Bexhill edge out Eastbourne in thriller

Bexhill batting during their victory at home to Eastbourne on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Curtis (SUS-150507-001137002)
Bexhill batting during their victory at home to Eastbourne on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Curtis (SUS-150507-001137002)
  • Bexhill pip Eastbourne by 2 runs in dramatic derby
  • Malcolm Johnson hits 52 as Bexhill are all out for 207
  • Wicks takes 5-35 to bowl Eastbourne out for 205
  • Bexhill have won all of their last three league games
  • Haffenden’s side up to fourth at midway stage of season

Bexhill Cricket Club made it three consecutive league wins in dramatic fashion at The Polegrove on Saturday.

Johnathan Haffenden’s side edged out local rivals Eastbourne by just two runs in the Sussex Premier League thanks in no small part to a Malcolm Johnson half-century and five wickets for Jamie Wicks.

Bexhill won the toss and batted on what looked a good wicket. The surface didn’t play as well as it looked, though, and nobody really got on top as the hosts were all out for 207 in 52.5 overs.

Johnson top-scored with 52 from 102 balls with nine fours, and Dean Crawford was the other main contributor with a run-a-ball 31 not out featuring a six and four fours.

Cameron Burgon (27), Ethan Guest (24) and debutant Luke Youngs (20) also weighed in. Eastbourne’s two young spinners caused all the trouble, Jacob Smith taking 6-78 and James Allen 2-43.

Bexhill struck early with the ball, reducing Eastbourne to 9-2 with key players Dan Wells and Sussex professional Callum Jackson back in the pavilion.

Despite an 89-run third wicket stand between Smith (42) and Dominic Shepheard (70), Bexhill always looked in control, particularly when the visitors were 152-8.

It got very tight at the end before Shawn Johnson claimed the final wicket, trapping Mark Trubshaw LBW for 24 to leave Eastbourne all out for 205 in 50 overs. Trubshaw had earlier appeared fortunate to survive a confident run out appeal.

Wicks showed tremendous control with his flight to take a well-deserved 5-35 in his 12 overs. Shawn Johnson and Josh Beeslee claimed two wickets each, and there was one for Crawford.

Standings (played-points): 1 Preston Nomads 9-232, 2 East Grinstead 10-222, 3 Roffey 9-221, 4 BEXHILL 9-183, 5 Horsham 10-167, 6 Brighton & Hove 10-160, 7 Cuckfield 10-150, 8 Billinshurst 9-141, 9 Eastbourne 10-128, 10 Middleton 9-126.

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