Ifield went down by 42 runs to Chichester in a game that ebbed and flowed but ultimately flowed away.
Chichester won the toss and batted first and made a solid start with Peter Lamb and overseas player Abhishek Raut putting on 41 before Lamb was caught behind by Tom Wragg off the bowling of Pratik Patel for 22.
New batsman Matt Bennison was bowled by Jack Groves for just one and Ifield’s tails were up but Raut and Jay Hartard steadied the innings with a stand of 58 runs before Raut was caught at point by a diving catch from Sam Dorrington for 41.
Joe De La Fuente was run out for 10 and at 129 for 4 the game was very much in the balance but Hartard started going for his shots and with excellent support from Mike Smith and Dan Joseph the game tilted back to Chichester.
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Hartard was eventually caught in the deep by Jack Groves for 88 and with quick contributions of 31 and 27 for Smith and Joseph respectively, Chichester amassed 248 for 5 off off their 45 overs.
Ifield’s response started badly when Vish Patel was bowled without scoring but Tom Wragg and Prasansana Jayamanne built the score steadily until the introduction of spinner Raut did the trick for the visitors and Wragg walked straight past one and was stumped for 25 to leave Ifield at 62 for 2.
Luke Morris came and went without scoring but Jayamanne and Jack Groves started to accelerate the scoring.
Jayamanne was nursing a broken finger so was happy to drop anchor and let Groves play the more expansive game.
Jayamanne was bowled for 40 off 84 balls but at 123 for 4 Ifield were very much in the game as Dan Groves joined his brother Jack Groves at the crease.
They added 42 runs before Jack was dismissed for a well-made 44 but at 165 for 5 and with batting to come Ifield were still hopeful but Sam Dorrington was dismissed first ball and then three runs later Dan Groves was caught for 27 and with that any chance of chasing down the target realistically disappeared.
Alfie Pyle played nicely at the end for 14 runs and evergreen Graeme Dean was 10 not out but Ifield finished on 206 all out and 42 runs short.
Skipper Jack Groves reckoned the game turned in the final run-in of the Chichester innings.
He said: “What lost us the game was the last ten overs in the field where they scored over 100.
“Chasing 250 at Ifield was always going to be a tough ask.
“Chichester bowled to their field which made it hard to score big runs in the middle period and then we lost a cluster of wickets at a crucial time, leaving with too much to do.”
As with a couple of previous games it was a case of what might have been but Ifield need to start turning some of these 50-50 games into wins and pull themselves up the table.
Ifield travel to Bognor this Saturday.