On another baking hot Sussex day, Uckfield were embarrassed by Polegate in their heaviest defeat for 4 seasons.
Uckfield were pleased to lose the toss and find themselves asked to bat first on what looked to be an excellent deck. Polegate however, had a cunning plan. They bowled full toss after full toss, and one after one the Uckfield batsmen found a way to spoon catches or miss the ball completely and get bowled.
Kevin Morton and Andy Turner provide most of Uckfield’s top order resistance, but when they were dismissed in quick succession, Uckfield found themselves in a perilous position at 60-6. Reed and Burns began the rebuilding process, but were conscious not to take too many risks.
As a consequence, runs dried up, and when Reed was adjudged to be LBW to Johnson, Uckfield knew they were probably about 150 runs light of where they should have been. Burns (25) and Brady (22*) threw the bat for a brief spell, and got Uckfield up to a total of 123. In truth, this was never likely to be enough, but gave Uckfield a glimmer of hope at tea.
The glimmer lasted even less time than the chicken tikka sandwiches at tea. Reed bowled well, but found that Nathan Hover (31) was able to work anything that drifted on to his pads for four, whilst Brady, unusually for him, found it difficult to find a rhythm. He was unfortunate to see Burns drop a dolly at short extra cover – but this summed up Uckfield’s day.
Phillips was introduced to the attack following an excellent spell the week before, and immediately rewarded his captain with a wicket. However, from that moment on, Higgs (38) and Steve Hover (33) made serene progress until inexplicably, with the score at 120-1, Higgs gifted his wicket to Muggeridge with a poor choice of shot.
A few balls later, the game was won and Uckfield were beaten by 8 wickets inside 20 overs.
This was a poor performance on all three counts, and if Uckfield want to avoid a similar result against league leaders St. Peters next week, they’ll need to perform infinitely better.