Straight back up is the aim of Bexhill Cricket Club on the eve of the new Sussex Division Two season.
Bexhill were relegated from the Premier League last summer despite a valiant effort to stay there and a talented young side has been bolstered by a couple of useful acquisitions over the winter.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said captain Malcolm Johnson. “We’re still very young, but we’ve got a year’s experience of playing in the Premier League and we’ve got a very good coach in Ian Cox. If we can try our best to win at home and pick up as many points as we can away, I think we’ll be in with a shout.”
Former skipper Johnathan Haffenden has returned to The Polegrove after two years at neighbours Sidley, while Angus Cox, brother of Joe Cox, has come on board.
Bexhill struggled for early wickets last summer and often relied on the spinners to drag things back later in the opposition’s innings. But with new overseas player Andrew Williams, who bowls a good length at a sharp pace, and Joe Cox sharing the new ball, there should be more early breakthroughs this time around.
“We’ve got two strike bowlers, and if we can get a few wickets up top and put pressure on the other team, our spinners will probably do a lot better,” continued Johnson. “We’ve got such a strong batting line-up as well.”
First up for Bexhill is a trip to last season’s Sussex Division Three (West) champions Middleton tomorrow (Saturday). Bexhill (probable): M. Johnson, S. Johnson, A. Cox, Burgon, Haffenden, Hambridge, Powell, Williams, Bristow-Diamond, Beeslee, J. Cox.