HORSHAM CRICKET FESTIVAL: Joyce admits Sussex are in a relegation battle

Sussex batting at Horsham CC on Tuesday. Pic Steve Robards SR1517424 SUS-150721-160037001
Sussex batting at Horsham CC on Tuesday. Pic Steve Robards SR1517424 SUS-150721-160037001

Sussex skipper Ed Joyce admitted his side have found themselves in the middle of a relegation battle after a heavy defeat at Horsham.

Nottinghamshire won the LV=County Championship clash by an innings and 103 runs before the close of play on the third day today.

The result sees Sussex plunged into the bottom two with just five matches left of the season to pull off a great escape in Division 1.

Joyce reflected on their limited bowling options heaping more pressure on the batmen, who he admitted under performed at Cricketfield Road.

He said: “It is a rut. We have had two good draws in our last two games but this game I think is an aberration compared to those.

“But it is frustrating as we don’t have many options to change it and that’s why we are in the position we are in.

“It’s easy for me to say standing here, but I fully believe even if we had a few more guys fit then we wouldn’t be in this position, but we are where we are and I think it’s a freakish year having four/five bowlers long-term injured, but there is nothing we can do about that.

“The senior batters, including myself, most prominently need to stand up and get a few more runs.

“We certainly don’t want to be in the bottom two and I think the players we have and the potential players that we have, we wouldn’t be in the bottom two, I am pretty certain on that.

“We need to turn it around for sure, we are in a relegation battle no doubt about that.”

The Ireland international also looked back on missed chances on the first day, but hailed the Horsham wicket.

He continued: “It’s been very disappointing, we have played some good cricket in the last two games before this and we thought we had turned a corner, but Notts played very well in this game.

“They won the toss and I think it was a big toss to win on that wicket and played really well, we have certainly come out second best.

“I think about 300/350 was about par as it was a very, very good wicket here, it always is. There was a bit in it for the seamers on the first day and then a bit of turn coming later in the game, Horsham always do a really good job of that.

“If we had got another wicket of that first morning then I think we could have pushed on from that.

“I think we had opportunities to keep them to a par score in the first innings and that would have made a big difference.”