On yet another hot day, Uckfield travelled to Brighton St Peters to be greeted by a pitch that would not have looked out of place on the sub continent, with little green to be seen, writes Tom Grimes.
And, after stand-in captain, Dave Tungate, lost the toss and was invited to bat, Uckfield struggled on the sun-bleached, hard wicket, with both opening batsmen falling fairly quickly.
While Tungate (91) played a vital captain’s innings at number four, punishing anything wayward, he was supported far too briefly by the rest of his team.
Brutal slog sweeps
Coming in at 22-3, Chris Turner (25) made some much needed runs with some brutal slog sweeps, but was out when he missed one playing that very stroke, which the bowler confirmed to everyone afterwards was inevitable.
Shelley (19) also made some headway with some solid strokes before being surprised to be given out LBW.
And matters were not helped when Tungate called his latest partner, Chris Brady, through for a suicidal single.
Shot of the day
James Harvey played the shot of the day, a beautifully timed backfoot drive that was as much a surprise to him as it was his watching teammates, but he too fell quickly, leaving Uckfield on 181 all out, which felt far too little on such a dry and fast outfield.
The welcome fresh fruit selection at tea was a welcome relief, but this was as much respite as Uckfield got, as Brighton St Peters set about cashing in on the fast outfield and flatter pitch.
Openers Dagley and Rutherford were clinical in their punishment of anything too straight, hitting numerous boundaries between mid on and square leg.
And, aside from a few Reed pearlers early-on that arguably should have brought more reward, the home side’s opening pair were never really troubled by the Uckfield bowlers. They batted serenely on to reach the total, beating Uckfield comprehensively by 10 wickets.
Meanwhile the 2nd XI enjoyed a much for fruitful day, piling on 287 runs for the loss of just two wickets, with Richard Coates 100 not out, before bowling out Crowhurst Park for just 175.
Next week, features the second ‘double derby’ day, with both teams playing Maresfield.