Sumner’s cup double is early season boost

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With just over a week to go until their league season kicks off, things are coming together quite nicely for Eastbourne Hockey Club after their emphatic cup victory over Crawley on Saturday.

It was the first competitive match of the 2012/2013 season for the Saffrons outfit as they came up against the Kent/Sussex Division 2 side in the Sussex 1s trophy.

A brace from Jeremy Sumner and further goals from Pat Skinner, Danny Williams and James Van Der Reisen secured the 5-2 win for Eastbourne, which means they progress to the semi-final due to be played in April.

Manager David Adelston was delighted with the result his free-scoring side chalked up, claiming that netting five goals will be a major confidence boost to his men, even though Crawley sit two divisions below Eastbourne.

He said, “It was a very encouraging performance and a good start to the year. A few of the younger players are beginning to come through and results like that help to build up the confidence before we get into the main league.

“We’re constantly improving, building up and gradually getting stronger. I’m more confident this week than I was last week.

“The next match in that cup won’t be until the end of the season so that will go to the back of our mind. We’ll have a lot to think about before then.”

This weekend, Eastbourne face Premier Division Two side Lewes is a pre-season friendly that presents the last opportunity for Adelston and new coach Chris Bristow to work with the players before the season starts the following week at home to Milton Keynes.

Adelston said, “We’ve attracted a few more players this week from the university and schools and Saturday is the last friendly we have to prepare for the main season.

“It obviously takes time for all the new players to gel together but our coach Chris Bristow is doing a great job with that.

“The start of the season comes just at the right time because people finish playing cricket or come back from their holidays and turn their attentions to football, rugby and hockey.

“We cater for all ages here and we always welcome new faces.” The men’s first team train at the Saffrons on Tuesday evenings between 7:50 and 9:45pm.

LEFT: action from Eastbourne’s Cup clash