CRICKET: Clifford and Groves shine to lift Ifield to top of table

Ifield's Dan Smith in action during his innings of 46 during his side's 88-run win against Worthing.
Picture by Derek Martin (Ref: dm17524211a)
Ifield's Dan Smith in action during his innings of 46 during his side's 88-run win against Worthing. Picture by Derek Martin (Ref: dm17524211a)

Ifield impressed with both bat and ball as they went clear at the top of the table.

Outstanding performances from Paul Clifford (91) and Dan Groves with five wickets brought them a comfortable 88-run win against Worthing.

The home side won the toss and invited Ifield to bat first, but any hopes of early wickets disappeared as Clifford and Joe Smith (34) confidently put on an excellent century opening stand.

Joined by Dan Smith, Clifford continued batting well but just when a century was in sight he was bowled by Jamie Piper for 91 but Ifield were well-placed at 170 for 2.

Mike Norris and skipper Jack Groves both departed cheaply but Dan Smith continued his good early season form and along with Sam Dorrington moved the score along to 225 before Smith was the fifth wicket to go in the final over for 46.

Dorrington finished the innings on 23 not out and Worthing’s target to win was 229.

The chase didn’t begin well for Worthing as Clifford caught Carter for just two off the bowling of Pratik Patel.

But although the innings recovered somewhat, Worthing were well behind the required run-rate when the spin of Rob Ballarino accounted for Martyn Swift with the Worthing captain caught by Dorrington for 26 off 46 balls to leave the home team on 68 for 2.

Dan Groves had Nick Gunning caught by Ballarino for 38 and then the same combination accounted for Nick Ballamy for 13.

None of Worthing’s middle and lower order were able to register double figures.

Groves got his first five-wicket haul for the first when he clean bowled Shane Felton and Piper to return great figures of 5 for 27.

Ifield look forward to welcoming Three Bridges to Ifield Green this Saturday where they will hope to maintain their good early season form.