Billingshurst failed to click with the bat as they were on the end of a five-wicket defeat away to Eastbourne at The Saffrons.
It was Tom Haynes’ side’s first defeat of the season after they had kicked off life in Division 2 with convincing back-to-back victories.
But the new captain admitted it wasn’t their day on Saturday as they struggled to 106 all out in 39.1 over after winning the toss and electing to bat.
In reply, Hurst did their best to cause Eastbourne problems and wickets from Andy Barr (2-28), Ed Verrall (1-44) and Ben Williams (2-13) had the hosts struggling at 51-5.
However, a late unbeaten half century from Charlie Hobden proved the difference as he saw his side home to victory with 111-5 in 24 overs.
Haynes said: “It just didn’t click for us at the weekend. After winning the toss and batting first we needed to put more than 106 on the board.
“I did feel we were still right in with a shout after five quick wickets, although one excellent innings took the game away from us. Every batter struggled on Saturday, so for someone to come out and score 50 not out off 20 balls was a complete game changer.
“But at the end of the day we have to perform better if we want to win games in this league. We have a massive weekend of cricket coming up with two league fixtures against strong sides. Although I’m confident we can turn it around.”
Having won the toss, Hurst openers Scott Stratton (12) and Haynes (30) started well with an opening stand of 38, but after that Mike Burroughs (11) was the only other contribution from the top order.
With the score on 63-5, Rob Woodman picked a plucky 22 not out off 47 balls as the remaining wickets fell around him. Jacob Smith was the main tormentor with the ball picking up 3-20, while Ben Barter 2-16 did the early damage.
For Eastbourne only Dan Wells (27) and Alastair Orr, making (27) batting at four, made double figures, before Hobden’s unbeaten knock calmed the wobble and saw them over the line.
Billingshurst welcome St James’s on Saturday, before hosting Guernsey Sarnians at Jubilee Fields on Sunday.