Bexhill Cricket Club’s first completed home league fixture of the season ended in defeat on Saturday.
The men from The Polegrove went down by 39 runs at home to Three Bridges in Sussex Cricket League Division Two.
After Bexhill won the toss and chose to field, Bridges recovered from 18-3 and 117-6 to post 194-9 from their 45 overs.
Byron Smith (9-3-22-3) got Bexhill off to a flying start, dismissing three of Bridges’ top four for scores of two or less - one caught behind by Rob Yardy, one bowled and one LBW.
Two decent partnerships involving Danny Alderman then brought Bridges back into it. The experienced opener put on 47 for the fourth wicket with Conor Golding, who was bowled by Shawn Johnson (8-0-37-2) for 24, and 52 for the fifth wicket with Joe Walker.
Bridges then lost two wickets with the score 117. Walker was firstly leg before to Nick Peters (8-0-50-1) and Alderman soon followed in the same fashion, albeit to Neil Blatchly (9-1-41-1).
There followed a seventh wicket partnership of 71 between Oliver Blandford (32 off 32 balls) and Michael Rose (33 off 38) which was key to the overall outcome.
Bexhill picked up three late wickets to keep Bridges short of 200. Matt Peters (2-0-16-1) had Rose caught by Johnathan Haffenden, Oliver Blandford was caught by Nick Peters off Johnson and Yardy effected a run out.
Bexhill were all out for 155 in 39.5 overs in reply. Haffenden came within two runs of a half-century, but no other batsman reached 20.
The top five were back in the pavilion by the time 79 had been scored, with only Liam Bryant (18) and Yardy (14) reaching double figures.
Haffenden and Blatchly added 46 for the sixth wicket to raise Bexhill’s hopes, but after Blatchly was bowled by Matt Blandford for 18, two more wickets quickly followed as 125-5 became 129-8.
Haffenden went on to make 48 from 60 balls with four fours and two sixes until he was ninth man out with the score 149. The final wicket fell six runs later.
Matt Blandford was Bridges’ most successful bowler with 5-34 from nine overs, while Alderman capped a fine all-round performance with 3-17 from 6.5.
Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played four matches): 1 Mayfield 100pts, 2 Bognor Regis 84, 3 Haywards Heath 84, 4 Three Bridges 82, 5 Billingshurst 78, 6 St James’s Montefiore 74, 7 Chichester Priory Park 54, 8 Ansty 53, 9 BEXHILL 39, 10 Lindfield 35.
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