Depleted Rye sunk by Portslade

Gary Willis took three wickets for Rye in their defeat away to Sussex Cricket League Division Four high-flyers Portslade on Saturday
Gary Willis took three wickets for Rye in their defeat away to Sussex Cricket League Division Four high-flyers Portslade on Saturday
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August is the month of weddings and harvesting, great for loving couples and farmers, but not for cricket teams.

Rye’s first XI travelled to Portslade on Saturday with a much-changed side as a result of both of these afflictions.

Rye skipper Gary Willis won the toss and elected to bowl, with 15-year-old Olly Rhys Jones opening the attack with him. Rye made a steady start, restricting Portslade to 5-1 and 44-2 until Dan Holgate (64) led the home recovery.

The Rye bowling attack, consisting of off spinners, twirled away all afternoon, taking wickets but unable to stem the flow of runs. Jackson Woodcock with 3-61 and Willis with 3-62 were the pick of the bowlers.

None of the Portslade batsmen stayed for long, but the hosts batted their 53 overs and with a generous 44 extras, they reached 247-8 at the end of their innings.

Rye’s reply faltered immediately as Neil Browne was bowled for nought. Dan Seabrook made 21 at the top of the order, but as ever this season, too many of the Rye batsmen failed to get a start.

Partnerships therefore never developed and the bowling side always maintained the pressure on a Rye team which drifted from 40-1 to 57-6.

Stephen Case (3-32) and Paul Glover (3-2) did the bulk of the damage as Rye were dismissed for 99. Spencer Fielding (18), James Hamilton (15), Woodcock (14) and Harry Smeed (13 not out) were the other batsmen to reach double figures.

Portslade - who like Rye are playing in the Sussex Cricket League for the first time this season - are now on the cusp of clinching promotion having won all of their last 10 fixtures.

Last season’s East Sussex Cricket League champions Rye remain 50-plus points clear of relegation danger and in their three remaining matches of the summer they will play the two teams in the drop zone so everything is in Rye’s hands.