Bexhill Cricket Club heads into the final weekend of the 2018 Sussex Cricket League season hoping to pull off the greatest of great escapes.
Bottom-of-the-table Bexhill will need to rise two places up the Division Two table and bridge a 22-point gap to avoid a second successive relegation.
Bexhill coach Hamish Russell said: “Mathematically it’s a possibility, but it’s out of our hands and I’m sure there’s a slight air of inevitability about it.”
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Bexhill are 22 points adrift of third-bottom Ansty and eight back of second-bottom Lindfield. Bexhill will therefore need to win their match away to seventh-placed Bognor Regis to stand any chance of beating the drop.
Even if they do win, Bexhill must hope that Ansty and Lindfield lose their matches, at home to fourth-placed Billingshurst and away to second-placed Mayfield respectively - and that Ansty pick up less than eight points.
“We’ve still got to make sure we do our thing and not worry about everyone else,” continued Russell. “Everybody in that team has got something to prove and it would be nice if a couple of people put their hands up in the last game.
“I just hope the players realise they’ve let themselves down as much as anything. I want to get some pride out of this and I’m sure they will.”
Bexhill have lost all of their last five matches and seven of their eight away games this summer, although they did win June’s reverse fixture at home to Bognor by 17 runs.
“Certainly we’ll be looking to go out on a high,” added Russell. “We’ve got nothing to lose really. People can go out and express themselves, and enjoy it. We did beat them at our place and they’ve got nothing (riding) on it.”
Liam Bryant and Nick Peters will come back into contention, but Steve Phillimore is unavailable.
Russell described having to make the near 120-mile round trip to Bognor on the final day of the season - when matches have traditionally been local derbies - as ‘absolutely ludicrous’ and feels Bexhill have been a bit unfortunate with travelling this year having played Chichester Priory Park away on the day of a popular motoring festival at Goodwood.
But he accepts that Bexhill, whose most recent two games were at home, have failed to take advantage of a fairly favourable run-in.
Sussex Cricket League Division Two bottom three: Ansty 220pts, Lindfield 206, Bexhill 198.
Final day fixtures: Ansty v Billingshurst; Bognor Regis v Bexhill; Mayfield v Lindfield.
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