Rye’s 1st XI won their first toss of the season and elected to bowl. Keymer & Hassocks openers got them off to a strong start, hitting 73 runs before losing Michael Poole for 31 caught and bowled by Neil Browne with fellow opener Michael Johnson not out on 36.
Tom Fairfax was next in but he did not hang around for too long. lasting only 9 balls before being bowled by Harry Smeed for just 2 runs. This brought John Price to the crease to accompany Michael Johnson. Price hit a quick fire 25 in just 35 balls before being caught lbw by Harry Smeed.
Opener Michael Johnson was still in and was quietly going about his business reaching 62 not out when Price was dismissed. Lee Pittavino came in at number 5 and immediately began adding more runs to the total but also hung around long enough to support Michael Johnson who was 90 not out. Pittavino was bowled by the impressive Harry Smeed for 29.
George Duplock came and went in just 6 balls scoring just 2 runs before being caught by Craig Pierce off the bowling of Gary Willis. The next wicket to fall was that of Michael Johnson, just falling 5 short of his century before being caught by Jake Bryant off the bowling of that man again Harry Smeed. Andrew Dean and George Christmas added a further 8 runs before Keymer & Hassocks declared at 209 for 6 wickets from 51 overs.
Rye began their innings in disastrous fashion, losing their first 5 wickets for just 27 runs. Opener Neil Browne was caught for 6 runs by Tom Fairfax off the bowling of Michael Poole. Dan Seabrook was next to go after being run out out by George Christmas for 3 runs. Will Wheeler was next to lose his wicket after being bowled by Lee Pittavino after scoring just 3 runs.
James Hamilton 6 runs was caught by Andy Westgate following great bowling from Michael Poole. With the wickets falling rapidly, worse was to come for Rye when Jake Bryant was caught by Michael Johnson off the bowling of Lee Pittavino. Ben Clifton and Jo Lovell both 17 came to the crease and managed to tighten the ship and start to score the runs which was needed if Rye were to win the game. Unfortunately, Lovell with 20 runs was caught by Lee Pittavino from the bowling of Michael Poole with the score at 72 for 6. Spencer Fielding was the next batsman to the crease but he only lasted 11 balls before being bowled out by Andy Westgate for 4 runs.
With Clifton 26 not out Rye needed a final push from their tail-end to save the day. Number 9 batsman Gary Willis was up next for Rye. He and Ben Clifton batted well together scoring steadily before Willis was caught by Lee Pittavino from Andy Westgate with the score at 111 for 8 wickets. Harry Smeed was caught by Tom Fairfax from the bowling of Andy Westgate for a duck. Craig Pierce came to the crease to join with Ben Clifton who was 38 not out.
Going into the last over of the match it looked like Rye were going to pull off the unthinkable by getting a draw. Unfortunately, Lee Pittavino had other ideas. In an incredible finish Pittavino took the 10th wicket with the last ball of the match, ending a marathon 35 over innings from Ben Clifton. Rye finished with figures of 117 all out. Rye head into next week’s home match against Slinfield in 5th position, one place above their opponents.
Highlights of the day were: Mike Johnson hitting 95 in Keymer’s total of 209-6 declared, Harry Smeed taking 4-60 for Rye, and Lee Pittavino taking 3-28. Ben Clifton finished with 40, Mike Poole took 3-41 and Andy Westgate 3-37.
Photo: Janet Tiltman