A fine performance from Shawn Johnson was the highlight of a heavy home defeat for Bexhill’s cricketers yesterday (Saturday).
The talented young all-rounder made 61 with the bat and took two wickets with the ball, yet couldn’t prevent Bexhill from losing by seven wickets at home to new Sussex Premier League leaders Preston Nomads.
Following heavy rain and thunderstorms on Friday night, Nomads chose to bowl on winning the toss and proceeded to dismiss the home side for 107 in 34 overs at The Polegrove.
Bexhill were soon in trouble at 23-4. Tim Hambridge was first to go with the score 12 and Cameron Burgon - who made a splendid half-century in the previous weekend’s draw at Horsham - followed four runs later.
Johnathan Haffenden became Carl Simon’s third victim caught and bowled before Jack Richardson was bowled by Daniel Phillips, but Bexhill’s hopes were boosted by a very good fifth wicket partnership between Shawn and Malcolm Johnson.
The brothers put on 61 to get the innings back on track. Malcolm Johnson was eventually undone by Simon for 15 off 44 balls and Shawn Johnson fell six runs later, caught behind off Stuart Faith, having hit 11 fours and a six in a 75-ball knock.
Bexhill’s innings rather fell away thereafter. Liam Bryant was run out for a five-ball duck to make it 98-7 and Simon claimed his fifth wicket two runs later by seeing off Dean Crawford for eight.
The final two wickets fell with the score 107. Jamie Bristow-Diamond was bowled by Simon - who finished with 6-37 from 17 overs, six of which were maidens - for seven and then Josh Beeslee was LBW to Kashif Ibrahim for two.
Having failed to pick up a batting point, the odds would have been heavily stacked against Bexhill as they headed out to field. But Shawn Johnson gave them a boost by having Angus Stewart (12) caught behind by Richardson with the score 27 and then having Oliver Gatting caught by Burgon for a second ball duck five runs later.
Phillips and Jeremy Green put on 52 for the third wicket, however, to move Nomads within sight of victory by the time Jox Cox had Phillips caught by Beeslee for 40. Green was 30 not out as Nomads got home in the 25th over.
Standings (played-points): 1 Preston Nomads 12-221, 2 East Grinstead 12-220, 3 Roffey 11-217, 4 Horsham 11-199, 5 Eastbourne 11-192, 6 Brighton & Hove 12-190, 7 Cuckfield 12-173, 8 BEXHILL 12-145, 9 Three Bridges 12-131, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 11-92.