Eastbourne can’t let cup exit bother them

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Eastbourne Cricket Club’s focus will now return to the league and promotion back to the Premier Division after their National Cup dream came to an abrupt end last weekend.

The club have always insisted an instant return to the top flight was their top priority but attentions did turn to an impressive cup run that saw them reach the regional final of the nationwide competition.

However, their journey ended at the hands of Kent Premier League outfit Hartley Country Club on Sunday in a comprehensive defeat that saw the four opening batsmen dismissed for just five runs - the normally ever-reliable Toby Finzel going for a duck.

Only four Eastbourne men managed to post double-figure s, with Matthew Cooke’s 46 proving to be the top score.

It was a disappointing defeat for a side who had already achieved impressive victories over higher-league opposition, but this proved one scalp too many as they missed out on a place in the final 16.

However, that disappointment will no doubt be brushed under the rug as Eastbourne return to domestic duty this Saturday, hoping a home match against St James’s Montefiore will get them back on track.

They remain at the top of the Sussex 1st XI Division Two table - albeit it by a narrow seven points ahead of Goring-By-sea - after a victory over Middleton last weekend.

The three-wicket win was their second on the trot as they get their campaign back on course following a draw and a first defeat of the season earlier this month.

The victory was far from convincing, though, with only a Mark Tomsett unbeaten 92 carrying them to the 30-point win.

It was a similar story the week before, against Goring, when the captain hit a century to help his side regain their spot at the top of the table.

He will no doubt be willing his teammates to step up to the plate when they return to the Saffrons on Saturday to face a St James’s side who finished just outside of the promotion places in the division last year.