Burgess Hill have gone top of the Division 3 East for the first time this season, thanks to a five-fer from skipper Joe Maskell and 89 not out from Kevin Ramsay.
Hill won the toss on a warm day down by the coast.
They took on Bexhill 2s and for the first time season, they decided to have a bowl, on a pitch that could only be described as a day 5 pitch in Perth. Hill were missing leading wicket-taker Dan Strange as he took in the sights at Ascot, but captain Maskell decided to open himself and take the first wicket. In the second over Maskell had James Walker edging to Tom Trowbridge.
Maskell’s next over saw the second wicket fall, a misjudged leave from Rob Yardy, had his off-stump cartwheeling leaving Bexhill 8-2.
George Willett was the other opening bowler, and he carried on where he left last week, bowling in fantastic areas and quickly. After beating the bat on numerous occasions, he eventually had Gary Wicks caught by Tom Penfold in the covers (14-3). Willett continued to bowl to quickly and he had new batsmen Will Smith dropped at second slip, before he did it himself by pinning Smith on the back pad in front of all 3 stumps, 30-4.
Bexhill needed partnership, James Pilbeam and Eddie Lemon provided this and took Bexhill to 76-4 at the first drinks break. Hill were looking for quick wickets, post drinks break, and new bowler Peter Billinghay duly obliged. He has Pilbeam bowled 1st ball after drinks, before bowling Eddie Lemon in the next over leaving Bexhill 81-6. Captain Steve Phillimore and Adam Wickenden continued to build a partnership. Showing everybody else how to bat, Phillimore played straight and patient, before putting away the bad balls.
Frustration grew from Maskell, so he decided to bring himself back on. His first ball got Wickenden out LBW, before he had James Bywater caught for 4, yhree balls later. In his next over he bowled Chris Anderson which was his fifth wicket and first 5 wicket haul this season. Captain Phillimore was joined by young Kieran Malone who played sensibly with his captain. They build another frustrating partnership. It has reached 31, with the score on 172, when the final wicket was taken. Lewis Mamoany took his first ever wicket for the 1st team, as he bowled Malone for 14. 172 all out from 38.4 overs.
After another fantastic tea, which included hot sausage rolls and a selection of sandwiches and biscuits! Hill walked out needing 173 to win, to claim a 4th consecutive win. Trowbridge and Hopkins started positively, with Hopkins his a couple of early boundaries. Hopkins (8) did fall with the score on 21 when he was bowled by Malone. This brought Ramsay to the crease. Starting slowly and building a partnership with Trowbridge.
Trying to up the rate, Ramsay took a wild swipe and was dropped at 1st slip, when he was just on 4. This dropped proved very costly as Ramsay and Trowbridge both started finding the boundary with real ease. Ramsay was first to bring up his 50 with a single after drinks. Trowbridge followed a few overs later with back to back boundaries. Ramsey then took charge and decided to win the game quickly, he hit his the next 39 runs in just 15 balls as Hill reached the target of 173, just one wicket down and 28.2 overs in. Ramsey finished on 89* and Trowbridge 59*.
The victory took Hill top of the division by 13 points, due to a draw between Brighton and Hove and Portslade. Hill welcome Brighton and Hove next week who will be looking to continue their impressive form.