Local rivals set for top-of-the-table clash

James Askew
James Askew

LITTLEHAMPTON Cricket Club captain James Askew has labelled his side’s home match with leaders Arundel on Saturday as must-win if they are to keep their title hopes alive.

Arundel extended their lead at the top of the West Sussex Invitation League to 36 points over West Chiltington, who are now second, and to 48 points over third-placed Littlehampton on Saturday.

Littlehampton went down by 167 runs at Horsham Trinity, while Arundel recorded a 120-run victory against St Andrews and West Chiltington gained a winning draw at East Preston.

Each side has five games left and Askew said: “We’ve got to pick ourselves up and bounce back against Arundel.

“It’s a must-win game for us to keep our title hopes alive.

“If Arundel win on Saturday, then it’s all over for us. A lot of people will probably say it’s all over for us already but we’ve just got to go out on Saturday and win big.

“Arundel still have to play West Chiltington and we play them in the last game of the season as well, so there’s still a lot to play for but we’re going to have to beat both of them.”

Askew has called his side’s season frustrating to date as they have failed to back up strong performances at The Sportsfield in away games.

They have five wins from six games at home and just one victory from seven away matches.

Askew said: “Our home form has been unbelievable and we’ve won every game apart from one, which we tied.

“We’re comfortable in our surroundings at home but we’ve got to dig in more and improve in our away games if we want to get back into the Sussex Cricket League.

“Hopefully we can do that in the couple of away games which we’ve got left this season.”

On Saturday’s defeat at Horsham Trinity, who have beaten Arundel and Littlehampton in successive weeks to climb off the bottom, Askew said: “Everything went wrong. In the field, we dropped six or seven catches, including their guy who got a hundred and it just wasn’t good enough.”

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