Bexhill’s cricketers have been promoted back to the Sussex Premier League after triumphing in a winner-takes-all final day shootout.
Malcolm Johnson’s side won by 120 runs away to Goring-by-Sea yesterday (Saturday) to clinch the second and final promotion place in Division Two behind already-crowned champions Eastbourne.
Goring went into the match a point ahead of Bexhill, but their gamble of fielding first backfired spectacularly as Bexhill amassed 255-4, meaning they picked up 10 batting points and Goring failed to earn a single bowling point.
Although Tim Hambridge was caught behind for 14 with Bexhill on 18, Johnson and Callum Guest batted the visitors into a strong position with a second wicket partnership of 101. Johnson’s 68 was his highest league score of the season.
Guest and Johnathan Haffenden (36) kept the momentum going with a third wicket stand of 71, and Guest went on to compile his maiden adult league century, finishing 106 not out with two fours and two sixes.
Andrew Williams made an early breakthrough for Bexhill in the field with the score five and the visitors then took four wickets for three runs to leave Goring in tatters at 27-5. Williams claimed three of them to finish with 4-21 and Shawn Johnson bagged the other.
Alex Maynard resisted with 66, supported by Andrew Baumann (18) and then Ben Cartwright (11), but Bexhill weren’t to be denied. Guest and Jamie Bristow-Diamond, making his return to the first team, took two wickets each, and Elliot Guest bagged the other, as Goring were all out for 135 in 33 overs.
Bexhill picked up the full house of 30 points and Goring earned just one. It’s the third time Bexhill have been promoted in five seasons, although this time they will be hoping to go up and stay up having come straight back down the previous two occasions.
Final standings (all played 18 matches): 1 Eastbourne 428pts, 2 BEXHILL 383, 3 Goring-by-Sea 355, 4 Findon 353, 5 Ifield 314, 6 CROWHURST PARK 292, 7 Middleton 268, 8 St James’s Montefiore 241, 9 Pulborough 202, 10 Glynde & Beddingham 157.