This Saturday saw Compton 4ths travel the hour to west Sussex, to take on Easebourne. With early afternoon cloud expected to burn off by four o’clock, coupled with the damp deck, saw captain Phil Wilson decide to put Easebourne into bat upon winning the toss.
Ian Forward and Jamie Flood looked to capitalise with the new ball on the seamer friendly wicket, however Jamie struggled to keep his feet with the wet conditions underfoot and was taken off after his opening over. Compton got their first breakthrough with the score on 11, as Ian found the edge of the openers bat, for the ball to fall kindly into the hands of James Hake at second slip.
With James taking over from the pavilion end, he joined the party as a rank short ball was finely caught by Ian at short fine leg. Ian bowled tight lines restricting the batsmen, building pressure for Hakey to capitalise on and he did so with fine style, dismissing the other opener LBW with his only full ball of the spell.
Not to be out-done by his bowling partner, Ian found the edge again for Nick Spearing to claim a catch up to the stumps. Ian then bought debutant David Mumford into the game, as David caught a good catch at mid-on. James Hake’s “tactic” of short pitch bowling bought two more wickets for Compton, the first being an LBW from a half tracker that was on its way back down towards the second bounce when it struck the batsmen in front. The second followed soon after, as the ball hit the leading edge, for Gaz Smith to take an excellent catch over his shoulder at mid-wicket.
Not settling for less wickets than Hakey, Ian utilised the pitch, forcing the batsman to spoon the ball to Matt Scorey for the most simple catch of his career at short extra-cover. With both seamers taking four wickets and running out of overs in their spell, Phil took over at the pavilion end looking to wrap up the tail. He struck instantly as a catch spooned to Nick down the leg side, which he hung onto on the second attempt. The tail looked to attack, but Phil eventually took the final wicket, thanks to another good catch by Dave Mumford.
A quick turn-around saw Easebourne take the field straight away. The successful opening partnership of Matt Scorey and Nick Spearing looked to continue a run of good form and knock off the target with ten wickets in hand. Fortune looked to be favouring the pair, as Nick was gifted over-throws and Scorey cannily left the ball to hit the keepers helmet. As both batsmen looked to be cruising with the score at 33 for 0, Nick was removed for 18 as he looked to dispatch a long-hop over cover-point, only for the ball to skew into the hands of the man at backward point.
The fall of the first wicket sparked a middle order collapse for Compton. Scorey was bowled for 10 by the dangerous opener, only for Gaz, Whinge, Simon Copland and Jamie Flood all to be removed for ducks. Compton had collapsed from 33 for 0 to 34 for 6. David Mumford and Josh Poulter looked to steady the innings, but after some resilient defence, David was trapped LBW for a hard-fought 1. As Compton looked to be slumping to an embarrassing defeat, brave batting from Josh Poulter and Ian Forward managed to get the total within touching distance, with Josh taking a nasty body blow for the cause.
After seeing off the openers, Ian was unfortunately bowled off his pads for 6, before James Hake became the fifth duck of the innings as he ballooned the ball in the air. Captain Wilson and the young Josh were left needing just five runs for the final wicket to guide the team to victory. Josh hit a lovely cover drive for two and Phil hit a gap at mid-wicket to level the game. The win was sealed as the pair ran a bye to seal a one wicket victory, giving the 4ths a third consecutive victory.
Compton made hard work of a low total, losing 9 wickets for 34 runs. Next week see’s Nick Spearing get a chance to skipper the 4ths away at Froxfield.