Eastbourne’s batsmen collapsed against East Grinstead’s bowling attack at the Saffrons on Saturday to leave victory for the visitors as a formality.
It was a disappointing performance from a side who had gone in to the game with high hopes after an encouraging performance the previous week at Bexhill.
Dan Wells was the first to go in the second over, and skipper Mark Tomsett followed not long after.
Callum Jackson tried to hold things together, but he was fifth man out with the score on 42.
After that Bradley Smith provided some resistance, but Sussex’s left-arm seamer Lewis Hatchett returned to clean up the tail. Eastbourne were bowled out for just 71 after 36.5 overs.
East Grinstead’s other Sussex man, left-hander Will Adkin, blazed away early on to ensure that the home side couldn’t exert any pressure, his 20 coming in just 18 balls.
Richard Smith, after his fine performance the week before for the second XI, followed it up with a couple of wickets in a tidy spell, but there was only ever going to be one winner. East Grinstead eased home by six wickets in just 20.1 overs.
East Grinstead 235-2,
Eastbourne’s second XI fought hard to escape with a draw in their match at East Grinstead.
The home side batted first and their opening pair of Dan Hopkins (75) and Alex Evans (108) quickly took charge of proceedings.
Both men eventually fell to the bowling of Mark Trubshaw, but those were the only successes in a long, hard day in the field, as East Grinstead declared on 235 for two.
In reply, most of the Eastbourne top order made starts, but no one could go on to make the significant scores that were required.
Skipper Luke Tomsett was the top scorer with just 25. As the wickets fell around him, Trubshaw provided a valiant rearguard action as Eastbourne battled to hold out for a draw. In the end, it was left to him and last man Adam Brawn to see Eastbourne home, as they closed on 127 for nine.
Forest Row 174-7
Eastbourne third XI just fell short in a hard-fought contest against Forest Row at the Larkins.
Put in to bat, Siraj Mashood and Russ Varney put on 68 for the second wicket, with Mashood dominating the scoring, playing a series of drives and pulls. Riding his luck sometimes, he was eventually dismissed for 77 off just 87 balls, having given the Eastbourne innings real impetus. Steve Perry then took charge and batted with great composure, punishing anything off line.
Sadly, no one seemed able to stay with him for long enough, as the tail failed to wag. Perry did at least make an undefeated 51, and Eastbourne’s total of 173 certainly looked competitive.
In their reply, Forest Row began well, despite some steady bowling from Eastbourne. Veteran Terry Daniels picked up a couple of wickets, but it was the combination of pace bowler Perry and spinner Stuart Mansell, returning to action for the club for the first time in over a year, who really piled on the pressure.
Suddenly, the runs began to dry up and the wickets tumbled, giving hope that Eastbourne could secure another tight victory. But in the end, the visitors scrambled home with three wickets in hand.
Saturday fixtures:1st XI: Brighton & Hove v Eastbourne, 2nd XI: Eastbourne v Brighton & Hove, 3rd XI: Little Common Ramblers v Eastbourne