Eastbourne lose out in T20 clash as rain hits Roffey

In a rain-affected Sussex Premier League game at Roffey, Eastbourne ended up playing a twenty20 match after the contest was officially declared ‘abandoned’.

Roffey batted first and Josh Fleming led the way with a fine innings, making 85 not out in 69 balls.

He and Aaron Jeal got the Roffey innings off to a good start, until Matthew Green had Jeal caught for 24.

Chris Webb continued to keep the runs flowing, until he fell for 23 off the bowling of Tom Johnson.

Skipper Mike Norris was out soon after, LBW to Matthew Cooke, but that was Eastbourne’s last success as Roffey finished on 171 for three.

Always a challenging target to chase down, skipper Mark Tomsett and Johnson got Eastbourne off to a good start, but struggled to keep up with the required run rate.

Green followed when Johnson fell for 21, and batted well for his 29.

Tomsett eventually fell for 51 off 49 balls, but Matt Davies exerted the kind of control no other bowler in the game managed, his four overs going for just 13 runs, and he picked up two wickets as well. It made all the difference, as Eastbourne finished on 146 for five.

Eastbourne’s third XI recorded a long-awaited third victory of the season at Isfield that catapulted them up to fifth in East Sussex Division Four.

Put in to bat, experienced openers Russ Varney and Simon Hoadley ensured there were no early alarms, after a series of disappointing batting performances by the team.

After 29 overs the score was only 42 without loss, when Varney was eventually dismissed.

The solid base allowed stroke-makers Chris Jones (22) and Oliver Varney (30) the freedom to play their shots, while Dan Reason made an important 27 in the middle order.

Stuart Mansell blasted a quick-fire 25 at the end, so that Eastbourne closed on a challenging 166 for seven in 50 overs.

Eastbourne needed early wickets, but missed a chance in their first over. Fortunately, it didn’t prove too costly as Jones had Isfield skipper James Fellows out soon after for five.

After a tight spell by the openers, it was the turn of spinners Cameron Smith and Mansell to keep the pressure on. Smith was the one who took the bulk of the wickets, ending up with five for 36, but Mansell ensured there were no easy runs at the other end.

Young Theo Kendrick picked up a wicket in his first over of the season for the side as skipper Martyn Ward rotated his attack near the end.

But in the final over, Eastbourne still needed to pick up the last wicket. On the third ball, Ward induced Guy Welfare, top scorer with 33, to edge to Oliver Varney, and Isfield were all out for 114 as Eastbourne completed another thrilling victory.