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Sharks win and Cucurella departs

Sussex Sharks finally achieved a win by beating Gloucestershire by 51 runs at Hove.

Delray Rawlins was the star of the show with 91 runs off 62 balls and 3 wickets with his leg spin.

He is so often a frustrating player as the talent is clearly there but not the application.

Gloucestershire ran out of men in the run chase.

For them wicketkeeper James Bracey caught the eye with a superb stumping of key man Chet Pujara and 78 runs.

Sadly for Bracey, England are so strong in the wicket-keeping department with Ben Foakes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings and Ben Duckett but Bracey has played for England and will do so again.

The Players Club was its normal social self.

On arrival I saw two personable solicitors sitting at a table.

The catering was its usual deficient self.

The gormless waitress could offer no explanation why a cheese board could not be served till after 2-30pm.

It was just a tad too hot and at 5.00pm, seeing no other outcome than a Sharks victory, I left.

It has not been a successful season for Sussex in either format. It’s a long time since a victory in the Championship happened and the Sharks did not fare well in the T20.

The problem is that the core of the side has gone – Ben Brown, Chris Jordan , Laurie Evans, Luke Wells, Phil Salt , Danny Briggs and the project is to play youngsters.

Tom Haines has scored runs and others have potential but many have found the step-up beyond them.

Marc Cucurella has gone from Brighton HAFC to Chelsea for a rumoured £60 million.

It’s a good piece of business for the adventurous left back was acquired from Getafe for £15m.

It’s hard as the Seagulls found with another departure – Yves Bissouma to Spurs for £25 million – to keep a player when the big boys come a-calling.

Brighton have a wage cap and cannot offer Champions League football.

Chelsea’s new owner wants to show he means business and had already bought Raheem Sterling.

With money in the bank Brighton can strengthen in the one position they are weak and try to identify and buy that elusive goal scorer who can supply 20 goals a season.

Danny Erlbeck is injury prone and Neil Maupay not good enough.

Chairman Tony Bloom showed that – by holding out for £50m from Arsenal for Ben White – he drives a hard bargain.

This is just as well as down the coast a few years ago Southampton was ravaged by Liverpool. To be fair, the reason why a player like Cucurella  comes to Brighton – or more likely his agent advises him to – is the potential ongoing sale to one of the big boys.

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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