Bexhill ‘set the standard’ with impressive start

Shawn Johnson celerbates after taking a brilliant one-handed catch for Bexhill Cricket Club against Billingshurst last weekend. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder
Shawn Johnson celerbates after taking a brilliant one-handed catch for Bexhill Cricket Club against Billingshurst last weekend. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder
  • Bexhill skipper says team has ‘set the standard’ with opening day win
  • Haffenden’s team won by 97 runs away to Billingshurst in first league game
  • Youngs hit 119 and Guest 84 not out with the bat, and Roberts took five wickets with the ball
  • Bexhill face East Grinstead in first home league game of season today
  • Grinstead missed out on title by four points last year

Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden says the cricket club has ‘set the standard’ with its excellent win last weekend.

The Polegrove-based outfit triumphed by 97 runs away to Billingshurst on the opening day of the 2016 Sussex Premier League season and Haffenden is eager to maintain that level of performance.

Callum Guest clips one through the leg-side on his way to an unbeaten 84 against Billingshurst. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder

Callum Guest clips one through the leg-side on his way to an unbeaten 84 against Billingshurst. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder

He said: “You always want to set your stall out early doors and we’ve been very poor at that the last few years. But this time we’re up and running straight away. We’ve set our standards and we don’t want to be dropping from there. Winning’s a habit, like losing is, and we want to keep our winning run going.”

Haffenden is determined to play a positive, attacking brand of cricket throughout the summer, even if at times if might be at a cost.

“Every time we’ve got a chance of winning, we’re going to go for it,” he continued. “It might bite us sometimes, but like Saturday, we’ve shown what we can do and we’re going to try and do this most weeks.”

Several players produced stand-out performances against Billingshurst. Luke Youngs and Callum Guest scored 119 and 84 not out respectively with the bat, while Sam Roberts took five wickets, Nick Peters three and Joe Cox two with the ball.

We’ve set our standards and we don’t want to be dropping from there.

Johnathan Haffenden

“It was a top performance and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to respond (to successive cup defeats the previous weekend),” Haffenden went on.

“This is what Luke did in the Suffolk Premier (with his former club) and just watching him bat you can see he’s got it in him. He’s pretty solid, got all the shots he needs and plays his way. I’m really chuffed he’s started the season with a bang.

“Joe’s bowled well all winter. He travels from Horsham to train in Battle and he’s taken his form to outdoors. He’s working hard to make sure he doesn’t have as many bad balls in an over and he’ll take 20, 25 wickets in a season - he’s got that knack.

“To have a leg-spinner is such a different thing and it’s really good to have it in your armoury. Nick bowled some absolute pearlers.

“Sam’s an overseas player and that (sort of performance) is what you want. He bowled straight and we didn’t really hear the end of it all evening.

“As a unit we bowled well. We were patient and patience brings wickets.”

Bexhill will contest their first home league fixture of the season today (Saturday) against East Grinstead. Play will get under way from 12.30pm.

Having missed out on the title by just four points last year, Grinstead began this term with a seven-wicket win in a high scoring affair at home to perennial title challengers Preston Nomads last weekend.

“Spirits are good, roll on the next one,” Haffenden went on. “They’re a bit of a different side this year, but we beat them at their place last year, and we’re confident on our day we can compete and beat anyone. We’ve got a talented young side, and we’ve got to keep working and believing we can do it.”

Ethan Guest hopes to be fit having missed the Billingshurst game through injury and James Walker is available after suspension.

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