A local derby first week of the season is a good way to get up and running and Haywards Heath 2s were the visitors to St John’s for the first limited overs game in the new league format.
Haywards Heath came away with the victory but it was a very decent performance by an inexperienced 2s to take 7 points and also to make HHCC work hard for the 30 points they rightly picked up.
Losing the toss we were inserted and Alex Hepburn and Curly Pummell made a decent start against the new ball pair of skipper Matt Jones and overseas Jaydon Wright. Alec managed to find a gap to which Curly fancied a third run however it proved a big mistake as Alec was run out to lose our first wicket. Akeem Ifill joined Curly and both looked in good form until Curly was stumped by Woodfield off the bowling of Hannah Phelps (3-40). Wickets then began to fall as Ukesh, Steve Cromb, skipper Matt Charman and Ben Churchyard all got out to the slower bowling of Phelps and Morris (3-27). However luckily for Hill Akeem Ifill was in beligerent mood and it was his 60 runs, plus some late runs from Phil Wickwar and an entertaining cameo from Bobby Barnes that took us to 149 all out.
A good start was needed to get into the HHCC middle order and Bobby Barnes bowled an excellent new ball spell with both Akeem Ifill and Tom McCreadie in support. A couple of big appeals were not upheld unfortunately and it meant Shams and Thilakarathna made a decent start for HHCC. Akeem then had Shams LBW quickly followed by another wicket well caught by Barnes via a deflection off Teddy. Matt Charman (3-20) brought himself onto bowl and promptly bowled Thilakarathna. However what proved to be a match winning partnership from Hannah Phelps and Ben Morris (both making 30) was only broken when Barnes got Hannah out caught behind. The runs began to slow up for HHCC but they never looked in real trouble even when Dave Woodfield skied one which Phil Wickwar did quite brilliantly to catch and it was a case of just getting over the line. With the scores level Garry Honeysett had the opportunity to win the match for HHCC but a combination of ‘intelligent banter’ and an outstanding diving caught and bowled from Charman meant there was at least one personal positive for the BHCC skipper to cling to. Morris fittingly finished the game off in the 42nd over having excelled with bat and ball.
Availability for the club was tough last week, so to take a decent game to HHCC who looked strong was an excellent effort especially given the relative inexperience of the 2nd XI against a genuine 2s side. Being honest I also don’t think we got the rub of the green in quite a few ways but that is cricket and it should even itself out over the season. However HHCC were definitely the better side, though being a little rusty probably helped us make a good game of it. Our team spirit was really good and hopefully the team can take this forward into next weekend’s game away at Buxted.