Victory dedicated to chairman as Billingshurst near promotion

Scott Stratton hit 84 - photo by Steve Cobb ENGPPP00420130906121448
Scott Stratton hit 84 - photo by Steve Cobb ENGPPP00420130906121448
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Another win saw Billingshurst close in on promotion, but success was not the only inspiration behind a sterling performance against Findon.

Chairman Jim Burroughs, described as ‘the heartbeat of the club’ by captain Ben Williams, was hospitalised during the week, and Williams dedicated the win to him.

Williams said: “He really is the heartbeat of the club.

“It just made the focus to go out and put in a good performance for him.”

The result sees Billingshurst remain in second place with two matches to play, and the team could soon be celebrating back-to-back promotions.

The side could be promoted if results go their way this weekend.

Billingshurst were sent in to bat after Findon won the toss, but dominated with the bat en route to setting an intimidating total.

Openers Stuart Barber and Scott Stratton each scored 84, while Mike Burroughs added 66 not out - and all three drew the praise of their captain for their run-scoring prowess.

Williams said: “From the off Stuart Barber and Scott Stratton showed really positive intent and didn’t let the bowlers settle. It was a first wicket partnership of 138 which put us in full flow.

“They have really gelled well together this year and are getting to know each other’s games.

“The guys come in in the middle order and it means there is no pressure on them.”

Barber, Stratton and Burroughs combined for 33 fours and two sixes as they tore through the Findon attack, and Billingshurst declared on 260-4 off 45 overs.

Findon batted valiantly in response but fell well short of the target.

Four bowlers claimed multiple wickets - Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi and David Dunn took three, while Williams and Andy Barr each dismissed two batsmen as the Billingshurst attack shared the damage, Mitipolaarachchi finishing with figures of 3-4.

The skipper said: “Everybody is bowling well as a unit and for a captain it is so much easier than having to rely on one person.

“Our fielding this year has just been fantastic, we are taking catches all the time with no silly drops.”

After taking Division Three by storm last year, Billingshurst have won 11 of 16 games this campaign and are closing in on back-to-back promotions.

They will target a twelfth win of the season when they face Goring By Sea, who are second from bottom.

And Williams is under no illusions as to how much another successful season would mean to the club.

He added: “It would be the pinnacle of the club’s existence.

“That has been the dream, everybody wants to play in the top league and it would be an honour for us to be there.

“It is exciting times for the club really.”