Bexhill coach ponders what might have been

Bexhill Cricket Club coach Hamish Russell was left to rue what might have been after the first team's narrow defeat on Saturday.

Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 12:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 12:38 pm
Danul Dassanayake displays a solid defence during Bexhill's defeat to Mayfield last weekend. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Bexhill lost by three wickets at home to high-riding Mayfield in a Sussex Cricket League Division Two match where both teams had spells on top.

Russell felt the key period came when Bexhill tumbled from 95-1 batting first to 143 all out, with the last nine wickets all falling to spin.

He said: “It was a case of what might have been. We were 25 runs short with the bat. To go from 95-1 after 12 overs to 143 all out was pretty disappointing. We were in a really good position, but we let that go badly.

Shawn Johnson drives one down the ground at The Polegrove last weekend.

“The spinners changed the game. We’ve not had any rain for a month, everything’s dry and it was always going to turn, but there was nothing excessive about it.”

Bexhill had Mayfield 87-6 at one stage in reply before the visitors recovered to clinch victory.

“We did go through a phase of bowling really well and put them under pressure,” continued Russell. “We forced mistakes out of them with some good bowling.

“If we had them 100-7, you don’t know. But we knew they still had Jason Finch to come in and he can win the game by himself.

“Neither team really played spin particularly well. It was a turning ball and it was jumping a bit because of the hard wicket - it was almost like the sub-continent with the dust that was flying around.

“A couple of people were unlucky, but most people gave their wickets away - on both sides.

“You just needed to have a little bit of experience of how to play in those sort of conditions. They just had more patience than we did.”

Bexhill remain second-bottom of the table, but despite the defeat, they are now just one point behind a Bognor Regis side which occupies the final safe spot of third-bottom. And had they scored 17 more runs on Saturday, Bexhill would’ve been above Bognor.

“We’re still there or thereabouts,” added Russell. “The confidence is still there because Mayfield are second in the league, but we could’ve beaten them. We probably didn’t deserve to, but we could’ve done.

“Our bowling and fielding’s been a lot better in the last couple of weeks, our batting is showing signs of being more consistent and the confidence in our batters is back clearly.

“We’ve got seven or eight players capable of scoring runs at this level and we’ve got people capable of scoring runs at a higher level.

“It’s difficult to say because of the split format (half the games are timed and the other half are limited overs), but you would like to think if we can get to six or seven wins we would be pretty much there or thereabouts.”

Bexhill will make the long journey to sixth-placed Chichester Priory Park tomorrow (Saturday) not knowing a great deal about the opposition after the reverse fixture was rained-off halfway through.

“We didn’t see a lot of them last time round, and they play at Goodwood now and no-one’s been there,” continued Russell. “We really are going into the unknown. They’ve done well in this division and it’s not going to be easy.”

Ryan Darvill and Liam Bryant are expected to be available having not featured last weekend.

Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played 10 matches): 1 Three Bridges 239pts, 2 Mayfield 225, 3 Haywards Heath 218, 4 Billingshurst 178, 5 St James’s Montefiore 168, 6 Chichester Priory Park 158, 7 Ansty 144, 8 Bognor Regis 131, 9 BEXHILL 130, 10 Lindfield 122.

See also: Bexhill lose out in see-saw contestResurgent Bexhill right back in touchBenefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (