Rye Cricket Club’s first team was edged out in a closely-fought first league game of the season away to Hellingly on Saturday.
Hellingly triumphed by two wickets with four balls to spare in a Sussex Cricket League Division Five East fixture containing more than 500 runs and 17 wickets.
Rye lost the toss and were asked to bat on a decent-looking wicket with a very short boundary on one side. Rye got off to a great start with an opening partnership of 47, which ended when Sachin Jha (16) was bowled by the impressive Adam Pye (3-37).
James Hamilton came in and along with Dan Seabrook (30), kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely. When the spinners were introduced, Hamilton went on the attack and produced a fantastic partnership with Fin Thomson.
After Hamilton was out LBW for a brilliant 68, Thomson continued his fine work by scoring a quickfire 43. Rye then slid from 194-3 to 218-8, the victims including Harry Smeed (18), until Sam Cooper (17 not out) and Ellis Hatter (11) took them up to what seemed a very decent score of 257-9 from their 45 overs.
Hellingly got off to a great start in reply with both openers playing their shots, especially David Rippengal (75). Rye needed a break and with the score on 97, Smeed produced a handy bit of work to run out Steve Hook for a well-made 44.
Thomson was introduced into the attack and set about changing the course of the match by taking a brilliant 5-55, but a quickfire 30 from James McDonald and a well-composed 27 not out by William Hutchings saw Hellingly home in the final over.
It was a great game of cricket, but Rye will be disappointed that missed chances cost them the win.
Rye will host new opposition tomorrow (Saturday) in the form of Lindfield II. Overseas player Sandun Dias is expected to arrive in time to play in a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera which will start at 12.30pm.
Jha will instead play for the seconds as they make the short journey to Crowhurst Park II in Division Six East.
The thirds - who got off to a winning start last weekend because Hellingly fourths conceded - will entertain Bexhill fifths in East Sussex League Division 11 tomorrow.
On Monday the under-11s will travel to Mersham, on Tuesday the under-15s will host Egerton and the under-13s are away to Mersham on Thursday.
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