Bexhill up to third after continuing perfect home record

Eddie Lemmon took four wickets in Bexhill's victory against Rottingdean. Picture by Jon Rigby
Eddie Lemmon took four wickets in Bexhill's victory against Rottingdean. Picture by Jon Rigby

Bexhill Cricket Club’s first team moved up to third in the table after continuing its perfect home record.

Johnathan Haffenden’s side made it three maximum points wins out of three at The Polegrove with a comfortable seven-wicket victory against Rottingdean yesterday (Saturday).

Bexhill are 26 points behind new 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East leaders Preston Nomads seconds and 13 adrift of Seaford, who dropped to second after their match away to Brighton & Hove II was abandoned due to rain when well on course for victory.

See also: * Bexhill keen to continue ‘unbelievably good’ home form
* Bexhill beaten by fellow high-flyers
* Johnson shines as Bexhill record back-to-back wins
* Huge partnership gives Bexhill victory against Rye

Rottingdean chose to bat on winning the toss, but were all out for 116 in 34.1 overs. It could well have been even worse for the visitors as they were 66-9 at one stage.

All four Bexhill bowlers were among the wickets. New ball pair Stuart Collier and Shawn Johnson took 2-17 from nine overs and 1-23 from nine respectively, while slow bowlers Eddie Lemmon and Neil Blatchly claimed 4-40 from 8.1 and 3-30 from eight respectively.

Five Rottingdean batsmen, including four of the top five, were dismissed LBW and only one of the top nine scored more than seven.

The away side had scored 17 before the consistently impressive Collier landed the first blow for Bexhill, removing Simon Coomber for seven.

The same bowler struck again just five runs later, dismissing Henry Ledden for four. Johnson then saw off George Ledden for seven to leave Rottingdean 36-3.

Already on top at that stage, Bexhill took full command by claiming six wickets for only 14 runs to send Rottingdean from 52-3 to 66-9.

Lemmon started the clatter of wickets by dismissing Chris Wyles for three and Blatchly then bowled opener Connor Bettsworth for 20 to make it 56-5.

Lemmon had Daniel Andrews caught behind by Andrew Hodd for four before Blatchly bowled Ed Wright for the same score. Gregory Tyrrell was caught by Hodd off Blatchly for a 15-ball duck and Lemmon trapped Jonathan Smith leg before for nought off 16 balls.

A very early finish was on the cards at that stage, but Rottingdean rallied with a last wicket stand of 50. Number 11 Hassan Khan smashed 33 off just 20 deliveries until being caught by Johnson off Lemmon, leaving Jack Cox unbeaten on 14.

In reply, Liam Bryant and Cameron Burgon took Bexhill more than halfway to their target with an opening stand of 69, which ended when Bryant was caught by Cox off Khan for 39 off 40 balls.

Burgon was leg before to George Ledden for 24 just five runs later and when the same bowler bowled Hodd for two, Bexhill were suddenly 78-3.

But the in-form Johnson (28 not out off 32 balls) and Ethan Guest (10 not out) ensured there were no further slip-ups as Bexhill reached their target in 21.1 overs.

1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East standings (all played 7 matches): 1 Preston Nomads II 176pts, 2 Seaford 163, 3 BEXHILL 150, 4 Portslade 134, 5 Brighton & Hove II 124, 6 RYE 124, 7 Crawley Eagles 103, 8 Eastbourne II 93, 9 Rottingdean 88, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY II 57.