EASTBOURNE Cricket Club captain Mark Tomsett predicted exciting times ahead as his side avoided relegation after trouncing Perston Nomads by eight wickets.
The Saffrons team have no match tomorrow, but will go into their final Sussex League clash at East Grinstead next Saturday relaxed in the knowledge that Premier status has been retained.
Not for the first time Tomsett himself led from the front. After taking two wickets, the captain was unbeaten on 81 when the winning target of 142 was reached.
He was, however, quick to pay tribute to his entire team, particularly young seamer Matt Cooke who was doubtful with an ankle injury right up until the 11th hour, but went on to take four crucial wickets.
“It was a great team effort,” said Tomsett. “The lads really dug in; Nomads are a good side, but we put them under a lot of pressure.
“We felt they looked a bit complacent when they were warming-up, just going through the motions, and that really fired us up.
“Some of their batsmen seemed to throw their wickets away and nobody really applied themselves in their team.
“We really bossed the game and one of the most pleasing aspects was that we had no fewer than eight players who were under the age of 21. I’m 24 and the other two older players, Brad Smith amd coach Alan Wells didn’t have major parts to play.
“We were missing Callum Jackson, but the youngsters we had really came good.
“Although he had been having problems with his ankle, Matt Cooke bowled really well and with great aggression and passion.”
From looking struggling relegations candidates a month or so ago, Eastbourne’s second half revival has seen them climb to a healthy fifth position and that is where they intend to remain.
“Although it’s nice to have a free weekend in the knowledge that we are safe from relegation, we need to be well prepared for the East Grinstead game in a week’s time,” insisted Tomsett.
“We want to finish on a high and aim for that fifth position. After the start we had, to get fifth place would be fantastic.
“We have so much potential here and we are looking forward to a great future.“ I am pretty certain Alan Wells will be continuing as coach next season and I am confident there are exciting times ahead.”
Mark Tomsett’s brother Luke was also on form for Eastbourne seconds but could not prevent a three-wicket defeat at the hands of Preston Nomads II.
Tomsett scored 44, supported by Darren Cumming (45), Richard Smith (41) and Alex Pollard (32) in an all out total of 206. Nomads reached their target for the loss of seven wickets, Smith and Mark Trubshaw taking two wickets apiece.