Bexhill skipper relishing 'massive' weekend

Joe Cox bowling for Bexhill in the reverse fixture against Roffey during June. Picture by Steve Robards
Joe Cox bowling for Bexhill in the reverse fixture against Roffey during June. Picture by Steve Robards
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Bexhill Cricket Club captain Johnathan Haffenden is relishing ‘one of the biggest weekends’ of his career.

Bexhill will host Roffey in a key clash at the top of the Sussex Premier League today (Saturday) and the Sussex Development XI in their game in hand tomorrow.

“It’s a massive weekend, probably one of the biggest weekends I’ll ever be involved in,” said Haffenden. “It could set you up for winning the Premier League.”

Last weekend’s win away to Worthing has moved Bexhill up to third in the table - 48 points behind leaders Roffey and 29 adrift of second-placed Cuckfield, who they also still have to play.

“At the start of the year you couldn’t have asked for a better position to be in I don’t think,” continued Haffenden, ahead of the season’s final five matches.

“If we win five out of five, someone will have to play well to win the league ahead of us. It’s in our hands in a way, but it’s still probably Roffey’s to lose because they’ve got the points and they’re in the driving seat.”

Roffey and Bexhill are both in terrific form. Roffey have won eight and drawn one of their last nine completed matches, including the reverse fixture against Bexhill, while Bexhill have won six of their last seven completed games.

“It’s going to be two teams trying to win the game, which is good for the game,” Haffenden went on. “I don’t think either side will be playing for the draw.

“We will have to play well. They’ve won it (the league) the last two years on the bounce and they’re a good side. If we don’t ‘turn up’, we will struggle.

“We need to make sure 11 of us are all fighting together and backing each other up; we don’t want to be relying on one or two people. We’ve got 11 good players and we need to make sure we’re ready to put in a good performance.”

After the Roffey game, Bexhill will shift their focus to facing a Sussex Development XI side which has lost five of its six completed fixtures against Premier League clubs so far this summer, including a two-wicket reverse against Roffey last weekend.

Bexhill expect to field the same side in both matches and play will get under way at the slightly earlier time of midday at The Polegrove.

Bexhill, incidentally, finished fourth last year - their best result since 1997 - with 10 wins and 370 points. So far this summer they’ve picked up eight victories and 281 points.

* Only two tables are left for the hospitality tent at Bexhill Cricket Club's hotly-anticipated game against Lashings All-Stars on Saturday September 10.

Single seats can still be booked at £60 per person, which includes a meal, wine and beer, plus the chance to meet the players. Anyone wanting to book a table and have lunch with the stars should call 07718 169619.

Maidstone-based Lashings bill themselves as ‘the world’s greatest cricket club’, and have recently added Sussex and England T20 ace Tymal Mills to a squad which already contains another express pace bowler in Tino Best.

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