Promotion chase back on as Billingshurst end winless run

DM1872185a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Johnny Phelps bowling to Stuart Babrey. The other batsman is Tom Haynes. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195509008
DM1872185a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Johnny Phelps bowling to Stuart Babrey. The other batsman is Tom Haynes. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195509008

Billingshurst gave their promotion push a boost by ending their four-game winless run with a 40-run success away to Haywards Heath.

Stuart Barber’s unbeaten century helped pave the way to a maximum 30 points which also saw a fourth-placed ‘Hurst narrow the gap on place above Heath in Division 2.

DM1872131a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Stuart Babrey. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195701008

DM1872131a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Stuart Babrey. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195701008

Tom Haynes’ side now trail their beaten opponents by 17 points and are 45 behind second-placed Three Bridges and 37 back from new leaders Mayfield.

Bowler Ben Williams said: “It was good to get back to winning ways on Saturday and we showed we can play good cricket.

“It was a great knock by Stuart Barber, along with Tom Haynes. They controlled the innings and set the match up for us. It’s what we’ve been missing in previous weeks, somebody committing and going big. Bowling wise, they were always chasing the game.

“Andy Barr got the breakthrough up top then the spinners did the rest of the damage. We’re still in with a small shout of going up. We’ll take one game at a time and keep trying to play good cricket.”

DM1872138a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Batsman Tom Haynes and keeper Ben Matthews. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195711008

DM1872138a.jpg Cricket: Haywards Heath v Billingshurst (batting). Batsman Tom Haynes and keeper Ben Matthews. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180714-195711008

Having won the toss elected to bat, Tim Weston was caught out for four, before a second-wicket stand of 151 between captain Tom Haynes (65) and Barber (100*).

That took Billingshurst to 156-2, before Barber and Scott Stratton (34) added a third-wicket effort of 71.

Jake Cross also added an unbeaten 11 as ‘Hurst declared on 240-3 an over early.

In reply, Heath made 200 all out in 42.1 overs. They were led by Alastair Templeton (50) and captain Callum Smith (49).

But decent bowling efforts from Barr (3-23 from 9.1 overs) and a late clear-up from Williams (4-69), who is the league’s leading wicket take with 39 in ten games, after Haynes had also claimed 3-33 was enough to claim the home side victory.