As the Salts weather returned to its normal windy and chilly conditions, Seaford showing a weaker team than previous weeks due to priorities elsewhere, welcomed our visitors from Newick who although losing last week, were very much an inform team.
Seaford won the toss and elected to bowl on a pitch slightly damp and the outfield slower than it has been all year. A great opening spell from Jon Milham (3-27) and Steve Hearsey (1-30) kept the run rate down and were rewarded with a wicket apiece. After 9 overs Newick were standing at 11-2 and Seaford hopeful of keeping them down to a low score. Sadly this was not to be, as C.Patel (83) chancing his arm, and J.Essex (32) took to the Seaford bowlers and scored steadily in a partnership of 61. Patel held the innings together nicely as others came and went around him.
Mainly due to some excellent fielding (assisted by an interesting choice of a risky two) creating three run outs which kept the wickets ticking over, but not slowing the run rate too much, although it must be said that leading wicket taker Simon Pitts (1-41) bowled well and was hard to score off in his first spell. The returning Milham picked up two more late wickets including Patel with Newick ending their innings on a possibly above par 188-8. Time would tell if this was the case.
In reply Seaford knowing that with a long tail a good start was needed. Unfortunately this didn't materialise as Mark McCaughan, in his last game of the season, departed for one, bowled by M.Evans (1-13). Billy Wootten in his first game after a lengthy injury lay off batted like a different person, playing some excellent shots all around the wicket and aided by James Gravett (21) took the score to 50 before Gravett fell. This brought Dom Weisz (28) to the crease, a late call up from the 4s, and he also showed an unseen talent, comfortably pushing and flicking runs. At this point Seaford's version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" seemed to be in full force. Both Wootten and Weisz batted beautifully for their runs, but ultimately with the run rate increasing, it became too much and they both fell. With them both gone, the Seaford innings fell away as the long tail showed itself, and from 98-2 the game ended on 132-7 and just a couple of late bonus points were to show for the innings. C.Moore (4-28) ending with excellent figures as well as R.Manning who although wicketless only conceded 6 runs from his 6 overs.
Seaford were left to think what might have been, but fully appreciated that other teams had priorities higher than our own. The club quite correctly comes first, and the news of victories elsewhere made our defeat seem not quite as hard.