SULLY Centurions played host to league leaders Vale CC and, despite a gutsy batting performance, came off second best.

The visitors batted first at Burnham Avenue and openers Upham (74) and Davies (138) put on 140 for the first wicket. This set the tone for the innings as Vale amassed a big total of 286 for the loss of six wickets. Skipper Rhett Jones was Sully’s best bowler, with 3 for 39.

Centurions’ daunting task became harder with the early loss of the normally prolific Jones.

But Gethin Hicks (31) and Lloyd Bruce (67) gave them some momentum as they shared a half century partnership for the second wicket.

Bruce and Ricki Griffett (58) took the score up to 117 for 3 before Bruce departed. Another half century stand between Griffett and Thomas left the match interestingly poised at 171 for 4. But a flurry of late wickets swung it back in the visitors’ favour and the final score of 201 all out was well short of the target. Alex Upham (3-25) was the pick of the Vale bowlers.

Sully Centurions 201 all out Vale CC 286-6

The 2nd XI, once again missing several key players, made the trip to Ferndale to play Christchurch and were well beaten.

After winning the toss skipper Dan Chaulk (38) opted to bat first and although he and fellow opener Dave Morgan (15) weathered the early storm, the run rate was very slow, leaving Centurions on 49 without loss at the halfway stage.

After reaching 58, both openers went in the space of a few balls. Jason Hicks (27) and Ben Spear (35) injected some much-needed urgency into the batting, but after these two had departed only Vasant reached double figures and Centurions collapsed to 137 all out. Olds, with 5 for 18 did most of the damage for Christchurch.

After tea, a marvellous spell of bowling from Harish Hirani gave Sully some hope of a remarkable comeback, as he ripped into the top order with 4 wickets.

Three of which were with the assistance of Ben Spear behind the stumps After nine overs the hosts were looking decidedly shaky on 27 for 4.

But a confident fifth wicket partnership between Thomas (47) and Lewis (56 not out) took the game away from Centurions, as they added 103 in a match winning partnership. Jason Hicks took the only other wicket and the hosts finished on 137 for 5.

Christchurch 137-5 Sully Centurions II 134 all out

This week the 1st XI travel to Ebbw Vale, while the seconds entertain Ebbw Vale at Burnham Avenue. Players are requested to inform their captains of their availability.