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1st, 2nd and 3rd XI all promoted

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

There was plenty of final day drama last Saturday as both the First and Second XI secured promotion following on from the Thirds who were already up.

First XI are Division 3 West champions!

The First XI, under the guidance of skipper James Howgate and coach Matt Machan, won 12 of their first 15 games with the other three games abandoned for rain. It was only in game-week 16 that they lost their first game to eventual third placed Ansty and the nerves set in as they went on to lose to Goring-by-Sea the following week. It all set-up final day drama at Littlehampton where nothing but a win would do as Findon, themselves on a fantastic run of nine successive wins, sat just 8 points behind in second place having been 39 points adrift two weeks prior. It was all on the line with only the division winners achieving automatic promotion. Littlehampton started strongly with 133-1 on the board early but Chilt bowled well to restrict them to just 204-7 after 45 overs and squeezed over the line eight wickets down to secure 26 points and the Division title. For the first time in their history, West Chiltington & Thakeham will be playing in Division 2 of the Sussex County League next season. Just six years ago they were still in the West Sussex Invitation League.

There were plenty of memorable moments. Martyn Swift taking 6-16 against former club Worthing defending just 100 to win the game. Chilt racking up 403-3 against Goring-by-Sea with coach Matt Machan scoring 228 (a club record) in the process and Martyn then taking 8-20 in the same game. Interspersed with all this was a run to the last 16 of the National Village Cup, itself providing plenty of memories on route.

Martyn ended the season on 37 wickets, the second most in the division and 19-year-old Hugo Gillespie scored 606 runs to also finish second in the batting standings. Reuben Taylor scored 520 runs and took 23 wickets, they are just three of many players who contributed over the course of the season. For wicket-keeper batsman Charlie Tear it was an extra special summer to remember as he was rewarded with a call-up to Sussex 2nd XI and selection in the Scotland U19 squad at just 17-years of age.

Second XI promoted!

The club’s Second XI achieved promotion out of Division 6 West, finishing with 13 wins and just three defeats. Two of those losses coming in the first six games of the season forcing them to play catch-up all season. A superb run of just one defeat in the final 12 games however was enough for them to leapfrog Arundel and Pagham II to take the second promotion spot, 24 points behind Rustington. Two big wins over Pagham and a 10 wicket win against Arundel went a long way to securing the promotion. All in there were eight wins of more than 100 runs or 7 wickets. Ed White scoring 647 runs in the process and finishing top of the batting charts for the division.

Third XI win Division 10 West

The Third XI won Division 10 West when they found themselves 61 points clear of Tilgate with two games to play. Also winning 13 games, at times they were dominant with the ball, bowling sides out for scores of sub-40 runs four times and breaking club records as they went. Bowling Petworth Park (who recovered to finish fourth!) out for 14 and beating second place Tilgate by 184 runs were highlights. James Chaloner taking five wickets in five balls against Petworth will long be remembered and this helped James to top the wicket standings in the division whilst Harry Bennett and Will Farnes ended first and second respectively in the batting standings.

Fourth XI narrowly miss out

It was unfortunate for the Fourth XI, who missed out on promotion by 12 points finishing fourth in Division 12 West (N). Only the three First XIs in the division finished above them, and had they won either of the two games they tied they’d have taken the second promotion spot. For the young Chilt side comprised mostly of 13-15 year-olds however, it’s the experience gained that is most important.

Success in the Junior section

Finally, in the junior section front, the West Chiltington & Thakeham U16 team achieved the ‘treble’ winning their area league, the Sussex Champions League and the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Bowl, the first time a junior Chilt team has achieved this feat in the SJCF. The U12s also enjoyed success, winning the SJCF Shield.

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