Bexhill beaten by fellow high-flyers

Liam Bryant scored 42 with the bat and took two wickets with the ball in Bexhill's defeat to Preston Nomads seconds
Liam Bryant scored 42 with the bat and took two wickets with the ball in Bexhill's defeat to Preston Nomads seconds

Bexhill Cricket Club’s run of back-to-back wins was ended by an away defeat yesterday (Saturday).

Johnathan Haffenden’s side lost by five wickets against Preston Nomads seconds in what, at the start of play, was a 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East second versus third encounter.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat, a Bexhill side missing key duo Andrew Hodd and Stuart Collier totalled 168-4 from its 45 overs.

See also: * Bexhill missing key duo for second versus third clash
* Johnson shines as Bexhill record back-to-back wins
* Huge partnership gives Bexhill victory against Rye
* Hastings close in on promotion spots after victory

Having lost the influential Cameron Burgon for just three, caught behind off Owen Kernan (9-3-22-1), Liam Bryant and Shawn Johnson put together a very good second wicket partnership.

Bryant made 42 before being bowled by Yosef Salameh (9-0-40-2) and Johnson scored 52 - his third half-century in his last three league innings - until being caught off Ammad Khan (7-0-29-1).

Ethan Guest went on to make 29 not out and after Neil Blatchly was bowled by Salameh for 13, Haffenden struck an unbeaten 18 at the end of the innings.

Bexhill have lost just six wickets in their last three league matches, scoring more than 160 on each occasion.

Whereas the previous two games have been comfortable run chases, this time Bexhill’s score batting first proved not quite enough as Nomads reached their target with five wickets and 22 balls to spare.

Without the in-form Collier, Bexhill went for a few runs early on. But the decision to take pace off the ball brought rewards as Blatchly returned splendid figures of 2-13 from nine overs, dismissing Nomads openers Jules Hunt for 21 and Abdul Shafi for 11.

Eddie Lemmon also got in on the act by removing number three Liam O’Brien for a duck. Bryant played his part too with 2-17 from four overs, including wicketkeeper James McKemey for 23.

But number four Oliver Gatting led to Nomads to victory with a game-high 67 not out containing one four, one six and plenty of running. Salameh was there with him at the end on 15 not out.

Bexhill, who conceded 14 more extras than their opponents, have dropped a place to fourth in the table with the first third of the season now complete.

1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East standings (all played 6 matches): 1 Seaford 153pts, 2 Preston Nomads II 146, 3 Portslade 124, 4 BEXHILL 120, 5 Brighton & Hove II 114, 6 RYE 94, 7 Crawley Eagles 93, 8 Rottingdean 87, 9 Eastbourne II 85, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY II 56.