East Preston take huge step towards promotion

Louis Storey hit a century in East Preston's latest win. Picture by Derek Martin
Louis Storey hit a century in East Preston's latest win. Picture by Derek Martin

Leaders East Preston Cricket Club took a massive step towards Sussex League Division 5 West promotion on Saturday.

In a key battle at third-placed West Wittering, East Preston came out 16-run winners in a thrilling encounter.

Table-toppers EP moved 66 points clear of two-places below West Wittering in the battle for promotion with four games to play.

A century from Louis Storey (102) helped secure the all important victory after what looked to be a nail-biting finale as West Wittering almost reached the target they were set.

East Preston skipper Gary Weedon won the toss and elected to bat, but he wouldn’t remain on the field for long as he was caught by Mark Taylor at square leg, off the second ball - failing to score a single run.

But it was Storey’s mammoth effort that gave the hosts a small mountain to climb as he hit the boundary 14 times off 122 balls before being caught out by Munro.

East Preston’s batters were too hot for West Wittering bowlers to handle as Paul McCafferty (37) and Jack Sunderland (32) both piled on runs as the score grew steeper and steeper.

Wickets came too few and far between as the travelling side ended their allotted 40 overs with a score of 218-8.

West Wittering began the chase in solid fashion, piling on 69 runs before East Preston were able to take their first wicket. Tight bowling from Lucy Uncles (2-32) made sure that the runs didn’t flow as freely for the batsmen.

For a while it seemed as though the home side were within a shout of earning the victory but they started to capitulate around the 150 run mark.

The East Preston bowlers piled on the pressure for the batsmen, who collapsed from 148-3 to 164-7 at the mid-point of the innings.

The writing was on the wall for the hosts as overs were running out. In-form Brandon Trimmer top-scored for his side with a rapid-fire 48, but was bowled to the relief of the East Preston players.

Jack Sunderland (3-20) replicated his positive batting display with a strong bowling performance as he dismissed three of the last four remaining batsmen.

Leaders East Preston will be aiming to continue their form when they welcome Wisborough Green to the Cricket Field on Saturday.