Tomsett: Our season starts on Saturday

Jersey international Luke Gallichan
Jersey international Luke Gallichan

Eastbourne Cricket captain Mark Tomsett insists their season starts with the visit of Three Bridges this weekend after a miserable first round of matches.

Rain meant their Sussex Premier Division opener with Roffey last Saturday had to be reduced to a 20/20 game, where they managed just 91 runs in response to the hosts 126.

On Sunday they were knocked out of the national cup by Bexhill, and while it wasn’t the start they had in mind, the skipper is refusing to read too much into it and thinks his side are in good stead for Saturday’s clash.

“Last weekend was a bit of a non-starter,” he said.

“We were hanging around for three hours against Roffey, it was a long day and while we would like to have won the game, we won’t dwell on it.

“Three Bridges will be a good side but it’s a game we’re looking to win and we’re going into it confident.”

Tomsett, whose side were promoted back to the Premier Division last season, is equally nonplussed by exiting the cup.

They enjoyed a run to the regional final in last year’s competition but as they look to consolidate in the county’s top league, their priorities this season lie elsewhere.

Eastbourne are hoping to emulate their weekend opponents who, after gaining promotion from Division Two in 2012, managed a seventh place finish to secure safety in the top division.

Eastbourne were eventually relegated after their last season in the top flight and all resources are being geared towards safety this time round.

“The league is very much our priority,” Tomsett added.

“If you were to say to me now that we’ll stay up in the league and not do too well in the cups then I’d bite your hand off.”

They’ll be without Craig Eaves on Saturday and the fast bowler could be absent for a number of weeks after suffering a nasty injury where he split the webbing in his hand.

20-year-old all-rounder Matt Cooke, who has been with the Hampshire academy and Southampton University is back, while Luke Gallichan is also available after returning from Jersey

Dominic Shepheard is also available, while Tomsett was particularly excited about another youngster who is set to make his debut.

Batsman/spinner Jonny Phelps was signed from Haywards Heath in pre-season and is set to take his Saffrons bow against Three Bridges.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old wicket keeper Callum Jackson, who was twelfth man for Sussex against reigning county champions Durham last week, is available and will continue behind the stumps

He’ll be in confident mood after an encouraging knock of 53 against Bexhill.