Steyning squad have 'mutual desire' to come back stronger

Steyning’s squad share a mutual determination to come back stronger after being knocked off top spot in Sussex League Division 3 West.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 5:30 pm
Cleon Reece took three wickets but an injury meant he could not bowl more than five overs. Picture by Steve Robards

That is the view of captain Oliver Collins following the four-wicket defeat at Broadwater on Saturday.

A second successive loss saw Steyning drop down to second, with Pagham moving to the summit.

Collins’ troops made a storming start to the season, winning each of their opening four matches to go clear at the top.

However, consecutive defeats against Stirlands and Broadwater have seen their fine form falter.

But captain Collins insisted all of the squad share a desire to get back to the heights they were hitting earlier in the campaign.

He said: “It just wasn’t to be for us on Saturday.

“The defeat was frustrating and hurts from the position we were in.

“However, there is a mutual determination and desire from the lads to come back stronger next week.

“We’ve got back-to-back home games coming up now and a couple of chances to put things right. We want to get back to playing the cricket we want to be playing and picking up the wins we are capable of – as shown earlier on in the season.”

Steyning were stuck into bat but managed to post a defendable total.

Opener Chris Barnett played his part, top scoring with 56 for the visitors.

Captain Collins struck a conservative 45, while Dave Kennett smashed 46 off just 42 balls as Steyning posted 216-8 off their 45 overs.

Opening bowler Joel Lewis and Graham Merritt-Blann both took two wickets but things were in the balance at the halfway stage.

Overseas bowler Cleon Reece was brilliant in his opening spell, collecting figures of 3-35 to restrict Broadwater to 38-3.

Yet he pulled up injured and was unable to bowl more than the five overs in his first burst. That dealt a huge blow to Steyning and Benn Challen’s brilliance saw the visitors over the line.

He ended unbeaten on 94, made from 124 balls which included 11 fours and two sixes.

Challen had support from Lewis (35) and Les Ward (32) as they reached 220-6 with eight balls to spare to record a four-wicket win.

Steyning skipper Collins added: “We went about our batting really well to post a competitive score in excess of 200, with a few good contributions throughout.

“It was a shame CJ (Cleon Reece) broke down injured after his initial opening spell, where he picked up three wickets, then he attempted to come back on to bowl and put us in a commanding position.

“It was particularly pleasing to see George (Isaacs) bowl so well in his first game for us and show the skills he’s developed recently.

“He looks to be a useful asset for us this season.”

Steyning entertain Littlehampton on Saturday.

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