‘Promotion race is all-but over’ for Billingshurst

DM1872168a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Scott Stratton (Billingshurst). Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195731008
DM1872168a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Scott Stratton (Billingshurst). Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195731008

Billingshurst captain Tom Haynes has conceded that they are all-but out of the Premier Division promotion race.

That comes after they suffered a 179-run defeat to St James’s on Saturday that left them 71 point behind the top two in Division 2.

Having been set a target of 251-5 declared after losing the toss, Billingshurst could only muster a disappointing 72 all out in reply.

That condemned them to their fifth defeat of the season and leaves them fourth in the table, well behind front-runners Mayfield and second-placed Three Bridges.

Haynes gave an honest assessment and said: “It was a disappointing result at the weekend which probably takes us out of the promotion race.

“In the limited-over format we haven’t found any form as a team, which unfortunately has been our downfall.

“St James’s were by far the better team on the day and I feel they could cause a few upsets in weeks to come.

“Hopefully, we can just enjoy our cricket for the rest of the season and see where we finish up. I’m not going to put any pressure on the lads, what will be will be.”

St James’s openers Harry Rollins (105) and Sam Cooper (76) put on a fine opening-stand of 148, before the latter fell, but Rollins batted on superbly to take the score to an impressive 230-4, before he was finally out.

They added another 21 runs before declaring early in the 51st over, but needed only 19 to bowl Billingshurst out.

Only opener Tim Weston (13) and fourth-man in Scott Stratton (29) made double figures in an innings that saw three ducks.

Michael Murray (4-18) and Sam Rattle (3-8) did the main damage with the ball as St James’s moved up to fifth, just two points behind their visitors.

‘Hurst now host bottom side Lindfield on Saturday.