‘Season-defining’ weekend for Bexhill

Dean Crawford hits a pull shot for four during Bexhill's victory over Eastbourne in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup on Sunday. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder SUS-140107-090035002
Dean Crawford hits a pull shot for four during Bexhill's victory over Eastbourne in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup on Sunday. Picture courtesy Andy Hodder SUS-140107-090035002

A potentially season-defining weekend lies in prospect for Bexhill Cricket Club.

That’s the view of first team coach Ian Cox going into a double header of Sussex Premier League home matches against neighbours Hastings Priory tomorrow (Saturday) and the Sussex Development XI on Sunday.

Cox said: “It’s a massive weekend; season-defining in my view. Obviously 60 would be lovely, but 40-odd points would be a good weekend.

“I think a win and decent draw wouldn’t be the end of the world, but if we win Saturday, I’ll be looking for two wins.”

Bexhill are bottom and Hastings second-bottom at present with only three points separating the two. Bexhill are 28 points behind Three Bridges - who occupy the final safe spot of third-from-bottom - with a game in hand.

Hastings won an ECB Royal London Club Championship third round tie away to Bexhill earlier in the season, but are still searching for their first league victory.

With this weekend marking the midway point in the season, the winners of tomorrow’s local derby will feel very much in touch with the teams just above, but the losers will have a lot of work to do in the battle for survival.

“It’s a game we want to win,” continued Cox, who admitted he would swap the club’s place in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup semi-finals for two league wins this weekend.

“It’s a big home advantage for us and it’s a game where our first thought will be winning rather than not losing. I think it will be fairly tactical on Saturday.”

Made up of the county’s best young talent, the Sussex Development XI plays every team once, but isn’t eligible for the title or relegation. The Development XI has won two, lost two and drawn one of its five games so far.

“There’s no point drawing that game,” Cox went on. “We’ve got to try and win it, and that’s what we’ll try to do. There’s an awful lot to play for, but from a confidence point of view it’s a big weekend.

“We’re still in there and we’re not halfway through the season yet. We’ve just got to start learning from our mistakes, which we’ve not really done in the first half of the season.”

Wicketkeeper/batsman Jack Richardson will be back after missing last weekend’s league game at East Grinstead, while all-rounder Callum Guest is available for Sunday’s game but not tomorrow’s. Liam Bryant is set to miss both matches.

Play in both fixtures is due to get underway from 12.30pm at The Polegrove.