Late surge sees Bexhill beat Brighton

Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden took four wickets with the ball in the win over Brighton & Hove.
Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden took four wickets with the ball in the win over Brighton & Hove.
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Bexhill's cricketers notched up their 10th Sussex Premier League victory of the season yesterday (Saturday).

A much-changed Bexhill side won by 16 runs away to Brighton & Hove, consolidating third place in the table with two matches remaining.

Having travelled to Brighton in sunshine, Bexhill won the toss and elected to bat on a strange looking wicket and slow outfield.

In an innings punctuated by four rain breaks, Bexhill recovered from 7-2 to post a good total of 216-8 from their 58 overs.

Two of the best youngsters in the division, Shawn Johnson (45) and Callum Guest (38), forged a third wicket stand of 81 before Johnson was bowled by a short ball which shot along the ground.

Guest continued his fine form - he now has 236 runs in his last four innings - despite getting hit on the gloves from one that lifted. Ethan Guest (18) batted well until being bowled going for a big drive, leaving Bexhill 147-5.

James Pilbeam (40), playing only his second first team league game and first since 2007, and Tom Powell (29), promoted from the seconds, put on 52 for the sixth wicket, justifying the decision to alter the side and get some more depth in the late middle order.

Both men fell within a run of each other before Ian May added 11 not out at the end. On a wicket which was doing things all afternoon, Simon Hetherton at one stage bowled 33 consecutive dot balls.

Brighton needed to eclipse their highest score of the season if they were to win the game and they weren't too far away as they were all out for 200 in 49.3 overs.

Johnson made the initial breakthrough by dismissing Sussex professional Phil Salt for 12 with the score 34.

Under-16 player Ethan Guest bowled well with the new ball, but Brighton were 87-1 until Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden showed what he is in the side for with a splendid bowling display which was key to the final outcome.

On a rare outing with the ball, Haffenden took a league best 4-46 from 15 overs with his medium pace dobbers, reducing Brighton to 104-5 with his victims including Bryce Hounsome (44) and Hetherton (43).

Back came Brighton as Chris Atherton (36) and Alasdair Wilson (28) put on 65 for the sixth wicket. Nick Peters saw off Atherton, but Wilson found another ally in Jack Chopping (17) and Brighton would've fancied their chances at 190-6.

Bexhill proceeded to take four wickets for 10 runs, however, to seal victory in their latest finish of the season. Callum Guest crucially picked up three wickets in his two overs and then held the match-winning catch to dismiss Chopping off the bowling of Johnson.

Standings (all played 17 matches): 1 Roffey 379pts, 2 Cuckfield 360, 3 BEXHILL 343, 4 Horsham 320, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 285, 6 East Grinstead 275, 7 Preston Nomads 256, 8 Brighton & Hove 231, 9 Billingshurst 194, 10 Worthing 137.

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