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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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Match Reports

Second-placed Horsham hailed for highest finish since 2006, no matter what happens now

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Dominic Di Paola has hailed the efforts of all involved no matter what happens in the play-offs as Horsham clinched second place in the Bostik League South East Division on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Hornets rounded off their campaign with a 2-1 away win at Guernsey to confirm their highest league position since 2006.

Guernsey v Horsham. Steve Metcalf. Picture by John Lines.JPG

Guernsey v Horsham. Steve Metcalf. Picture by John Lines.JPG

Goals from Chris Smith and Lee Harding handed them their 23rd win of the campaign and ensured they go into next week’s play-offs against either Ashford United or Haywards Heath at home on a run of six straight wins.

Horsham manager Di Paola said: “We played ok. We looked a little leggy, but in general we were pretty good. It was nice to get the final win and over the finish line of the league campaign.

“The boys have been brilliant. The points per game total and where we have finished in the table regardless of what happens in the play-offs.

“The fact we had lost four out of six in the first month of the season and gone on to finish second especially with the calibre of the league is something.

Guernsey v Horsham. Lee Harding strokes home. Picture by John Lines

Guernsey v Horsham. Lee Harding strokes home. Picture by John Lines

“If the season finished now I’d be really happy with what we have achieved as a football club. To finish above some of the teams we have is brilliant. The boys and staff behind the scenes deserve all the credit.”

Horsham opened the scoring on 21 minutes thanks to a well worked goal. Kieran Lavery’s run down the right-wing wasn’t tracked by the Guernsey defence, allowing him to thread the ball into the path of Smith who tucked home with aplomb.

That was the way it remained until Guernsey shot themselves in the foot with 13 minutes of the game left to play after another awful back-pass. Keanu Marsh was the guilty party this time, as Harding raced onto the ball to fire past Stanton.

A Carlos Canha rocket from outside the box with two minutes to go ensured a nervy finish at Footes Lane, but the visitors saw out an added five minutes.

Di Paola added: “I think they had one shot and scored from it. Don’t get me wrong, we did not create a huge amount, but the Saturday game took a bit out of us. We were a bit leggy.

“Once we got the second we were able to see it out. It was quite a professional performance – the boys have added that to their game. Earlier in the season we kept playing to score and expansive football an came unstuck a few times.”

Horsham: Mant, Metcalf, Sparks, Brivio, Miles (Hyde 66), Merchant, Lavery, Hayward, O’Toole (Taylor 84), Smith (Richardson-Brown 67), Harding. Unused: Lovegrove, Baxter.

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Match Reports

Loxwood's draw to confirm survival 'was a nice way to kick-off the bank holiday weekend'

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Loxwood’s 1-1 home draw with Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday to ensure their Premier Division survival ‘was a nice way to kick off the bank holiday weekend’ according Alex Walsh.

Jason Dawson opened the scoring for the hosts but former Magpie Michael Wood levelled for the visitors as the points were shared.

Defeats for bottom-sides Arundel and Eastbourne United meant that Loxwood opened up a seven point cushion over the drop with two games left to play, thereby confirming their place in the division for next season.

Walsh said: “We had a little bit of pressure before the game. I know we had a little bit of daylight between us and the teams below us but we wanted to get it done that day.

“We didn’t want to leave it over the next couple of games and drag it out.

“We were a bit unlucky with the goal we conceded. I didn’t think it was a free-kick but sometimes those things are given.

SEE ALSO Loxwood planning ‘vast improvements’ to avoid relegation battle next season | Walsh praises Loxwood for escaping drop zone but stresses they ‘can’t take their foot off the gas’ | Loxwood ‘hard done by’ in defeat to high-flying Eastbourne Town

“A 1-1 draw was enough with results going our way so there was good celebrations in the dressing room after the game.

“It was a nice way to kick-off the bank holiday weekend.”

In the first-half Anvils keeper Andy Greaves made some great stops to keep the Magpies at bay.

After 42 minutes Dawson pounced on some hesitant defending and finished from close in after a surging run into the box. It was 1-0 to Loxwood at the break.

The Anvils came out fired up for the second-half. Their dominance was rewarded on the hour when Wood fired an absolutely unstoppable free-kick past Liam Matthews, in the home goal, for a deserved equaliser.

Crawley Down pushed for a winner but Loxwood defended well to take a share of the spoils and earn the point that ensured their Premier Division status for next season.

Loxwood: Matthews, Frankland (Bennett 76), Broughton, French, Boiling, Courtney, Follea, Goldson (Smith 86), Robinson (Mutongerwa 55), Dawson. Unused: Ridsdale-Hooper, Popham.

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Match Reports

'No one can argue the best team won' in Horsham YMCA's derby victory at Broadbridge Heath

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Horsham YMCA extended their unbeaten run to 13 games, and ended Broadbridge Heath’s eight-match unbeaten run, as they defeated their near-neighbours 3-0 in the penultimate game played at the old Leisure Centre in the Premier Division on Saturday.

Second-place YM led 2-0 at the break through Dean Bown and Guy Harding, before Tony Nwachukwu added the third with ten minutes of the game to go.

Horsham YMCA celebrate scoring.

Horsham YMCA celebrate scoring.

Heath remain sixth but need just another three points to secure their pre-season target of a top-six finish.

On 15 minutes Nwachukwu got behind the Heath defence but Ryan Brackpool mistimed his challenge in the area and the referee rightly awarded the penalty. Bown duly disptached the spot-kick to record his 23rd league goal.

An excellent delivery from a Luke Gedling free-kick five minutes later saw Harding head home, after a great run to lose the Bears’ defenders.

The hosts responded when YM keeper Aaron Jeal saved a close range effort from Devon Fender and George Cousins fired the rebound wide.

Action from Saturday's derby between Broadbridge Heath and Horsham YMCA.

Action from Saturday’s derby between Broadbridge Heath and Horsham YMCA.

Bown thought he had bagged his second of the game before half-time, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Heath began to get on top in the second-half, with several inviting crosses from both flanks going unfinished or ending with a corner.

From a Brackpool long throw Jeal allowed the ball to go in and out of his hands and into the net. Heath celebrated but the referee however thought differently, penalising Jamie Taylor for a foul on the YMCA stopper.

As Heath threw men forward in search of a goal they became more vulnerable at the back.

SEE ALSO Horsham YMCA boss sympathises with Broadbridge Heath’s stadium plight ahead of derby | Horsham YMCA boss Buckland: ‘If I had been offered second at Christmas I would’ve taken it’ | Buckland ‘grateful’ for victory over Hassocks on a ‘mixed up day’ for Horsham YMCA
Bears’ keeper Kieron Thorp kept YM at bay with a great reaction save but Nwachukwu made the game safe for the visitors with ten minutes left.

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland said: “No one can argue that the best team won. It was reasonably comfortable for the last half an hour. We scored at the right times.

“We both had a goal chalked off at 2-0. They had one chalked off for a foul on the goalkeeper which would’ve been 2-1.

“But just prior to that we had a goal ruled off for offside which would have been 3-0.

“Heath were off the back of a good run. It was boiling hot and the pitch was bumpy but I was very pleased.

“It was a good afternoon’s work. With Newhaven drawing (away at Peacehaven & Telscombe) it means we control our own destiny.

“It takes away the fact that we need to take the cricket bats out to make the goal difference better.

“We can just focus on a victory (against Crawley Down Gatwick) and hopefully move back up into second.”

Heath: Thorp, Wright, Flack, Peters, Brackpool, Carney, Moore (Watts), Doughty, Fender (Shergold), Taylor, Cousins (Carvalho). Unused: Evento.

Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Wadhams, Gilbert, Harding, Gedling, Nwachukwu, Barbary, Bown (Eales 82), Ryder (Clarke 82), Evans (Nash 75). Unused: Moylan, Gill.

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