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George Garton's Sussex One Day Cup aim: I will bowl aggressively – and want to bat a bit too

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It’s been very nice to hit the season running. I had a great winter in Melbourne where I really benefitted from having time to gain some extra clarity regarding my own game and being totally self-sufficient in terms of my development for a few months, writes George Garton.

Since then I’ve enjoyed a full pre-season with the tour to Cape Town and the matches back here in the UK.

I feel I’m seeing the benefits of that and carrying some good form into the start of the season. With the ball, I’m getting good consistency and rhythm in red-ball cricket and after that winter of working out exactly what sort of bowler I want to be in one-day cricket, I feel I am back to playing the way I want to play.

Previously I was used most often in the middle overs of a 50-over innings, but I’m back to bowling aggressively during the first power-play, forcing batsmen to play shots they don’t feel comfortable playing and I’ve been seeing good results on tour and in the early-season 2nd XI matches.

The Royal London One-Day Cup starts this week, and while selection is never guaranteed, I feel that 50-over cricket is my strongest format and that I’d be ready to perform for the team if I’m picked. One of the great things about Sussex is how much competition there is for places, and that pushes us all to become better players in all disciplines.

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My batting is going well and hopefully that is something in my favour when it comes to selecting the one-day side. I’m hitting the ball cleanly and it’s been really enjoyable to have had the opportunity for some significant time in the middle so far this year.

I scored a hundred against Durham University in South Africa and then another against slightly stronger opposition during a second XI one-day game against Middlesex last week, so I feel I have made the most of batting higher in the order.

During the first two years of my professional career, people’s focus was definitely on my bowling. I think that comes with being a naturally quick left-armer and was something reinforced by my role when I was playing in the first team.

Sussex need to step it up in the 50-over game

I was batting at ten or 11 and, understandably, you then are getting less net time. Inevitably, you end up spending more time working on your bowling.

But throughout school and age-group cricket, and even when I first signed a contract with Sussex aged 18, I was considered – and absolutely considered myself – an all-rounder.

I’ve had a conversation with Dizzy about my role in the squad and he agrees that batting is a big part of my game and I’ve worked really hard with Mike Yardy, who has been a big help with loads of ideas, not to mention countless throwdowns.

That support from the coaching staff over the past season and a half has really helped me get back on track with my aim of being a genuine all-rounder.

I’ve seen some good signs already in tour games and with the seconds and hopefully, when opportunities arise in the first team, I can perform for the team with both the ball and the bat.

Follow Sussex’s Royal London One Day Cup campaign on this website, which will have reports from all matches

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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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