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Stemming the tide in Scarborough

Throwback Thursday


Sussex rightly regard their two out-ground cricket weeks at Arundel and Horsham highly, but the most popular festival in the country still takes place at Scarborough, where Sussex will be centre stage from Friday battling it out with County Championship leaders Yorkshire.

Weekend crowds at North Marine Road are comfortably expected to top 5,000 as holidaymakers and cricket lovers flock to the seaside ground. Can Sussex upset the title favourites? It will be a tall order and their record in a county that used to stage cricket at up to six different grounds every summer is not great.

It’s only in the last 15 years or so that Sussex have started winning in Yorkshire on a reasonably regular basis, anywhere. Last year’s victory was their fourth at Headingley in Leeds since 1999, the others coming in 2002 and 2006, when Sussex were on their way to the Championship for the second time.

It is now 23 years since Sussex beat the Tykes away from Headingley. That was back in 1991 when Alan Wells scored an extraordinary 253 not out at Acklam Park in Middlesbrough, a ground that staged county games for 40 years from 1956 and where Geoffrey Boycott scored his 150th hundred.

Further back in the mists of time, Sussex have won at Dewsbury (1891), Bradford Park Avenue (1903), Bramall Lane, Sheffield (1907) – the ground the cricketers shared with Sheffield United Football Club until the 1980s – The Circle at Hull (1933) and Bradford again in 1947. It was another 19 years before the county triumphed on Yorkshire soil in 1966.

These days, Scarborough is the only out-ground used by Yorkshire, which explains its enduring popularity. It would certainly be a good time for Sussex to enjoy their first ever success there.

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