Bexhill’s cricketers ended a four-match winless run with a convincing victory at The Polegrove yesterday (Saturday).
Shawn Johnson scored a half-century with the bat and Sam Roberts took his 100th wicket for the club as Bexhill recorded a 108-run win at home to Brighton & Hove in the Sussex Premier League.
While the line-up chosen might have been controversial in the eyes of some supporters, Bexhill’s XI did the job it was selected to do as the club enjoyed a far better afternoon than the previous weekend’s defeat at Roffey.
On an overcast, seamer’s day with a big, damp outfield, Brighton won the toss and inserted Bexhill, who proceeded to total 206-8 from their 58 overs.
Although both openers were dismissed with 13 on the board, a sensible stand of 55 between Liam Bryant (29 in 64 balls - his highest Premier League score) and Callum Guest (30 in 87 balls) gave Bexhill a platform.
Bexhill slid from 68-2 to 92-5, but a sixth wicket partnership of 72 between the excellent Johnson (67 not out in 90 balls) and Sam Roberts (28 in 64 balls) got Bexhill up to a decent total.
Bexhill had done just what was required on a difficult-looking wicket thanks to some very sensible batting. Guest did not hit a four in his innings and just knocked the ball around superbly, while Johnson was exquisite - he got himself in and then powered on towards the end.
Chris Atherton, brother of former England captain Mike Atherton, bowled unchanged for 20 overs, taking 3-63 for Brighton.
With the sun now out, conditions had eased slightly, but Bexhill’s seamers got the early breakthrough, Joe Cox (6-2-20-1) and Johnson (6-1-12-2) reducing Brighton to 6-2 and then 25-3.
The battery of Bexhill spinners kept the pressure on Brighton as they turned the ball and showed excellent control. With some excellent catching and fielding, Bexhill were always in charge and bowled Brighton out for 98 in 41.1 overs.
Club coach Roberts, with 3-11 in nine overs, justified his selection as the overseas player (Aidan Brooker dropped to the second team), and has become Bexhill’s 10th player and first overseas player to take 100 Sussex League wickets.
Guest (2-30 from 13 overs) and Josh Beeslee (1-3 from seven balls) were the other wicket-takers. The large Bexhill crowd enjoyed the victory and plenty of drinks were taken after the game.
Standings (played-points): 1 Horsham 8-197, 2 Cuckfield 8-152, 3 Roffey 7-143, 4 Preston Nomads 8-142, 5 East Grinstead 7-120, 6 BEXHILL 7-117, 7 HASTINGS PRIORY 7-93, 8 Brighton & Hove 7-77, 9 Worthing 8-68, 10 Billingshurst 7-38.
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