Saturday, 13 July
Bexhill away – won by 52 runs.
In a much anticipated match between promotion hunting East Grinstead and relegation languishing Bexhill, East Grinstead won the toss and elected to bat. Bexhill took to the field with a side bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the one found on Cricket 19ᵀᴹ. East Grinstead felt in good form after a strong run in recent weeks and with a comfortable victory at the Saint Hill fortress in the return fixture. Out strode in form openers Shortland and Evans. Making a typically pugnacious start East Grinstead made it to 34 before losing Shortland edging behind. Evans edged behind shortly after reducing EGCC to 41-2. This brought de Souza and Heppell together. One a beautiful shot maker and the other a master of the forward defensive (you decide which is which). They saw off the openers to calm any dressing room nerves. A strong partnership took East Grinstead to 132-3 with Matt ‘inflatable man’ Heppell departing for 60 – his second half century in as many weeks. Next in was the finisher DJ Glaysher. Exhibiting a beautiful array of shots including a reverse sweep through the keeper’s legs (so sweet!), scoring a swashbuckling 48. That and a continued borefest from de Souza (63) took EGCC to a commanding total of 228. At tea EGCC pondered the game, did they have enough runs? Did the recent form of the Bexhill batting line-up provide a threat to the team? Where exactly in the pig had the hot dog meat come from?
At the beginning of the second innings, EGCC were ready to finish the game quickly. And they got off to the perfect start. Bexhill were quickly reduced to 7-3 and 22-4 with some well-targeted new ball bowling from Jackson and Stow. East Grinstead now expected a simple victory inside 20 overs and an early trip to the pub. However, Joel Cheshire had different ideas. He dug in, and despite losing wickets around him (71-7) continued to withstand accurate bowling from all the Grinstead bowlers (except possibly Pearse). A dangerous partnership between Cheshire and an injured batsman coming in at ten, Alex Murray put some brakes on EGCC’s victory charge. However a sharp catch from ’Usain’ Shortland removed Cheshire. Fortunately Richardson was able to take the last wicket with very few more runs being scored. Giving East Grinstead a much deserved and important 30 points.
The victory leaves East Grinstead in fourth, 47 points behind Saturday’s opponents Buxted Park, and 51 points behind the first promotion spot.
Notes: Duck hat – Sam Jackson
Saturday, 8 June
As it had rained the day before and continued to do so throughout the morning, it was forecast to brighten up in the second half of the day, both teams wanted to win the toss and bowl first. Thankfully the East Grinstead (standing Captain) won the toss and elected to bowl. With the warm up cut short due to heavy rain, forcing the covers to be put on we started 5 minutes late. After a good opening over by George cave going for only 2 runs, the heavens opened once again forcing the game to come to pause. After 10 minutes the umpires decided to resume play with Ben Davies forcing a leading edge from the Crowhurst Park opener Tim Hambridge to be caught by the safe hands of Ryan Shortland in the covers putting Crowhurst Park 2-1. 2 balls later the in form all-rounder Ben Davies nipped one back taking the off stump of Ed Smissen for a duck, putting Crowhurst Park in an unfortunate position of 2-2 off 2 overs. The Crowhurst Park captain and opener Nicholas Taylor and number 4 Bradley Payne began the rebuild. They got their team to 43 before Bradley Payne picked out Ryan Shortland at square leg from an in-swinging delivery from Charlie Harris. 45 runs later Crowhurst Park’s captain fell short of his 50 for 44 nicking off Kurt Richardson’s bowling to the safe hands of Matt Heppell. Not long after we went off for rain and took an early tea before we resumed play, where a quick fall of wickets for Crowhurt Park where they lost 5 wickets for just 50 runs before the Overseas Ben Naylor and number 11 hit some boundaries in quick succesion off of Nik Trotter sending his last over for 23, getting them to 184 all out which I am sure they would have taken after their not so fortunate start.
East Grinstead went out to bat slightly delayed from rain only losing 2 overs of their 45 to knock off Crowhurst’s Park score of 184. George Cave was to fall first in the second over for a duck by chopping on off a back of a length delivery from Bradley Payne, closely followed by the other opener Ryan Shortland for only 2 runs, nicking off to gully off the overseas Ben Naylor’s out-swinging delivery. Ben Davies and Joe de Souza dug deep starting the rebuild with Ben hitting 62 and Joe 44. After Ben Davies got out, not being able to resist a wide half volley gets caught by a stunning catch diving forward by Tim Hambridge. No one else got going for East Grinstead after we was 133-3 with Captain Matt Heppel getting 24. Charlie Harris run out without facing a ball and from that point onwards, there was no doubt Crowhurst Park was going to win getting them the full 30 points, going above East Grinstead. We hope to bounce back next week against Hailsham to get back to our winning ways.
The Grinarmy Marches On
Buxted Park CC – 1st XI (204 all out) vs East Grinstead CC – 2nd XI (206-8)
On arrival the Buxted Park CC ground was as picturesque as they come with its surrounding open fields and country house. Matt Heppell (standing captain) was looking to win the toss and bat first after the run fest of the previous week. However, shortly after electing to bat this decision was proving to be a harder task than expected. The opening pair (Ryan Shortland and George Cave) were bombarded by an excellent opening spell by Buxted Parks overseas (Darren Colaco: 9 – 24 – 1) with the ball seaming and swinging away beautifully. After his best efforts Ryan Shortlands (11 runs) was dismissed and Ben Davies entered the crease. His innings opened up with an explosive two sixes in his frist three balls but this was short lived and he ended on a gritty 51. George Cave batted well for his 26, which involved a huge six over square leg but was undone by a similar short ball. East Grinsteads middle ordered of Archie Turner (0), Matt Heppell (16) and Lee Granger (1) struggled to contribute to the overall score but this bought to the crease Nik Trotter (46). This innings proved to be crucial to the result of the game with a great partnership with Joseph Sheridan (13) which frusted Buxted greatly. East Grinstead finished on 206-8.
After a well enjoyed tea both teams took back to the action for Buxted Parks run chase. The innings could not have started any better with Ben Davies (8 – 19 – 1) removing the opener early and putting the pressure on Buxted Park with great support from Lee Granger (8 – 32 – 0). East Grinstead were looking in control with a mislay spell from Alex Pearse (9 – 34 – 2) and a short barrage of short bowling from Joseph Sheridan (6 – 40 – 2). Nevertheless, Buxted fought back with some great middle order hitting which ended in a number of sixes sailing over the boundary rope. Now, with limited runs needed and 5 wickets left in the shed Buxted Park looked like making the runs easily, little did they know George Cave (4 wickets) would clean up their skipper (may I add that the stumps cartwheeled back) and spark panic in their dressing room. The game came down to 2 runs needed and Matt Heppell needing to find one over from somewhere. Heads turned when he threw the ball to Archie Turner (0.3 – 1 – 1), usually a wicket keeper, to dismiss their 10/11. Halfway through the over Archie tossed up a juicy half volley and the batsmen took the bait as Lee Granger leaped (literally like a salmon) to catch their number eleven. The feeling of ecstasy in the East Grinstead team as they ran to celebrate. A game that will be hard to replicate again and the reason why we love the game of cricket.
The return fixture will not be one to miss.
Saturday, 11 May – Bexhill
Due to the threat of rain, both teams were looking to have a bowl first and in hindsight East Grinstead were lucky to lose the toss with Bexhill winning and opting to bowl. A great start from the two East Grinstead openers with Ryan Shortland setting the pace hitting two boundaries in the opening over. This was signs of things to come with East Grinstead progressing to 65-0 off the first 10 overs. Shortland was first to bring up his 50, quicker than a run a ball, however was shortly bowled after for 52 after a good ball from pick of the Bexhill bowlers Dahron Pitt. Ben Davies and Archie Turner carried on after Shortland both hitting numerous boundaries, keeping the scoring rate above 7 runs an over. Evans also targeted one of the Bexhill bowlers hitting 27 from one over. East Grinstead finished with a mammoth 347 from their 45 overs with Evans finishing on 152, Turner on 61 & Davies 47.
It was much of the same in the Bexhill innings with Lee Granger getting an LBW during the first over of the Bexhill innings LBW & unlucky throughout his spell not to get more. Ben Davies bowled his 9 overs back to back taking an impressive 3-43 with a couple of drop catches too. Nick Trotter replaced Ben and bowled tidily only going at 3 an over in his short spell, also taking the wicket off Holland who chipped to long on. Phil Norman then came on to finish and mop up the tail taking the final 4 wickets for just 1 run. Along with his runs and wickets, Ben Davies also took two good catches.
Bexhill finished on 128 meaning East Grinstead won by over 200 runs.
A great win for East Grinstead, now on to Buxted Park next week. Back Stronger.
Saturday, 4 May – Glynde
First game of the season, the second team were away to Glynde. After losing the toss and bowling first Cave and Davies opened the bowling and kept it really tight for the first 12 overs. First bowling change bought the first wicket from Pearse. Two spinners Stow and Trotter bowled well in the middle overs. Trotter taking 1/29 off his 9 overs. Leppard and Archie also both bowled well. Glynde finished 251-5.
Batting got off to a slow and solid start, Cave had to opportunity of opening the batting but was giving out for a good 18 LBW. Shortland was out for 13 with a poor choice of shot. Batting never really got going apart from an attacking display from Pearse, who smashed a quick 31. We were bowled out for 126 losing the game.
With a fairly young team and a couple of 2nd debuts, there is a lot of room for improvement. Next week Bexhill at home.