WORTHING Cricket Club will look to bounce straight back up into the Sussex League Premier Division next year after their relegation was confirmed on Saturday.
Worthing needed results to go in their favour on Saturday but found out at tea in their match at Three Bridges that Brighton & Hove had already got enough points to prevent Worthing from overtaking them.
Worthing had declared after just 45 overs after hitting 282-6, before Bridges raced to the target in just 45 overs themselves for the loss of three wickets.
Including an opening-day win away to champions Preston Nomads, Worthing started the season with three wins from their first eight games, before losing nine of their last 11 matches.
They have been relegated after just two seasons back up in the Premier League but club veteran Andy Lutwyche hopes the club can bounce straight back up from Division 2 next year.
He said: “We’ll look to go straight back up as the Premier League is the place to be. It’s pretty hard stuff as you’re playing against people who have played international cricket or people who have played county cricket.
“It’s a tough standard but, although we’re disappointed to go down, maybe in the long run it might do us some favours as it will give us a chance for our youngsters to learn their trade a bit more because there’s no margin for error in the Premier League.”
Worthing, who were relegated along with Chichester, will come up against local rivals Goring and Findon in Division 2 next season and Lutwyche said: “There’s going to be some local pride at stake and they should be some good games.
“Goring and Findon have both had good seasons, while we haven’t but we’ve had the experience of playing at a higher level for a couple of years.”
Andy Reid hit 135 – Worthing’s first century of the season – with 22 fours and two sixes in Worthing’s total of 282-6. Matthew Green hit 65 in a 130-run opening stand with Reid, before captain Darryl Rebbetts struck 56.
Three Bridges were led to victory by Richard Webber, who hit 123 not out, with 21 fours. He put on 89 for the second wicket with Conor Golding (51) and 160 for the third wicket with Usman Khan (73).
Captain Rebbetts said: “We got two wins and a draw from our first three games and were looking good but the middle part of the season proved our downfall.
“We’ll look to come back strongly next season now.”