Billingshurst’s promotion hopes were dealt another blow as Three Bridges gained the upper hand with a four-wicket success in Division 2.
With just three weeks remaining in the season the race to step up back into the Premier Division remains as tight as ever.
Just 39 points separate five sides vying for runners-up spot in the division with Ifield looking likely to win the league. That leaves Guernsey Sarnians, who can’t be promoted, in second place and Eastbourne and Three Bridges level on 291 points.
Lindfield are fifth on 282, Hurst sixth on 259 and Mayfield, who visit Jubilee Fields this Saturday, are a place further back on 252.
Saturday saw Hurst slip with a below-par batting display after they were inserted by their hosts. They posted just 121 all out in 39.4 overs, before Bridges eased home with 125-6 in 37.3 overs.
Hurst captain Tom Haynes said: “It was a very poor result for us on Saturday. We just didn’t perform well enough on the day.
“Getting bowled out for 120 wasn’t a total we could defend. The wicket was difficult to bat on but we gave our wicket away too easily at times. I thought we bowled ok but we were always chasing the game with only 120 runs to defend.
“It’s disappointing because I feel with another 30 runs we could have really been in with a shout. We’ll pick ourselves up with three big games to go and hope for a victory on Saturday against Mayfield.”
Things started well with the bat for the hosts as Stuart Barber (20) and Haynes (34) put on an opening stand of 47.
Mike Burroughs was then looking just as assured with the bat added 37, but that was where the positivity finish.
The remaining seven batsman made just 17 runs between them as the extra column totted up to 13 in their overall score of 121.
The wickets were shared by the bowlers as Matt Blandford, Michael Rose, Adrian Chappell, Archit Patel and Anish Paraam all claimed to apiece.
In reply, after losing Krisham Nayee (four) trapped lbw by Andy Barr (1-33), fellow opener Paraam set about making 23 to take them to 47-2.
Wickets did fall as Ed Verall (2-25) and the economical Haynes (2-8 from eight overs) had some luck with the ball, but the runs were stacking up as Danny Alderman (17), Oliver Blandford (15) and Conor Golding (19) chipped in, before Tom Blanford (19) and Rose (six) saw them home.