Bexhill well beaten by league leaders

Jake Lewis top-scored with the bat for Bexhill against Roffey.
Jake Lewis top-scored with the bat for Bexhill against Roffey.

Bexhill’s cricketers suffered an eight-wicket defeat away to the Sussex Premier League leaders on Saturday.

Johnathan Haffenden’s side was bowled out for 121 in 32.1 overs and Roffey duly reached their target in 21.5 overs for the loss of two wickets.

“We knew it was going to be tough and we had to perform, but we didn’t; simple as that really,” said Haffenden. “It wasn’t good enough and we got out of it what we put in this week.”

After losing the toss and being asked to bat, Bexhill’s innings was a tale of players getting starts but not going on. Six batsmen, including all of the top five, made double figures, but none got to 20 as Bexhill were bowled out four runs shy of any batting points.

“It’s frustrating and it’s something we’ve highlighted,” continued Haffenden. “Normally when one of our boys gets into double figures they tend to go on, but there’s so much weight on people’s shoulders at the moment and confidence is so low that we struggle to get ourselves out of a hole sometimes.”

Malcolm Johnson (12) and James Walker (17) ensured things began reasonably enough until both fell with the score 29. Tim Hambridge (14) and Jake Lewis (19) added 33 for the third wicket - the highest partnership of the innings - only for 62-2 to become 75-5.

Shawn Johnson fell for 13 just 10 runs later. Liam Bryant hit a quick 18 off just 15 balls with four boundaries to take the total into three figures, but when he became Leigh Harrison’s fifth victim, Bexhill were 103-7.

The final three wickets yielded 18 more runs, Ben Manenti picking up two of them to finish with 3-15 from 6.5 overs. Alex Collins and Luke Barnard were the other wicket-takers.

In reply, Roffey’s openers put on 51 until Josh Beeslee (5.5-0-43-1) made the breakthrough by having Rohit Jagota stumped by Malcolm Johnson for 22.

Bexhill’s other success with the ball came 16 runs later when Joseph Sarro (4-0-20-1) celebrated his first team debut by dismissing Theodore Rivers caught and bowled for 41.

“He (Sarro) bowled well to be fair,” added Haffenden, of a player who only declared himself fit after coming through a game unscathed two days earlier. “He’s got a lot of potential and he’s more than handy with the bat as well.”

Jibran Khan (29 not out off 27 balls) and Manenti (29 not out off 19 balls) wasted little time finishing things off with an unbroken third wicket partnership of 56.