Rye steal a march on title rivals

Sandun Dias took four wickets with the ball and scored 35 with the bat as Rye saw off Seaford

Sandun Dias took four wickets with the ball and scored 35 with the bat as Rye saw off Seaford

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Rye stole a march on their East Sussex Cricket League title rivals on Saturday.

While all of the other four Division One games were abandoned, Rye managed to sneak in a seven-wicket win away to Seaford and now find themselves 40 points clear with six games to go.

Rye won the toss and invited an understrength Seaford to bat. Craig Peirce struck in the first over, carrying on from the previous week’s fine form. Rye opened with spinner Harry Smeed from the other end and he immediately found a tight line.

Slowly but surely Rye’s ability to squeeze runs and take wickets, a feature of this season, was very apparent as the accuracy of the bowling against an inexperienced line-up took its toll. Smeed took 3-39 off 15 overs, Sandun Dias claimed 4-23 from 11 and Martin Blincow 2-17 off nine.

At 78-8, Seaford revived slightly as Rhys Cummins (24) and Jon Robards (15) stubbornly occupied the crease. Aided by an eventual 31 extras, Seaford managed 113 all out in the 46th over.

The Seaford innings had been disrupted for 45 minutes by a rain storm, the water from which quickly evaporated, but a new storm was looming as Rye began their reply and it was clear it was in Rye’s own hands to force the victory.

James Hamilton and Dan Seabrook were soon gone at 20-2, but Dias (35) and Jackson Woodcock (26 not out) then added 76 runs in just 16 overs. When Dias fell, the rain was falling too but Rye’s fears were allayed by Mark Cook (12 not out) seeing them to victory just in time before the heavens opened.