Cricket returns to The Polegrove
The Polegrove is set to host its first competitive cricket of the summer today (Saturday).
Bexhill Cricket Club’s first and second teams are due to be in Twenty20 action as the new season gets up and running.
The front side will host Hellingly in a Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup first round tie scheduled to start at 3.30pm after the seconds will take on neighbours Hastings Priory in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex 2nd XI T20 Cup from 12noon.
With their Sussex Premier League programme set to get underway next weekend, Bexhill’s first team will be seeking a confidence-boosting victory over Division Four side Hellingly.
Bexhill coach Ian Cox said: “Hopefully we can put in a good performance on Saturday and we can get out at The Polegrove on Tuesday for a bit of outdoor practice because we’ve not had any yet.
“If we do well in the T20 that’s a bonus, but the league is the priority. If everyone plays to their potential we should be okay, but you can’t take anything for granted.”
Bexhill have a good record in the competition over recent seasons and enjoyed a decent run to the semi-finals last year.
“We’ve got plenty of bowling and we’ve got plenty of batting,” continued Cox. “If one or two people fail, it’s not the end of the world for us. We’ll play it positively and see what happens.”
Overseas player Dean Crawford was due to fly in from Australia this week, while Joe Cox and Callum Guest are available having missed last weekend’s ECB National Club Championship first round tie away to Kent Premier League outfit Hartley Country Club, which ended in a resounding 190-run defeat.
A very strong Hartley side amassed 296-2 from its 45 overs batting first thanks largely to James Hockley’s unbeaten 134. Shawn Johnson and Liam Bryant were Bexhill’s only wicket-takers.
The visitors were shot out for 106 in reply, with Bryant (24), new boy James Walker (23) and Jamie Bristow-Diamond (10) the only players to reach double figures.
“They were very strong,” added Cox. “They had practised outside for three weeks, it was their third proper Saturday game and they had their full first team out.
“It was a typical first game of the season and in a way it’s woken a few of our boys up. Obviously the performance was disappointing, but understandable almost.
“Shawn and Malcolm (Johnson) hadn’t picked up a bat since last September having not been able to get to indoor nets because of work, but Nick Peters bowled very well, and James Walker and young Liam got 20-odd.”