Uckfield Anderida made the short journey to local rivals Maresfield, knowing a defeat would confirm their relegation from Division 7 of the Sussex League.
After losing the toss, Uckfield were put in to bat on a slow, damp track. And because of that, scoring was hard to come by. Opening bowler Matt Bennett used the conditions excellently (2-23), getting the early wickets of Joe Burns and Pete Holman. Uckfield wicketkeeper Andrew Shelley joined opener David Tungate, and they looked to rebuild. That they did, and after seeing off Bennett, they took advantage of the first change bowlers, putting away anything too full. Tungate brought up his half century just before the drinks break as Uckfield kicked on after a poor start. However, Tungate fell for 63, meaning Maresfield were able to squeeze the run rate. At 80-3, Uckield were in a good position, and with excellent running from Shelley (47) and the returning Kev Morton (42 not out), Uckfield ended on 173-5 from their 40 overs.
Maresfield made a good start, with three of their four top order batsman playing fluently and hitting the ball crisply. Maresfield found themselves 118-2 off 20 overs, largely thanks to 47 from Terry Lucas. Lucas was dismissed off a fantastic catch from Andrew Rackley at mid-on but Maresfield were still in the driving seat. However, two wickets in an over from Tungate, then the run out of Maresfield captain Dave Whitlock swung the game in the visitor’s favour. Maresfield slipped to 144-7, with a great spell of bowling from James Harvey (1-23). Number 9 Matt Lucas batted superbly though, being particularly punishing on anything short, and he saw Maresfield home with nine balls to spare. This confirmed Uckfield’s relegation.
Meanwhile the 2nd XI secured a vital win at home to Chiddingly to boost their hopes of avoiding the drop from Division 11. A standout bowling performance from Anthony Muggeridge helped bowl the visitors out for just 92, which Uckfield knocked off less than fluently for the loss of 2 wickets.
Next week Uckfield first team host promotion-chasing Newhaven, whilst the second team travel to Mayfield in a bid to confirm their survival.
Report by David Tungate for Uckfield FM