Bexhill’s cricketers returned to winning ways with a four-wicket victory at home to Cuckfield on Saturday.
Five wickets from Dean Crawford and a Malcolm Johnson half-century helped Bexhill put successive defeats against the Sussex Premier League’s top two firmly behind them.
Bexhill’s bowling has been strong all season and they dismissed Cuckfield for 176 after the visitors - who arrived at The Polegrove in third place - won the toss and chose to bat.
After Shawn Johnson made the initial breakthrough, a Malcolm Johnson run out sparked a Cuckfield slump from 40-1 to 62-5, with Crawford claiming his first three wickets, including two batsmen who failed to score.
Cuckfield rallied with a sixth wicket partnership of 92 between Roston Chase (67) and Nick Patterson (45), but Josh Beeslee dismissed both batsmen either side of trapping captain Josh Hayward LBW and Crawford quickly bagged the last two wickets to complete his five-for.
Crawford finished with 5-28 from 15.3 overs and now has 20 league wickets for the season. Beeslee claimed 3-26 off seven, making it seven wickets in the last two league matches in which he’s bowled.
Bexhill’s opening batsmen Tim Hambridge and Shawn Johnson got starts in reply only to fall in their teens as 30-0 became 39-2. A third wicket partnership of 66, however, between Malcolm Johnson and Callum Guest put Bexhill back on course.
After Guest fell for 40 and Cameron Burgon for a single, Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden helped Malcolm Johnson take the score past 150 before the skipper was fifth man out for 11.
Malcolm Johnson wasn’t quite able to see it through, being bowled for a very good 63 containing 10 fours, but he had taken Bexhill within nine runs of victory and young Ethan Guest helped finish the job with an unbeaten 16.
Standings (played-points): 1 Preston Nomads 7-188, 2 Roffey 7-161, 3 East Grinstead 7-151, 4 Horsham 8-146, 5 Cuckfield 8-134, 6 BEXHILL 7-127, 7 Brighton & Hove 8-123, 8 Middleton 7-112, 9 Eastbourne 8-105, 10 Billingshurst 7-99.
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