Bexhill post highest score of season in Brighton defeat

Johnathan Haffenden made an unbeaten 65 with the bat for Bexhill against Brighton & Hove.
Johnathan Haffenden made an unbeaten 65 with the bat for Bexhill against Brighton & Hove.

Bexhill Cricket Club achieved its highest total with the bat in the Sussex Premier League this season on Saturday.

It still wasn’t enough to record a first home league victory of the season, however, as Bexhill lost by four wickets against Brighton & Hove.

Nick Peters took three wickets with the ball at The Polegrove on Saturday. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder

Nick Peters took three wickets with the ball at The Polegrove on Saturday. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder

After losing the toss and being asked to take first knock, Bexhill scored 211-7 from their 58 overs - the third time they’ve gone past 200 with the bat this summer.

Although Malcolm Johnson fell to Chris Mates (12-2-52-3) for a seventh ball duck with the score just three, James Walker and Shawn Johnson added 44 for the second wicket until Walker was bowled by Mates for 14.

Shawn Johnson was caught and bowled by Mates for 35 with the score 62, and Jake Lewis made 15 before being trapped leg before by Felix Sheppard (16-2-43-2) to leave Bexhill 92-4.

Max Finzel scored 24 on his first Bexhill appearance for three years, but when he and Liam Bryant were dismissed with the score 104, Bexhill looked in a spot of bother.

Bexhill needed a partnership and they got one via captain Johnathan Haffenden and left-hander Tim Hambridge. They put on 96 for the seventh wicket and gave Bexhill eight points.

Hambridge made 36 - his highest Bexhill score of the season - and Haffenden enjoyed a welcome return to form with an unbeaten 65 off 69 balls, matching his best score of the campaign.

After tea, Bexhill picked up an early wicket when Shawn Johnson (9-1-36-1) bowled Bryce Hounsome for nine with the score 18, but successive partnerships of 59 put Brighton well on course.

Liam Smith dominated the second wicket stand with his captain Chris Grammer, who was bowled by Nick Peters for eight, and the third wicket partnership with Curtis Ford.

Smith was eventually caught by Haffenden off Peters for 83 off just 73 balls, triggering a slide from 136-2 to 163-6 as Bexhill put themselves in with a real chance of winning the game.

Bexhill’s hopes were swiftly dampened, though, by a match-clinching unbroken seventh wicket stand of 51 between Ford, who patiently made his way to 51 not out off 111 balls, and Jack Chopping, who blasted a quick unbeaten 36 from just 29 deliveries.

Peters finished with 3-85 from 18 overs, taking his wicket tally to seven in the last two games. Fellow spinner Josh Beeslee claimed 2-58 off 16.2.

Sussex Premier League standings (all played 12 matches): 1 Roffey 295pts, 2 East Grinstead 294, 3 Cuckfield 253, 4 Horsham 242, 5 Preston Nomads 208, 6 Middleton 193, 7 Brighton & Hove 181, 8 HASTINGS PRIORY 180, 9 BEXHILL 102, 10 Ansty 86.