Tough lessons at crease

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Making a good start: Rye 2nd XI openers Mark Cook, left, and Man of the Match John Mackenzie

August is the month of weddings and harvesting, great for loving couples and farmers, but not for cricket teams. Rye 1st XI travelled to Portslade on Saturday with a much changed side as a result of both of these afflictions.

Skipper Gary Willis won the toss and elected to bowl, with 15-year-old Rhys Jones opening the attack with him. Rye made a steady start restricting Portslade to 44-2, then Dan Holgate 64 led the Portslade recovery. The Rye bowling attack consisting of off spinners twirled away all afternoon, taking wickets but unable to stem the flow of runs. Jackson Woodcock with 3-61 and Gary Willis 3-62 were the pick of the Rye bowlers. None of the Portslade batters stayed for long but batted the 53 overs and with a generous 44 extras Portslade reached 247-8.

Rye’s reply faltered immediately as Neil Browne was bowled for nought, Dan Seabrook made 21, but as ever with this season too many of the Rye batsmen failed to get a start. Thus partnerships never developed and the bowling side always maintained the pressure.

For Portslade Stephen Case 3-32 and Paul Glover 3-2 did the damage as Rye were dismissed for 99. Rye still remain 50-plus points clear of the drop zone and in the three remaining matches play the two teams in the drop zone, so everything is in Rye’s hand.  It has been a season of tough lessons, but it is through adversity that real characters and skill are forged.

The 2nds entertained Burgess Hill on Saturday in a match sponsored by Adams of Rye, and included a player who last played for Rye 30 years ago, who had returned to Rye for his daughter’s wedding, all the way from Canada and was part of yet another good effort by the 2nds. Rye batted first and scored 209 all out in their 53 overs. Thanks in main to Gandhi Tandoori MOM John Mackenzie who scored 106. Supported by Pete Thomson 36 they put together a 120-run partnership. For Burgess Hill Stephen Cromb 7-41 did the damage to the Rye tail end. In response Burgess Hill were never in the hunt as they reached 143-7 in 47 overs. Matt Charman 46 not out provided the only resistance as Rye found it hard to remove the Burgess Hill batsmen. Craig Pierce 4-40 and Nick Paine 2-36 gave Rye early hope before the game whimpered out to a draw.

This Saturday the firsts entertain Henfield in a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera, the seconds travel to Crowhurst Park IVths, the thirds are without a game, while the 4th XI entertain Hailsham 4th XI.

 

Photos: Tony Nunn