Crows through to regional final

Ed Smissen bowling for Crowhurst Park against Rottingdean on Sunday. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140526-111105002)
Ed Smissen bowling for Crowhurst Park against Rottingdean on Sunday. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140526-111105002)

Crowhurst Park are through to the regional final of a national knockout cricket competition.

The Telham-based club reached round four of the ECB Davidstow Village Cup courtesy of a five-wicket victory at home to old rivals Rottingdean on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Park skipper Paul Brookes asked Rottingdean to take first knock on winning the toss. Clive Tong made the breakthrough when he removed Mark Grantham for 33, caught at point by Pete Beaumont.

He also tempted Mushtaq Islam into flicking a poor ball straight to Nick Taylor, who took a juggling catch, en route to finishing a good spell with 2-25 off nine overs. Bernard Thys then fell for 21 to Ed Smissen with the score on 84 off 26 overs.

With just six overs remaining and only 112 on the board, Park looked to have the innings under control. A combination of slack fielding and aggressive batting, however, shifted the momentum back in Rottingdean’s favour with Park conceding 58 runs off the last six overs.

Henry Ledden finished unbeaten on 54 and was ably supported by George Ledden on 23 not out to give Rottingdean a very competitive total of 169-3 from their allotted 40 overs.

Faced with some tight bowling, runs were hard to come by at the start of the home reply, but Park reached 28 before both openers fell in successive balls.

The pressure was back on Park, but Brookes and Tong rebuilt the run chase with a fine 53-run partnership in 10 overs. Brookes fell to Sikder Ahmed for a useful 18, but Tong was playing some excellent attacking strokes around the ground.

Bradley Payne offered good support in a useful 42-run partnership before a fine caught and bowled from George Ledden ended his stay at the crease. Park were now in control, though, with Claremont School man of the match Tong taking the game away from Rottingdean.

By the time he was bowled by Islam for a superb 74, Park were nearly over the line, and it was left to Pete Beaumont (11 not out) and Taylor (16 not out off 10 balls) to seal the victory with five overs and five wickets to spare.

An excellent afternoon of cricket was enjoyed by a fine crowd of supporters, who will now follow Park to past champions Glynde & Beddingham in the regional final on Sunday June 8.