Bognor win again - but promotion hopes are over ’til next year

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Bognor’s promotion hopes are over for another year in cricket’s Sussex division three west despite them beating Billingshurst.

Findon’s relentless record in top spot has clinched the title and promotion to division two, so the boys from the Regis Oval must try again next year.

In their latest outing, they elected to bowl first.

Bognor struck before a brief delay for rain as Jim Lee (5-51) sent Tim Weston back.

Lee continued to bowl exceptionally well, exploiting the conditions in his favour as he dismissed Scott Stratton (18), leaving Billingshurst in turmoil.

Mike Burroughs (50) offered some resistance before another flurry of wickets from Lee and one from Graham Bush (1-50) left Billingshurst 89 for six. Fearless batting from Phillip Erasmus (30) boosted the Billingshurst total until he was undone by Rob Willway (1-28) as James Fallick took a splendid catch in the deep.

The Billingshurst lower order fell quickly as Charlie La Foret (3-9) caused some damage, leaving them 150 all out.

Bognor’s reply started nervously as Ashley Jefferies (2-25) made early inroads into Bognor’s line-up, but James Fallick (19) and Max Ashmore (36) started the revival and got Bognor back on course.

Oliver Handson (55) joined Ashmore in the middle, forming a marvellous partnership with Handson dealing some lusty blows. A second spell from Phillip Erasmus (3-53) produced the wicket of Ashmore and Handson which meant responsibility relied on the inexperienced shoulders of Mikey Harris (15), who coped well with the pace of Erasmus, guiding Bognor to victory.

An impressive season for Bognor has seen them finish second, but they will reflect on what could have been and will be rueing certain performances.