Bexhill primed for promotion shoot-out

Bexhill will be hoping to celebrate promotion back to the Sussex Premier League tomorrow
Bexhill will be hoping to celebrate promotion back to the Sussex Premier League tomorrow

Bexhill Cricket Club is gearing up for a winner-takes-all final day promotion shootout tomorrow (Saturday).

Malcolm Johnson’s side will travel to Goring-by-Sea in a Sussex Cricket League Division Two second versus third clash with the winner earning promotion to the Premier League.

If the game ends in a draw, however, fourth-placed Findon could sneak past both Goring and Bexhill if they win at home to fifth-placed Ifield. Bexhill are one point behind Goring and 10 ahead of Findon after all of last weekend’s matches were abandoned due to the wet weather.

Bexhill coach Ian Cox insists his team is thinking solely about winning rather than looking over their shoulders. “It’s in our hands and that’s the most important thing,” Cox said. “I would’ve taken that all day long if it had been offered at the start of the season. It’s up to us now.”

Bexhill have been unfortunate that their two abandoned games have come against the two relegated sides, leaving Cox wondering if they might’ve gained another 40 or so points along the way.

“It’s unlucky we’ve not got to play the sides who have gone down twice,” Cox added. “But that’s cricket. We’re just pleased everyone got called off last Saturday and not just us. Our mentality will be to go out to win - as it always is. We’ll risk losing if it means it’ll give us a chance of winning it.”

Bexhill beat Goring quite comfortably in the reverse fixture at The Polegrove, but Cox says tomorrow will be completely different with so much riding on it.

“I’m confident that if we play how I know we can, we’ll win it,” Cox added. “We have great strength in depth and we’re capable. The forecast is okay so we shouldn’t be worried by the weather. The table doesn’t lie so as long as we can claim second spot, I’ll be very pleased indeed.”

Hastings Priory, meanwhile, are bidding to cement a third successive top three finish in the Sussex Premier League. A win or possibly even a draw in their final game away to Horsham tomorrow (Saturday) would ensure Priory repeat last season’s third place finish.

Speaking after Sunday’s one-wicket win over the Sussex Development XI, Priory captain George Campbell said: “If we win next week, we certainly have third and that’s an achievement in itself. But whatever happens it’s been a cracking season.”

Although beaten in the reverse fixture, third-placed Priory are eight points better off than fourth-placed Horsham as they prepare to return to a ground where they memorably clinched the league title two years ago. Campbell is unavailable as he is attending his brother’s wedding.