Bexhill beat Hastings in crunch derby

Dean Crawford bowling for Bexhill in their six-wicket victory at home to Hastings Priory. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (SUS-140507-173447002)
Dean Crawford bowling for Bexhill in their six-wicket victory at home to Hastings Priory. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (SUS-140507-173447002)

Bexhill’s cricketers defeated Hastings Priory in a crucial local derby at The Polegrove yesterday (Saturday).

The six-wicket victory has breathed new life into Bexhill’s Sussex Premier League survival bid, but has left Priory with a huge task during the second half of the season if they’re to beat the drop.

After rain overnight and during the morning of the match, Bexhill opted to field on winning the toss and proceeded to bowl Priory out for just 124 in 39.1 overs.

John Morgan was the latest player to have a crack at opening the batting for Priory and was first man out for four with the score eight, Ian Cox taking the catch off the bowling of Shawn Johnson.

Tom Gillespie and Leo Cammish took the score to 39 before the former was caught by Jamie Bristow-Diamond off Cameron Burgon for 13. Cammish - the Sussex Cricket League’s leading runscorer - was bowled by Shawn Johnson 11 runs later having made 27 off 31 balls.

Number four Adam Maharaj-Newman held the Priory innings together and returning captain George Campbell made 15 until being trapped LBW by Joe Cox with the score 80.

None of the final six Priory batsmen reached double figures and four of them failed to score. Elliot Hooper was run out following a great piece of work by Burgon to leave Priory 80-5.

Priory debutant Dan Doram fell to Bristow-Diamond for four to make it 90-6 and Freddie Hulbert was caught behind by Jack Richardson off Dean Crawford at 112-7.

Crawford also saw off Finn Hulbert and Henry Smith for ducks with the score 119 before finishing off the innings five runs later when Maharaj-Newman was dismissed for a gritty 39 off 89 balls.

Bexhill slid to 20-2 in reply after Morgan had captain Malcolm Johnson and overseas player Crawford caught behind by Cammish, but opener Tim Hambridge was going along nicely.

Although Hooper had Johnathan Haffenden caught by Gillespie for 10 to leave Bexhill 51-3, Hambridge and Shawn Johnson put on 56 for the fourth wicket to move Bexhill within sight of victory.

Johnson was eventually stumped by Cammish off Jack Coleman for 27, but Burgon (8 not out) and Hambridge took Bexhill past the winning post in the 42nd over, Hambridge carrying his bat for 75 not out off 135 balls with eight fours and a six.

Bexhill will move out of the two relegation places if they pick up nine or more points from their game in hand at home to the Sussex Development XI today. Play is due to start at 12.30pm.

Elsewhere this afternoon, Crowhurst Park will entertain Buckinghamshire outfit Dinton in the last 16 of the national Davidstow Village Cup. That match is scheduled to get underway from 1pm.

Sussex Premier League standings (played-points): 1 East Grinstead 10-184, 2 Roffey 9-182, 3 Preston Nomads 10-161, 4 Horsham 9-155, 5 Brighton & Hove 10-154, 6 Eastbourne 9-154, 7 Cuckfield 10-135, 8 Three Bridges 10-113, 9 BEXHILL 9-105, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 9-80.