Henfield made to struggle by Billingshurst’s Weston front

JPCT 250513 S13220667x Cricket. Henfield v Billingshurst. Dan Mitipolarachchi batting for Bills. Will Harrison bowling, w/k Chris Crampton -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 250513 S13220667x Cricket. Henfield v Billingshurst. Dan Mitipolarachchi batting for Bills. Will Harrison bowling, w/k Chris Crampton -photo by Steve Cobb

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Billingshurst made it three out of four wins for the season with a hard fought 55 run victory away to Henfield.

A superb maiden century from Tim Weston helped the visitors to a strong total, and the same man then took three wickets as Henfield were bowled out despite resistance from Tony Brugnoli and Scott Pedersen.

JPCT 250513 S13220704x Cricket. Henfield v Billingshurst. Tim Weston batting for Bills. Will Harrison bowling, w/k Chris Crampton -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 250513 S13220704x Cricket. Henfield v Billingshurst. Tim Weston batting for Bills. Will Harrison bowling, w/k Chris Crampton -photo by Steve Cobb

Delighted Billingshurst captain Ben Williams said: “I couldn’t ask any more from the guys Saturday and all season to be honest. Of course we’ve got aspirations of winning the league, but to lose seven first team players from the previous year would ruin most clubs, but in our case, we’ve burrowed our way out of a hole and it’s made us stronger as everyone of our players has a great attitude and we all go out and enjoy our cricket now. A great example of this was Tim’s performance on Saturday. To win three out of four is a really positive start and we’ll just take each game from now as it comes.”

The home team won the toss and inserted Billingshurst on a good looking batting surface and the visitors started positively with an opening partnership of 60 from Weston and Phil Marshall.

Weston carried his bat for a crucial 101, especially impressive given he kept his cool as Hurst lost a flurry of wickets as they plummeted from 121-2 to 145-7 with some good bowling from Henfield’s Zimbabwean overseas Brighton Mugochi (3-56) and club stalwart Graham Fuller (4-55).

With great combinations from Alex Hughes on his first team debut and Kelly Russell however, Weston took the score to 223-8 from 53 overs.

In reply, Henfield were reduced to 27-3 after another good opening spell from Andy Barr and Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi, backed up with good slip catches from John Alexander and Mitipolaarachchi himself.

Henfield showed resistance in the way of Tony Brugnoli with 56, and Scott Pedersen with 48 before Williams removed Brugnoli.

Williams (2-42) and Weston (3-9) reduced Henfield from 119-3 to 145-8 before Barr - helped by a stunning Hughes catch - and Mitipolaarachchi came back to polish off the hosts with three overs to go.

Henfield skipper Brett Moore said there was no panic after no wins in their first four games: “It was an important first hour when the track was at its most dangerous but they batted well to get through it and it didn’t help that we dropped a couple of catches. We were looking favourites until we lost wickets in bunches so we have to focus on getting that right.”