Williams is confident Billingshurst will climb

Billingshurst v Horsham (batting). Andy Barr. Pic SR1511984. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150206-121534001
Billingshurst v Horsham (batting). Andy Barr. Pic SR1511984. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150206-121534001

Billingshurst captain Ben Williams is extremely confident his side will climb the Premier Division table – despite slipping bottom on Saturday.

A four-wicket defeat at the Jubilee Fields to leaders Preston Nomads meant the promoted side lead just the Sussex Development XI in the standings.

Williams, however, is still looking up the table rather than down, insisting he has seen plenty of positives from his side, who have three wins from their seven games.

He said: “It’s been a strange season and there have been lots of results and not many draws. I am not worried at the moment at all.

“We’re still aiming for fifth or sixth and always knew it was going to be difficult. We were lacking a couple of players early on, due to school and university, but they’re coming back in now.

“Moving up two divisions in two seasons, really is a big step, moving up one is a big step let alone two in two.”

Having lost the toss and been put in on Saturday, Hurst posted 136 in 53 overs. Opener Stuart Barber faced 139 balls to hit 66 and was the seventh-man out with the score on 121. Andy Barr added 29, and Mike Burroughs (11), Dhanushka Mititpolaarachchi (10) and Toby Loxley (10) also contributed.

In reply, a smart start with the ball by Barr (2-21) and Alex Lowther (1-22) reduced Nomads to 10-3, but a match-winning innings came from Rob Wakeford. He hit 71 to take the score to 129-6 along with Aaron Phillips’ 27, before Hugh Richards (17*) saw the visitors home with 137-6 in the 34th over.

Williams added: “I think we gave it an alright go, but Nomads are a good side and a solid and consistent side.

“Stuart Barber batted fantastically for us, but we are just lacking that little bit to support him. We are still not getting enough runs.

“It was a good wicket and if you batted well, you got runs. Rob Wakeford batted superbly for them, while Barr bowled really well up front.”

Hurst travel to Roffey on Saturday boosted by the return of Will Fazakerley, Tom Nightingale and Abi Sekande.

Williams added: “We are really looking forward to playing them. They are a club we have aspirations to be like with really good home-grown players and a good club culture.”

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