Burgess Hill entertained Pagham in the latest 45 over round of matches in the Sussex County Premier League third division.
Stand-in skipper Kevin Ramsay had no hesitation in batting on a hard true-looking wicket and the forecast set fair. However, by the second over he was at the crease himself as opener Tom Penfold was adjudged to have edged behind off Ollie Pearce following a half-hearted appeal . Fellow opener Hugh Warmisham was batting soundly as Ramsay was soon into his stride. A slightly low-bounce delivery from Pearce seemed to befuddle Warmisham and he was Pearce’s second victim as he was bowled off his pads and Hill were 29-2.
Joe Maskell, refreshed from a week’s break, did not last long as an injudicious stroke led to an easy catch for Aiden Zammit off Peter Cotterill and he departed without troubling the scorers. Second team captain Matt Charman joined Ramsay and he put the wicket in context as they fluently built a fifty run partnership . Pagham introduced Joe De La Fuente and his nagging line and length accounted for Charman who was caught behind by Stuart Hanks having made 23 with a six and three fours. Hill needed to find further reliable partners for Ramsay who continued to play assuredly and assertively. Unfortunately Ben Hopkins and Billinghay came and went without scoring and Hill were in deep trouble at 92-6. Phil Wickwar came to the crease and showed a number of his colleagues the resilience and determination required to build a partnership. He scored just 4 in the 35 run partnership with Ramsay who had progressed to 75. Pagham’s Nick Tabberer finally enticed Wickwar forward and he was smartly stumped by Hanks. Hill had expectations of securing more batting points with Ramsay still there but the last three batsmen all fell for ducks, making seven in total , and the final score was a miserable 129 all out in the 36th over. Pearce took 4-29 and Tabberer 3-24.
Pagham’s reply was positive from the start with Aiden Zammit seizing on any loose balls. George Willett bowled with good pace and left-armer Bobby Barnes found an encouraging rhythm after an expensive over. The rewards came when Charman caught Stuart Rutter (4) at second slip off Barnes and Willett trapped De La Fuente LBW for a duck in the following over. However the Burgess Hill bowlers struggled to contain Zammit who was scoring at will. He put on 44 with Ryan Barratt (7) before Joe Maskell found some movement to capture Barratt LBW followed up by the removal of Zammit bowled for a fine 55 . At 91-4, Hill had a glimmer of hope but Ollie Pearce extinguished that with some belligerent blows, including four sixes. Pearce capped off a fine all round performance to guide Pagham home with 35 not out alongside captain Hanks (7n.o) in just the 21st over.
Hill are now taking root at the bottom of division three.