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County championship: Ton-up van Zyl guides Sussex to vital victory over Durham

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Stiaan van Zyl scored an unbeaten century to guide Sussex to their first Specsavers County Championship Division Two victory of the season, defeating Durham by six wickets at Emirates Riverside

Beginning the final day on 144-3, the visitors still had a challenge to score the 68 runs that would carry them over the line on a gloomy morning. Van Zyl contiuned brilliant knock second innings, defying the hosts with a resilient performance before upping the ante.

Laurie Evans did offer a chance in the morning session when he drilled a Chris Rushworth delivery straight to Jack Burnham at cover. A wicket could have exposed Sussex’s batting line-up to a nervy chase, but Burnham failed to grasp the opportunity – epitomising his side’s performance over the course of the match.

Evans made the most of his second life, reaching fifty from 104 deliveries. Van Zyl then reached three figures with a nudge down to fine leg. Salisbury removed Evans for 51, but Ben Brown knocked off the winning runs to guide Sussex over the line, capping a fine performance on the road from his side.

Durham will be frustrated by the manner of their defeat, failing to capitalise on advantageous positions in the match. They reduced the visitors to 71-7 in their first innings following fine bowling from James Weighell and Rushworth. However, Wells, who played the innings of the match with an unbeaten 98, managed to grind out 131 runs for the final three wickets, bringing Sussex within 22 runs of Durham’s first-innings total.

Durham v sussex day one
Durham v Sussex day two
Durham v Sussex day three

After losing quick wickets on the morning of day three, Durham appeared to be grinding out a solid partnership with Gareth Harte and Ned Eckersley at the crease. However, after scoring back-to-back boundaries, Eckersley smashed a delivery from medium-pacer Tom Haines straight at Evans.

The wicket sparked a collapse as Liam Trevaskis and Ben Raine fell within the space of three deliveries. Although Harte combined with the Durham lower order, the target of 212 set for the visitors was always going to be vulnerable to one significant partnership.

After losing Phil Salt and Haines, Wells and Van Zyl combined with a stand of 83 to see off the threat of the new ball and make significant inroads into the required total. Matt Salisbury did give Durham brief hope when he dismissed Wells for 41. Van Zyl continued to thwart the home side, reaching his fifty from 88 deliveries, while Evans provided a good foil at the other end to whittle down the target.

Durham were almost handed a lifeline on the fourth day when Evans picked out Burnham at cover, only for the fielder to put down a simple chance. Sussex picked their moments to find the boundary and displayed the composure out in the middle. Van Zyl was the foundation of their success, reaching his first Championship century of the term from 149 deliveries. Evans fell with only one needed to break their stand of 112, but Brown was on hand to knock off the single required to confirm the win.

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Horsham boss Di Paola – 'For the local community and our supporters it was a brilliant day'

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Dominic Di Paola hailed a ‘brilliant day’ for Horsham and their supporters as they officially opened The Camping World Community Stadium with a 3-1 friendly victory over Crawley Town of the Football League on Saturday.

Chris Smith’s deft chip gave the Hornets a shock lead before Reece Grego-Cox’s thunderous strike restored parity before half-time.

But a second-half Kieran Lavery double ensured that Horsham secured a famous win on an historic day for the club.

Di Paola said: “For the local community and our supporters it was a brilliant day.

“We’re quite detached from it because we’re the actual team. We’re there all the time so we take it for granted.

“But for everyone else connected with the football club it must have been special, especially ones that have never been to the ground before.

“To walk into that stadium on Saturday would have been a massive buzz for them.

“Seeing a big gate and people queuing for beers and kids running around wearing the Horsham kit and trying to get signatures from the players is amazing.

“I think it’s what the club’s needed for so long so hopefully some of those people that came and watched on Saturday will keep coming.”

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Horsham went toe-to-toe with their higher-level opposition and ended up prevailing over a side who are three divisions above them.

Although Lavery bagged two goals – including a sensational curled effort that made it 3-1 – and new boy Zack Newton gave the Crawley defence a torrid time, Di Paola preferred to focus on a complete team performance.

The Hornets manager added: “The most pleasing thing for me, not so much the individual performances, but that we worked really hard out of possession.

“Our shape work was pretty good and our structure was getting there which is what we needed to do as we’ve got a few new boys.

“I don’t think it’s fair to highlight anyone. I think it’s only a pre-season friendly at the end of the day.

“We really got what we wanted out of it. The fact that they train everyday and they’re super fit so they can get after us and press us.

“It was good and we were really grateful that they came down. They had a mixed squad together but at least there were some first team players in there.

“It was just a different challenge. They’re so sharp on the press and they’re so sharp in the traps they set, it was great for us to have that sort of challenge.”

Horsham travel to Eastbourne Town this (Tuesday) evening (7.45pm) in their fifth pre-season friendly match.

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Perry to become honorary vice president of Brighton & Hove Albion

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Brighton & Hove Albion has announced that Martin Perry, a member of the club’s board for 22 years, will step down as a director in September 2020, at which point he will take on the role of honorary vice president whilst also remaining as chairman of Albion in the Community, the club’s charity.

To effect a smooth transition, Perry, 72, who joined the staff of the football club in 1999, having been appointed to the board two years earlier, will be using the next 12 months to gradually step back from his day to day executive responsibilities.

Albion chairman, Tony Bloom, said: “Martin’s status as a true legend of our club is assured. His skill, hard work and sheer determination to help save the club and ultimately deliver a new stadium, as well as a world class training and academy facility, for our club will forever be remembered by Albion fans, who supported and encouraged him every step of the way.

“It is typical of Martin that he is ensuring a smooth transition of his executive responsibilities over the next 12 months, and entirely fitting that Martin will assume the new role of honorary vice president of the club in September 2020. With his diplomacy skills and political connections, Martin will continue to be a great ambassador for us.

“Furthermore, as an architect of our original football in the community scheme soon after joining the club full time, I’m also delighted that Martin will continue as chairman of Albion in the Community when he steps down from the club’s board. Our charity and its great work means a huge amount to Martin.”

Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive and deputy chairman, added: “Martin was one of the first people I met at the club after Tony. From that moment, we established an excellent rapport, have worked really well together over many years, and have become great friends.

“Martin has been, and continues to be, a huge support to me, both professionally and personally, and I will really miss having him around the club on a daily basis.

“My job here over the past seven years or so has been made much easier because of the incredible foundations Martin laid, not just in terms of the club’s infrastructure, but also its unique culture and ethos. Supported of course by Tony and many others, Martin did the really hard work, and he deserves so much credit; quite simply, my job has been to ensure the club capitalised on the great opportunities that have come our way since”.

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Martin Perry, said: “To be appointed as an honorary vice president of this wonderful club is a huge honour and I relish the ambassadorial role that it will give me. I am so grateful to Tony Bloom and the club’s board for all of their support and trust in me over the years and inviting me to continue my involvement in this very special way.

“The last 22 years have been an absolute roller coaster ride but an amazing story, and I am so lucky to have been able to play a part, as together, we made history. I have loved every minute of it and look back with such wonderful memories.

“Over the years I have had the privilege of working with some very dedicated people, both in the football club and Albion in the Community, who I have come to regard not just as work colleagues but also as friends, and in particular I would like to thank Paul Barber for all of his support and friendship over the time we have been working together. I have learnt so much from him.

“But none of this would have been possible without the support of the fans, and I am so grateful for their wonderful continuing support for the club and everything we have tried to achieve over the years. I wish the club, players, staff and fans continuing success, which they so richly deserve.”

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Sussex Cricket League match sees extraordinary over go for FIFTY runs

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Sidley Cricket Club’s first team defeated neighbours Bexhill 4th XI in a local derby in the Sussex Cricket League Division 11 East South which will be remembered for one extraordinary over.

Sidley scored what’s been recorded as 50 runs in the 14th over of their innings as they raced towards a six-wicket victory – their sixth win in succession.

A mix of sixes, fours and even a couple of singles, plus a number of no balls, saw Sidley’s total rocket from 81-1 to 131-1 on a bright but very breezy afternoon at Bexhill Down.

The two batsmen involved, Jamie Ramsden and Steve Ramsden, ultimately put on 101 for the second wicket until the former was bowled by C. Driver for 29.

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Steve Ramsden fell two runs later, well caught low down by Jeremy Lovegrove off Ian Harvey, for a devastating 74 containing six sixes and seven fours.

Harvey took another wicket in his next over before Jason Hurst and Dave Coveney saw Sidley home in the 22nd over. Rowan Crouch was Bexhill’s other wicket-taker. Bexhill had earlier been bowled out for 157 in 39.4 overs after being asked to bat on a pitch which was very green and soft following heavy overnight rain.

Nick Smith and Adam Lawson scored 27 apiece and put on 60 for the second wicket before departing in successive overs. James Bevis then blasted a rapid 53 containing three sixes and seven fours, and Crouch chipped in with 13, but the last five wickets went down for 16 runs.

Chris Milton claimed 4-22 from seven overs, taking his wicket tally to 14 in five matches. Steve Ramsden bagged 3-16 from 8.4, and there was a wicket each for Mark Gransden, Craig Ramsden and Cavan O’Connor, the latter on his return from injury.

Coveney also held a pair of catches and Jamie Ramsden took a good one as Sidley consolidated second place in 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division 11 East (South). Sidley’s matchball sponsor was Ryan Polton.

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