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Hove County Ground or Amex

Yesterday I had a choice between the third day of the Sussex CCC friendly v New Zealand and Brighton v West Ham.

It became more of a dilemma as I was reliant on a lift from a similar season ticket holder at both clubs who uses my Amex parking permit.

He decided to stay at Sussex, which left me with the unattractive option of the train from Brighton station to the ground and return.

As a fellow Ruster who encountered mobs of Manchester United and Arsenal fans yesterday confirmed,  travel with drunken football fans is best avoided.

Sitting in the sun with two glasses of more than passable Rumanian Pinot Noir and a plate of English and continental cheeses I felt I had made the right choice.

The main sporting action was at neither of Brighton’s stadia, but at Anfield and the Etihad, where the Premiership went to the wire though Liverpool were at no stage potential champions.

As for the cricket, this was a glorified net for the Kiwi tourists devoid of Trent Bolt, Tim Southbee and Daryl Mitchell (still involved in the IPL) and Kane Williamson back in New Zealand awaiting the birth of his child.

It was instructive as Sussex youngest skipper since Ted Dexter – at the same age of 24 – Tom Haines scored an impressive 41.

Haines, who topped the county batting averages last season, and speedster George Garton went to school at Hurstpierpoint and were coached by the former Sussex player and now Academy Director Mike Vardy.

With no play at all on Friday – and none likely today – the game will no doubt be drawn.

It made me think that, in a similar manner to the way that golfers offer a bye, perhaps both sides could have had a mini limited-over game for the spectators.

All I could see were empty places in the temporary stands so Sussex would not have lost money and spectators feel shortchanged.

As for Brighton, they finished in their highest position ever after beating West Ham 3-1, bettering  1981-2 (13th) when one of Tom Hollingworth’s fatties Mike Bailey was the gaffer.


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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts