Rye travelled to West Chiltington and Thakeham on Saturday with the aim of bouncing back from the previous weeks’ defeat to Stirlands. Rye skipper James Hamilton won the toss and after much conjecture took the decision to bat first on a good looking wicket on what was a very warm afternoon.
The Rye innings was essentially the tale of two partnerships. The first partnership had its genesis as a consequence of the loss of Hamilton in the second over as Dan Seabrook and Hugo Nel compiled a 55 run stand. However, Rye found themselves 57 for 2 after the impressive Tim Van Noort dismissed Nel for a well-made 32. Seabrook continued to play well and notched up his first fifty of the season before he was dismissed by Charlie Davies (1 for 84) to leave Rye 91 for 3.
Not for the first time this season the middle order was rocked as the experienced Van Noort (4 for 24) ripped the heart out of the Rye line up as 91 for 3 became 95 for 5. However, at this point the second significant partnership was constructed between Harry Smeed and Mickey Toomey.
Between them the pair compiled a partnership worth 106 by the time Mickey Toomey was dismissed for a well-made score of 59, his first league fifty for the club and one that couldn’t have been scored at a more crucial time. Smeed then followed for an equally impressive score of 53 as Rye secured maximum batting points.
Rye were hopeful of posting a score of over 250 but the return of Reuben Taylor (4 for 41) curtailed any such ambitions as he removed the lower order with consummate ease. Nonetheless, despite his impressive spell, a competitive total of 231 all out from 51 overs at the crease was still able to be posted.
After the tea break Rye had 49 overs within which to dismiss the opposition and pick up maximum points. They started well with Hugo Nel removing danger man Tim Van Noort for 14 to a well held catch by Dan Seabrook. Craig Pierce then got in on the act as he removed both Eddie Miller (6) and overseas player Sanchit Batra (4) to leave the opposition 37 for 3. This then became 56 for 4 as George Wathen picked up Ben Hasler (28) to a sharp catch at mid-wicket.
What followed was a frustrating passage of play as Rye were unable to pick up wickets at the necessary rate to push for victory. Reuben Taylor (30), Callum Wyatt (27) and Charlie Davies (27 not out) all frustrated the Rye attack as skipper Hamilton attempted to manufacture a result.
A late flurry of wickets courtesy of Pierce gave Rye some hope, but in the end the Salts outfit had to settle for a draw as they were unable to remove the final two wickets. Craig Pierce was impressive in picking up 5 for 41 from 19 overs; George Wathen who picked up 2 for 27 ably supported him.
Although a frustrating day, there were a number of highlights from what was an excellent team display; the most notable was the performance of Mickey Toomey in scoring his maiden league fifty for the club. An outcome warmly welcomed for this highly popular member of the side.
Rye picked up 14 points and closed the gap on second placed Stirlands to just 1 point after Henfield defeated them. Rye have two significant fixtures on the horizon that will determine the success of their season. The first of these is on Saturday at the Salts in a match sponsored by My Sweet Etcetera, as they entertain fifth placed Seaford, who sit just 8 points beneath them in the Sussex Premier Cricket League table.
The 2nds last Saturday produced a fine all round performance to record a second victory of the season. The match started much the same as any other, as Rye lost the toss again. Haywards Heath elected to bat first on a beautifully sunny day at the Rye Cricket Salts. The batting side got off to a positive start as Dudhal, Dunk and Phelps got into the 20s as Haywards Heath reached 102-2, despite good bowling from Tom Gasson and Harry Rhys Jones (1-14). James Smeed applied the breaks with (1-11 off 7 overs). Then Ross Pierce (4-47) and Martin Blincow (3-41) spun their way through the Heath batting line up, supported by the wicket keeping of Tim Brownbill, snaffling stumpings and catches. Rye finally dismissed Heath for 162 in the 53rd over. It was a great team effort in the field to maintain the intensity and pressure and not let Heath get away.
Rye’s achilles heel this summer has been the batting. Rye got off to a positive start as well, but wobbled at 40-2, but then Pete Thomson 72 and Spencer Fielding compiled a 100 run partnership, blasting boundaries to all parts of the Cricket Salts. Both fell with the score on 142, but Tim Brownbill and Tim Morgan saw Rye over the finishing line to record a 6 wicket victory.
Tomorrow Rye seconds travel to Seaford, the thirds have no game as it is their free week.
Photo: Rye News library