Mid-table still achievable, says Bexhill coach

Bexhill are hoping to have plenty to smile about when they host Bognor Regis this weekend. Picture courtesy Steve Robards
Bexhill are hoping to have plenty to smile about when they host Bognor Regis this weekend. Picture courtesy Steve Robards

Bexhill Cricket Club coach Hamish Russell still believes the first team is capable of achieving a mid-table finish.

Bexhill lie second-from-bottom of Sussex Cricket League Division Two with one game to go before the midway point of the season.

But they are now just 11 points behind an Ansty side which occupies the final safe spot of third-from-bottom having won two of their last three matches.

Russell said: “We’ve got a bit more player availability and continuity now, and I still think we’re good enough to finish mid-table.

“There are no easy games and one mistake costs you, but I think our mentality now is better. Everybody is showing signs of first of all coming back into form and really wanting to come into form as well.

“Last year people were used to being in the bar early and ‘on to next week’ became a force of habit, but now people are desperate to win games of cricket. The weather getting better does us the world of good as well.”

After last weekend’s defeat away to leaders Haywards Heath, Bexhill will return to The Polegrove tomorrow (Saturday) to face a sixth-placed Bognor Regis side which they trail by 23 points.

“We don’t know much about Bognor, but it’s a home game and the weather looks good for the week,” continued Russell.

“Saturday was a shot in the arm I suppose. I don’t think it’s dented anyone’s confidence. We just didn’t turn up with the ball in hand, which is a shame because that’s been our strength all season. I’m confident that will come good, especially at home - we always bowl well at The Polegrove.”

The positive from last weekend’s game was that Bexhill scored more than 200 with the bat and one player, this time Cameron Burgon, got more than 90 for the second successive weekend.

“There’s a few people now who are starting to get some runs under their belt and we’re putting on partnerships,” Russell went on. “We’ve scored 200 in the last couple of games and there’s some winnable games in the second half (of the season) as well.”

Russell, nonetheless, felt Bexhill lacked a few runs with the bat and didn’t bowl well enough in their six-wicket loss to table-topping Heath.

“We should’ve scored more runs than we did and we just didn’t bowl well enough,” he added. “We just bowled too short and too wide, and gave them far too many four balls to hit.

“That’s a bit unfair on the spinners though. Blatch (Neil Blatchly) was superb and tied them down, and Nick’s (Peters) figures didn’t do him justice.”

Ryan Darvill is unavailable for tomorrow’s match, but Bexhill should otherwise field a similar side to last weekend. Play will get underway from 12.30pm.

Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played 8 matches): 1 Haywards Heath 180pts, 2 Three Bridges 179, 3 Mayfield 165, 4 Billingshurst 160, 5 Chichester Priory Park 134, 6 Bognor Regis 118, 7 St James’s Montefiore 110, 8 Ansty 106, 9 BEXHILL 95, 10 Lindfield 92.

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