Resurgent Bexhill right back in touch

Shawn Johnson returned to form with a half-century during Bexhill Cricket Club's win over Bognor Regis last weekend.
Shawn Johnson returned to form with a half-century during Bexhill Cricket Club's win over Bognor Regis last weekend.

Bexhill Cricket Club’s first team heads into the second half of the season with renewed optimism following a much-needed upturn in form.

A month or so ago Bexhill were in danger of getting cast adrift at the foot of Sussex Cricket League Division Two following four defeats and an abandonment in their first five games.

But three wins in their subsequent four matches have left second-bottom Bexhill just six points behind a Bognor Regis side which occupies the final safe spot of third-bottom and 23 adrift of fifth-placed Chichester Priory Park.

Bexhill coach Hamish Russell said: “Between fifth and bottom it’s very tight. It’s one of those divisions where I think there’s two or three really good teams, but other than that everyone can beat everyone.

“A month ago we were staring down the barrel a little bit. We set ourselves the target of getting four wins out of four and although we didn’t quite get that, three wins out of four is a big improvement for us.

“We always knew it was there, but we needed to show it. We’ve still got an awful lot of work to do and we’ve got a long journey ahead - everyone’s aware of that - but we’re building something.”

Bexhill made it back-to-back home victories with a key 17-run success against Bognor last weekend in the sort of fixture they need to win if they’re to climb the table. For a report on that game, click here.

“Home games against the bottom five you’ve got to get something out of,” continued Russell. “That’s a big win going into the last nine games now. The 28 points was very handy for us in the context of the season.”

Bexhill will begin the second half of the campaign tomorrow (Saturday) with another home game, this time against Mayfield.

Second-placed Mayfield comfortably beat Bexhill in successive cup and league encounters right at the start of the season, so tomorrow’s match should be a good barometer of the progress Bexhill have made.

“We’ve got another tough run now, but it’s different where we’re not playing in a straight win-lose situation,” added Russell.

Joe Sarro is expected to be back and Ollie van Noort should be available almost every week from now onwards.

Tomorrow’s game will start at the earlier time of 10.30am. The plan is to play as much of the match as possible before 3pm and then take a break to watch the England football team’s World Cup quarter-final before returning to the field to finish the cricket once the football is over.

Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played 9 matches): 1 Three Bridges 209pts, 2 Mayfield 195, 3 Haywards Heath 188, 4 Billingshurst 172, 5 Chichester Priory Park 146, 6 St James’s Montefiore 138, 7 Ansty 136, 8 Bognor Regis 129, 9 BEXHILL 123, 10 Lindfield 96.

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