Martin Read – Sports Reporter
A thunderous opening stand between wicket keeper Adam Goacher and Kiwi James Parker enabled Slinfold to cruise to victory in their August Cup 40 over Final against East Sussex’s Crowhurst Park in front of a big crowd at Horsham Cricket Club’s HQ last Saturday
Crowhurst Park from Division 4 West in the Sussex League won the toss and elected to bat, but stuttered to 41-2 after 10 overs, Imran Shah dismissing both openers, including skipper Tim Hambridge stumped off a wide. A smart catch in the gulley and a second wicket for Tom Endacott reduced Crowhurst to 79-4 at the 20 over half way stage, but although wickets continued to fall, a late 57 run stand between Rakesh Patel and Jamie Bristow-Diamond edged Crowhurst towards 179 all out, albeit with 10 balls unused, Endacott and Guy Thorne taking three wickets apiece.
Between innings Slinfold Captain Sean Overton told us: “As we play in Division 3, Crowhurst Park are an unknown quantity to us, but the wicket is good and the ball is coming on nicely, so hopefully we’ll be OK.”
Impartial observers suggested that the 180 run target was around 50 light and Goacher and Parker soon confirmed that, blitzing the boundary with 88 on the board after just 5 overs. The thought of running singles was abhorrent to Parker, his first 32 runs comprising 5 fours and 2 sixes coming from a mere 10 deliveries. Dropping him only caused acceleration, as, with Goacher, the pair took the score to 109-0 from just six highly entertaining overs. By the next over both had reached their fifties, Goacher reverse sweeping fours with aplomb. By the time both openers were out – Goacher for 60, with 8 fours and 4 sixes, and Parker for 62 – the damage had long since been done, victory soon following for the loss of only 4 wickets, with six overs to spare.
Post match, Sean Overton said: “You never know in a final, but the way Adam and James set off was incredible after we’d bottled Crowhurst up at the start of their innings.” Crowhurst skipper Tim Hambridge was philosophical saying: “This was a great experience for our young side. We’ve been properly tested, but we started poorly with the ball and weren’t good enough on the day.” While Adam Goacher added: “I’ve had a few starts this season without managing a big score, but it really clicked today!”