Ed White 91 not out against Findon II and Ollie Holden hitting his maiden ton against Burgess Hill III. Finally, Oli van Noort and Alfie Batchelor smashing it to all parts against Findon III with their own tons.
I make that 26 games played between the four senior sides, 22 wins, 1 tie and 3 defeats. Quite remarkable.
Including friendlies, the top run scorers and wicket takers are as follows.