Bexhill’s cricketers got the better of local rivals Eastbourne in national cup action yesterday (Saturday).
Malcolm Johnson’s side triumphed by three wickets against their fellow Sussex Premier League newcomers in an ECB Royal London Club Championship second round tie at a chilly and very breezy Polegrove.
Eastbourne were all out for 159 in 42.2 overs batting first. Jamie Bristow-Diamond made an important early breakthrough by dismissing former Bexhill batsman Toby Finzel with the score just one.
Although Sussex professional Callum Jackson made a vital 53 at number three, Eastbourne struggled to build really telling partnerships as Bexhill reduced them to 67-4, 96-6 and 106-8.
Craig Eaves (35 not out) and Ben Twine (14) put on 50 for the ninth wicket, though, to ensure the visitors posted a competitive total. Shawn Johnson and Joe Cox picked up three wickets each, Bristow-Diamond claimed two and there was one for Liam Bryant in addition to a Malcolm Johnson run out.
Bexhill’s reply got off to a decent start with an opening stand of 42 between Tim Hambridge and Malcolm Johnson (28 off 29 balls). Wickets then started to fall, though, and the game was very much in the balance at 98-5.
But Hambridge was still going strong and a sixth wicket partnership of 45 with fellow left-hander Bryant swung the contest firmly in Bexhill’s favour. Bryant was eventually run out for 25, although he really should have been dismissed in the same fashion with the total on 128 rather than 143.
Hambridge survived a chance to slip with seven needed and although Josh Beeslee was trapped in front with five runs later, Hambridge fittingly hit the winning runs to finish 52 not out as Bexhill got home with 16 balls to spare. Ben Twine was the pick of the Eastbourne bowlers with 3-23 from his nine overs.