Ifield skipper Groves believes they still have time to put their campaign back on track

cricket. Ifield v Eastbourne. Jack Groves. Pic Steve Robards SR1814524 SUS-180521-155051001
cricket. Ifield v Eastbourne. Jack Groves. Pic Steve Robards SR1814524 SUS-180521-155051001

Ifield now have eight games to try and save their season starting this Saturday with Brighton at home.

Skipper Jack Groves urged his side to remain focused as their campaign can still be salvaged with two months to go.

He said: “We’ve got to stay positive and take each game at a time and always believe the next win is just round the corner.

“We knew how hard this league was going to be but eight matches is a long time to turn it around.”

Ifield slipped to the foot of the table when they came out second best in their Premier Division bottom of the table clash away to Hastings after a poor batting performance and another injury to a key bowler.

Overseas bowler Andy McGorian was already ruled out of the game after injuring a knee during last week’s game against Middleton, before spinner Harnoop Kalsi suffered a break of his hand while fielding and looks set for a lengthy lay-off.

Hastings won the toss and chose to bat first and the under-strength Ifield attack struggled to make any early inroads. Recalled Jigar Parekh trapped Ryan Hoadley for 24 with a score of 65 on the board.

Joe Billings (59) made a run-a-ball half-century before he was bowled by Dan Smith and then there was a second half-century of the innings from Jake Woolley (60) but he was dismissed by Parekh.

Contributions from the middle order took the home side to 240-9 before the innings was declared, there were four wickets for Smith and three for Parekh.

England’s appearance in the World Cup quarter-final had led by mutual agreement to an early start to the game and an extended tea-break but it required Ifield to start their response before kick-off.

All was going well with an opening partnership of 50 between Paul Clifford and Mahad Ahmed but in the last over before the break both batsmen fell for 39 and 14 respectively and Ifield were 55-2 at the interval.

After the resumption a number of batsmen got starts but failed to push on and Dan Smith aside, who finished unbeaten on 35, the innings tamely fell away with Harnoop Kalsi unable to bat, Ifield finished on 153 all out and 87 runs short.

For Hastings, Elliot Hooper finished with five for 63.