At last! At the 8th attempt, Burgess Hill 3rd team finally won their first game of the season, after inflicting a “humiliating” 6 wicket defeat on their closest rivals, Lindfield 3rds at Hickmans Lane. Bearing in mind the top score for the team this season was 132, Hill chased down 209 with 4 wickets and 2 overs to spare after a superb run chase.

Having won the toss, Lindfield were put into bat on a worn looking Hickmans Lane pitch, that offered some assistance to the bowlers with a “tennis ball bounce” that made batting difficult but runs were freely available if you waited long enough for the ball to come through! Ryan Jackson bowled an excellent opening spell, dismissing opener Adrian Whear, but 20 from Ross Pedley and an excellent 40 from Charlie Weir saw Lindfield reach 71-2. The experienced Phil Tolhurst strode to the crease and batted with belligerence, making full use of the short boundary, dominating a partnership of 109 with Jack Flower 21. Debutant Jack Copper claimed 2 wickets as did Peter Murphy before Jackson returned with 3 late strikes including Tolhurst for a fine 94 and when he was caught on the boundary by Tom Cooper, Lindfield skipper Neil Pedley, having noticed Hill’s ineptitude with the bat this season, declared on 208, leaving the visitors chasing 209 in 46 overs for an unlikely win.

Curly Pummell and Simon Parker opened the innings for Hill, but when Curly was caught down the leg side for 1 and Simon was bowled around his legs for a brisk 19, Hill were 22-2 and in trouble given their frail batting this campaign. Skipper and “old timer” Paul Elphick joined Jack Cooper in the middle and they forged a brilliant partnership of 122, with “veteran” Elphick pulling and hooking his way to a fine 81 and Jack batting with incredible maturity and technique to stay with him. When the “old boy” was caught and bowled by Phil Weir, Hill still needed 65 to win and victory looked a long way off. When Jack was caught for a fabulous 32, Mason Foley, making his first appearance of the season, joined Tom Cooper and smashed the ball to all parts of the ground – one straight six arguably being the shot of the day. With Tom playing a more reserved role at the other end, they knocked off the runs with the minimum of fuss and with 2 overs to spare, Tom finishing 17 not out and Mason a sensational 39 not out and a fully deserved but obviously “humiliating” defeat for Lindfield.

The “old timer” skipper speaking from his ice cold bath, resting his weary bones, whilst smoking his pipe said “ I couldn’t be prouder of the lads, who have endured some horrendous beatings this season but have kept their spirits high and have now been rewarded by this first “unexpected” and “shock victory”. “Special mentions to Ryan, Jack and Mason who really stepped it up this week and were rewarded with excellent personal perfomances”.

“Old timer Paul Elphick”