Bexhill target triumphant finish

Shawn Johnson bowling for Bexhill against East Grinstead last weekend. Picture by Stephen Curtis (SUS-150830-172519002)
Shawn Johnson bowling for Bexhill against East Grinstead last weekend. Picture by Stephen Curtis (SUS-150830-172519002)
  • Bexhill to round-off fine season with derby away to Eastbourne
  • Victory would take Bexhill’s win tally for season into double figures
  • A Bexhill win would also make sure of fourth spot
  • Bexhill will clinch their best finish since 1997
  • Eastbourne in five-way battle against relegation
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Bexhill Cricket Club is aiming to end its best season for 18 years with a derby victory.

Johnathan Haffenden’s side will be targeting a 10th Sussex Premier League win of the summer away to Eastbourne tomorrow (Saturday).

We’ll do everything we can to try and win the game, as we have done all year, and 10 wins would be a real achievement I think.

Ian Cox

A victory would make sure of fourth place, which would be Bexhill’s highest finish since winning the title in 1997, although they will finish there anyway if fifth-placed Horsham fail to win away to title-chasing East Grinstead.

Bexhill first team coach Ian Cox said: “It’s a massive game for us. We’re desperately keen to finish fourth and if we win it we will.”

The game is of huge significance to Eastbourne, who are firmly in the thick of a remarkable five-team scrap to avoid the two relegation places.

“It’s a bit of a local rivalry,” continued Cox. “We don’t want to send Eastbourne down, but we’re going to try and win the game; it’s not fair on everyone else if we take it easy.

“All the pressure’s big time on them and hopefully we’ll play like we did against Hastings last year (Bexhill were emphatic winners over Hastings Priory on the final day of the 2014 campaign).”

Bexhill were narrow two-run winners in the reverse fixture at The Polegrove in early July, which at the time was their third straight victory following wins over East Grinstead and Cuckfield.

“We’ve got a really good record against them,” Cox went on. “I don’t think we’ve lost to them in the three years that I’ve been there as coach.

“In the last couple of games we’ve played against them at the Saffrons they’ve been quite happy not to lose. That won’t be the case this time because they will have to be positive to win the game. We’ll do everything we can to try and win the game, as we have done all year, and 10 wins would be a real achievement I think.”

Bexhill have won only once against teams in the top half of the table and lost just once against clubs in the bottom half so far this summer.

“From where we were that’s a good progression and I’m happy with that,” added Cox. “The next step is to find a way to compete with the top sides. I think it’s mental as much as anything and a bit of self-belief. We’re not miles away from them; it’s not as though we’re getting thrashed each time.”

Callum Guest is unavailable for the Eastbourne game.

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