Winning the toss and choosing to bat on a nicely baked pitch, Uckfield expected to score heavily, particularly with the club’s best player making himself available, writes Tom Grimes.
Although Pete Holman lost his opening partner, Matt McCallum, early on, after that Uckfield barely put a foot wrong.
Joined by Andy Turner, Pete Holman slowly set about thoroughly demoralising Newick’s bowling attack with an array of sumptuous pull shots and cover drives.
Turner played admirably for his 64, with lovely late cuts and solid drives. However, Holman played superbly, taking few risks, and pouncing on anything short or over-pitched.
After reaching 100, he kept his concentration as Newick’s bowling struggled further and Holman began launching them into the tennis courts for a number of effortless sixes.
In a bid to accelerate the innings, Turner began joining in the aerial assault, but was well caught at mid on by the Newick captain.
Uckfield captain for the day, David Tungate, joined the fray late-on and took no time in joining Holman in aiming for the tennis courts, and beyond.
Holman continued as before and, frankly, could well have batted all day. He reached the club record highest score of 157 with ease, and continued to 174 not out, featuring 24 fours and 5 sixes, before Uckfield declared with two overs left.
Uckfield went into the tea break confident that, with 287 runs in the board, they were in little danger of losing the game. Newick, though, had other ideas and began their innings batting sensibly and made a solid start, reaching 110 with the loss of just two wickets.
While Gill and Caldwell at numbers 3 and 4 made quick starts, neither was able to push on and get an important score.
Coming in at 151 for 3 and behind on the required run rate, Patel was confident that 287 could still be overhauled, and proceeded to throw the bat and give the Uckfield bowlers food for thought.
However, an excellent second bowling spell from Matt Reed despatched him and two of the next four batsman.
Craig-Davies for Newick still believed the game could be won and decided the tennis courts were a good place to aim. However, in the end, Newick ran out of overs just five runs short.
A draw seemed a fair result for some excellent batting from both sides and ensured Uckfield 1st XI’s security in Division 4 for next season.
Second X1 secures status in Division 9 for next season
• Similarly, the second XI, secured their status in Division 9 for next season, after comfortably chasing down a good total of 230, against Chiddingly. This featured an outstanding opening partnership of 171 between Uckfield captain, Anthony Muggeridge, who scored a creditable 73, and and Chris Moore (with an excellent 105). The season concludes next weekend.