Sidley cricketers eye great escape

John Haffenden
John Haffenden

Can Sidley Cricket Club pull off the great escape?

John Haffenden’s side looked dead and buried three weeks ago after the defeat at home to 10-man Pulborough left them 59 points adrift of safety in Sussex Division Two.

But back-to-back wins over Glynde & Beddingham and Goring-by-Sea have propelled Sidley to within 19 points of a Pulborough side which occupies the final safe spot of third-bottom with four matches remaining.

Haffenden said: “We’ll take it week by week and assess it as we go. We’re only nine points off Haywards Heath, who we’ve got this week. We’re bowling and fielding well, and we’ll turn up Saturday and see what we can do.”

Sidley will move off the bottom if they make it a hat-trick of consecutive victories away to second-bottom Haywards Heath tomorrow (Saturday) and could even climb out of the drop zone if Pulborough lose soundly at Findon.

Having had the better of the drawn reverse fixture against Heath and lost two fewer matches than the mid-Sussex outfit, Sidley will be confident of continuing their sudden upturn in fortune.

Paul Nice is unavailable and Craig Ramsden can’t travel, but Neil Priddy is expected to return from a back injury for a Sidley side which, as it did against Glynde, will again be travelling by train.

“In the last two weeks we’ve just gone right back to basics. We’re just playing simple cricket again. We’ve been bowling well, but we’ve been bowling to plans. Whatever field we set on Saturday, the bowlers stuck to it.”

Sidley’s remaining Sussex Cricket League Division Two fixtures: tomorrow (Saturday) Haywards Heath (a), August 18 Ifield (h), August 25 Cuckfield (a), September 1 Findon (h).

See today’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.