Plenty of hard work ahead, warns Bexhill coach

Bexhill's second team enjoys taking a wicket against Eastbourne seconds last weekend. Picture by Jon Rigby
Bexhill's second team enjoys taking a wicket against Eastbourne seconds last weekend. Picture by Jon Rigby

While pleased to get a first win of the season on the board, Bexhill Cricket Club coach Hamish Russell knows plenty of hard work lies ahead.

The Polegrove-based side won by 34 runs in a low scoring contest at home to St James’s Montefiore on Saturday to end a run of four defeats in four completed Sussex Cricket League Division Two matches.

Russell, who missed the game due to work commitments, said: “I can appreciate the lift just from watching the updates so I can only imagine how euphoric they (the players) must’ve been.

“It was a pleasing win and a much-needed win, but I don’t think anyone’s going to get carried away. It’s good to win and we really needed to win, but it doesn’t really change anything about the previous five games and what we’ve got left to do.”

Bexhill dismissed St James for just 74 at The Polegrove to secure an improbable victory having earlier been bowled out for 108.

Nick Peters took five wickets and Neil Blatchly three after Liam Bryant made an important 34 with the bat. For a report on that game, click here.

“I’m really pleased for Nick,” continued Russell. “To take five wickets is an outstanding game’s cricket at whatever level. Nick will take the plaudits, but Liam was just as instrumental as anyone.

“Liam batted really well, really sensibly. He’s knuckled down and set the standard in the field from the very first ball.

“He started off the year as second team captain, but necessity has made him move up. He’s got involved in the club and his attitude’s been fantastic.”

Bexhill remain bottom of the table, but are now just seven points adrift of second-bottom Lindfield, who they will visit tomorrow (Saturday). There’s still a 32-point deficit, though, to the final safe spot of third-from-bottom.

“We won one at the same time last year against Ansty, but this time we’ve got to make sure we carry it on,” continued Russell. “I said last week we’ve got four really big games coming up and June becomes crucial for us now.

“We’ve really got to go to Lindfield 100 percent switched on and make winning more of a habit. Momentum is exactly the right word.

“As a team we shouldn’t be under any illusions that all of a sudden we’ve turned the corner; all we’ve done is given ourselves a platform to improve on.

“It certainly wasn’t a fantastic performance all-round. We’ve got to put runs on the board, we can’t rely on our bowlers to dig us out every week.”

Last weekend was a better one for Bexhill Cricket Club as a whole, with two of the four adult league teams winning and the other two fairly competitive in defeat.

“It would be really nice if this is something that gives people a bit more belief across all four teams,” added Russell. “Hopefully we can be a bit more relaxed now we’ve got the monkey off our backs. Everybody will just be a bit happier now, but we’ve got a lot of work to do yet.”

Blatchly can only play at home tomorrow because of work and is therefore likely to turn out for the seconds, but James Walker should be back following injury and holiday.

Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played six matches): 1 Billingshurst 138pts, 2 Mayfield 123, 3 Three Bridges 121, 4 Haywards Heath 120, 5 Bognor Regis 98, 6 Ansty 96, 7 St James’s Montefiore 92, 8 Chichester Priory Park 91, 9 Lindfield 66, 10 BEXHILL 59.

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