Fight to the finish

It was so nearly the perfect weekend for Eastbourne Cricket Club.

The Saffrons outfit recorded a vital win over relegation rivals Worthing on Saturday but only managed a draw in their game in hand against Sussex Development on Sunday.

Sussex batted first at the Saffrons and set a target of 245-5 from 58 overs.

Oliver Graham (55) and Harry Finch (58) batted well for the visitors. Matthew Cooke (3-66) and Jamie Goddard (2-43) were the pick of the Eastbourne attack.

In reply, Eastbourne totalled 221-6 from 52 overs with Jamie Goddard (41) and Matthew Cooke(39) the not out batsmen. They so nearly pushed them to what would have been a memorable weekend.

The result leaves Eastbourne bottom but they did close the gap on the teams just above them and will no doubt give them a boost for the remaining few matches as they try to retain their Sussex Premier League status.

On Saturday, Worthing skipper Darryl Rebbetts chose to bat and immediately lost a wicket as Mohammad Akram’s LBW appeal in the first over was upheld.

New-ball partner Ed Giddins then struck and followed it up by running out the Worthing skipper to leave the visitors struggling on 30 for three. Next he took a superb running catch at fine leg to make it 65 for four and gave Akram his second wicket.

Opener Bradley James (53) and Stuart Carter (75 not out) began the fightback for Worthing. Leg-spinner Tom Johnson took three for 31, and Worthing finished on 189 for nine.

Eastbourne skipper Mark Tomsett raced to 51 in just 57 balls as he and Dan Wells put on 89 for the first wicket.

Luke Wells blazed his way to 27 in just 14 balls, so when he was out Eastbourne had reached 121 for three.

Two more wickets fell in quick succession, as 15-year-old spinner Mason Crane bowled a superb spell that piled on the pressure. With the tension mounting,

Aaron Mullins steadied the side thanks to good partnerships with Tom Johnson and Alan Wells. Eventually, Eastbourne got to their target with seven wickets down.