Billingshurst sweat on Sussex County League place

JPCT 07-04-12   football: Billingshurst v Wittering Utd S12150563a -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 07-04-12 football: Billingshurst v Wittering Utd S12150563a -photo by Steve Cobb

BILLINGSHURST FC will find out later this month whether they have been accepted into the Sussex County League.

Earlier this month Hurst wrapped up the West Sussex Premier Division crown, beating former County League side Sidlesham into second place. If Billingshurst are accepted, it will be the first time in their 120 year history the club has reached that level of football.

“We are as confident as we can be that we will go up,” first team manager Mark Betts said. “The structure is there and the village of Billingshurst has become much more than just a village.

“It’s a natural progression. We have a fantastic facility at Jubilee Fields, but since we have been there we have not had a team good enough to warrant a place in the County League.”

Hurst topped the Premier Division thanks to their 2-1 defeat of nearest rivals Sidlesham, and have been tasked with bringing their Jubiee Fields home, which was opened in 2006, up to scratch. Improvements include lengthening the pitch by seven metres and adding a metre’s width, dugouts are a requirement and have been ordered, as have new goalposts. A working party is due to visit the ground on Saturday to carry out the necessary work, which also includes marking out technical areas.

The County League deadline is May 21, and Billingshurst should discover if they are accepted on May 22.

Meanwhile, Hurst’s season is not finished. They still have the Vernon Wentworth Cup final against Saltdean at Arundel tomorrow, and the Malcolm Simmonds Cup final against Sidlesham at Arundel on Tuesday.