Bexhill keen to continue ‘unbelievably good’ home form

Andrew Hodd is set to return for Bexhill Cricket Club's home game against Rottingdean tomorrow
Andrew Hodd is set to return for Bexhill Cricket Club's home game against Rottingdean tomorrow

Bexhill Cricket Club is hoping to continue its ‘unbelievably good’ home form as it returns to The Polegrove tomorrow (Saturday).

After successive away fixtures, Johnathan Haffenden’s side will be aiming for a third 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East home win out of three when it faces Rottingdean.

Haffenden said: “When we’ve been at home, we’ve been unbelievably good. Shame we’ve only had two of the first six at home. We seem to get it right and then the following week go back to struggling. It’s a strange one.”

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Although they’ve yet to drop a point at The Polegrove, Bexhill have lost three out of four on their travels, including last weekend’s defeat against Preston Nomads seconds. As a result they are in fourth place and trail leaders Seaford by 33 points.

“If we want to keep up at the top, we’ve got to look to win every game,” continued Haffenden. “In one-day cricket it will change so much. One team can have a bad day and end up with zero points, and the other team gets 30.”

Bexhill posted 168-4 batting first against Nomads last weekend only for the opposition to reach its target with five wickets in hand.

“We made it tough for ourselves,” Haffenden went on. “We weren’t quite up to scratch in a few areas. We put ourselves into every position to win a game, but then poor application and conviction at shots and bowling cost us.

“We got off to a slow start, but it was steady and they bowled very well to be fair. We were in a good place at 100-2 with 15 overs to go on a good batting track, but we only scored 60 in the last 15 overs, which just wasn’t enough. We were probably 20, 30 runs short of where we should’ve been.

“We were terrible in the field to start with and just never really got back.

“We bowled another 25 extras, which is really frustrating. It was as windy for them as it was for us and they bowled nine.

“In one-day cricket you’re going to bowl some extras, but each week we’re giving away probably between 15 and 20 wides, and the odd no ball. We can’t bowl one side of the wicket and we can’t bowl straight.”

Bexhill were hampered against Nomads by the absence of opening bowler Stuart Collier and wicketkeeper/batsman Andrew Hodd.

“I think you’ll always miss them,” said Haffenden. “Stuart with the ball because of the experience he brings up top. He can bowl straight, he knows what he’s doing and it’s always going to be a massive hole to fill.

“Hoddy with his experience and he brings calmness to a lot of people. He’s the best keeper/batsman in our league and maybe most leagues.”

Haffenden expects to have pretty much everyone to pick from for tomorrow’s match, which will start at 12.30pm. Chris Deeprose injured his hamstring while fielding against Nomads, but hopes to be okay.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t put in a better performance,” Haffenden added. “We all know what we did wrong and hopefully we can put it right.”

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.