Rain helps Park hold on

Paul Brookes has taken 26 wickets in Crowhurst Park's last five league games
Paul Brookes has taken 26 wickets in Crowhurst Park's last five league games

Crowhurst Park’s cricketers received a helping hand from the weather as they held on for a draw on Saturday.

The Sussex Cricket League Division Two match was halted seven overs early due to rain with Park’s last pair at the crease.

Some could be forgiven for having one eye on the following day’s Davidstow Village Cup game and it certainly seemed to be the case early on with some lapses in the field allowing Lindfield to reach 46 without loss having been asked to bat.

Park captain Paul Brookes brought himself into the attack and bowled Tom Howard for a streaky 24 having been dropped twice. Fellow opener Rob Keen (21) was bowled by Cameron Flanagan in the next over and with Brookes picking up the next two wickets to fall, Lindfield were 70-4.

Flanagan then struck immediately after the drinks break, tempting Shane Wilson-Yelverton to edge to gully, but a well-made 71-run partnership between Peter Vinall and Nick Hopkins brought Lindfield back into it.

A good catch by Nick Peters removed the dangerous Hopkins for 48 to give Park their first bowling points. Wickets then fell at regular intervals, aided by two sharp run outs from Flanagan and Kellen Powell, and Park picked up maximum bonus points with Lindfield all out for 192. Brookes yet again was the pick of the bowlers with excellent figures of 5-55 off 21 overs.

The inability to get off to a decent start with the bat has continued to cause Park problems and yet again wickets fell early as both openers were back in the pavilion with just 12 runs scored off 10 overs.

Bradley Payne was looking to translate his recent good form in cup cricket into the league and showed good intent until being caught at square leg for 14.

Brookes (11) and Powell (14) looked to rebuild, but when both fell in successive overs, Park were once again in trouble at 52-5. This soon became 54-6 when James Aggio-Brewe picked up his fourth wicket, but a mini partnership between Peter Beaumont and Ed Smissen gave Park hope of salvaging something.

Lindfield captain James Pearce brought himself back into the attack and trapped Beaumont LBW for 12 to leave Park holding on. The weather was now causing concern to the umpires and Lindfield were desperate to finish off the innings, but the rain set in before they could do so with Park on 106-9.

Standings (all played nine matches): 1 Middleton 249pts, 2 Billingshurst 170, 3 St James’s Montefiore 153, 4 Worthing 144, 5 Ifield 134, 6 Lindfield 120, 7 Findon 105, 8 CROWHURST PARK 93, 9 Chichester Priory Park 92, 10 Goring-By-Sea 72.