The next two games should provide a clearer indication as to whether Bexhill Cricket Club can challenge for the Sussex Premier League title.
Bexhill - the division’s form side at the moment - will host Preston Nomads today (Saturday) before travelling to leaders Horsham next weekend.
“We would like to (challenge for top spot),” said Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden. “We want to win as many games as we can and if that means we’re going to challenge for the league, it would just compliment how well we’ve done this year.
“We’re in a fantastic position at the moment. We’ve cut an 80-point gap at the top of the league down to 36 with a game in hand. We’ve got Nomads and Horsham to come, and they’re big games for us.”
Having won all of their last four completed fixtures, Bexhill are in fourth place and have played a match less than Horsham and second-placed Cuckfield.
No team in the division has lost fewer games than Bexhill and in Sam Roberts they possess a bowler who has picked up 25 league wickets at an average of just 7.24.
“We’re not looking too far ahead of ourselves,” continued Haffenden. “If we just keep doing what we’re doing, the league table will take care of itself.
“We had a bad patch, but we seem to have put that right and there’s a lot of positives coming out of us at the moment. I’m very pleased with the boys, I can’t ask for any more. But there’s not going to be an easy game for the rest of the year; sides have got good players.”
Tomorrow’s clash could be the first time for a number of years that Bexhill have gone into a match against perennial title challengers Nomads as favourites, certainly on current form.
Champions in six of the previous 10 seasons, Nomads have slid to seventh this term on the back of a rare six-match winless run (which includes an abandonment and cancellation) and are 48 points behind Bexhill having played an extra game.
“They’re still a good side,” warned Haffenden. “They’ve not fired this year, I don’t know for what reason. By the sound of it they’ve had a couple of absentees, but they’ve still got the potential to put any side away.
“It’s nice though that we’ve finally got to that stage where we’re probably on a level playing field with these sides. We’ve got different mindsets now and it’s only what the boys deserve because they’ve put in a lot of hard work this year.”
Bexhill are likely to be unchanged from the side which won at East Grinstead last weekend and play will get under way from 12.30pm at The Polegrove.
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