Giddins set to return for Hastings clash

Eastbourne Cricket Club could be boosted by the return of Ed Giddins ahead of their top versus bottom clash with Hastings and St Leonards Priory this weekend.

Giddins will undergo a fitness test on Friday to see if he’s fully recovered from the injury that has hindered his season so far.

If given the green light, he will be a welcome return to a squad hoping to cause an upset against the league leaders with their first win of the season.

Eastbourne have drawn three and lost two of their opening five fixtures but are still confident they can get a result at the Saffrons on Saturday.

Captain Mark Tomsett said, “We’ve been playing some really good cricket and if we can do that again on Saturday then you never know what will happen.

“They are obviously a very good side but then our bowling is looking really strong at the moment.

“If Ed’s back, that will be a massive boost. We’ve got a near enough full strength squad now so yes, we are confident.”

Hastings and St Leonards Priory won the 1st XL Premier Division last season and are so far looking strong in the battle to retain their title.

However, Tomsett believes despite being at the opposite end of the table, Eastbourne still have a chance of putting in a serious challenge come the tail end of the campaign.

“It’s frustrating to be where we are but everyone continues to get their head down and work hard. Just a string of four or five good results and we would be away from the bottom.

“I still believe we can be up there at the end of the season.”

Last weekend saw another run-chase for Eastbourne fall just short as they drew with Chichester Priory Park at the Saffrons.

“We played very well, again, and did come close. We were very careful as we wanted to wipe out the possibility of them winning before we tried to win it ourselves.

“We weren’t over cautious but we wanted to make sure it ended in either a draw or a win for us, and that was important.

“Obviously we were delighted for Callum Jackson getting 100 and it’s pleasing that we have players contributing with centuries here and there.”

Tomsett was also pleased with the performance of 15-year-old Harry Mcleod, who made his first team debut against Chichester.

“He did really, really well. He has an absolutely fantastic attitude and we were really pleased with him.

“I don’t want to throw him into the team too soon as he’s still very young, but he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.”

Likely line-up: Brad Smith, Matt Green, Callum Jackson, Mark Tomsett, Aaron Mullins, Dan Wells, Luke Tomsett, David Twine, Richard Smith, Ed Giddins, Stuart Pulford, Jamie Goddard.