Tomsett ton not quite enough in relegation clash

Mark Tomsett
Mark Tomsett

Skipper Mark Tomsett cracked a fine century as Eastbourne drew their Sussex Premier League relegation clash with Brighton at the Saffrons on Saturday.

The captain and opener blasted 116 from just 104 deliveries including 15 fours and three sixes as Eastbourne attempted to chase down Brighton’s total of 273-5 declared.

It was a valiant effort from the home side but in the end they had to be content with a draw and just five points as they ended on 262-9 with Ed Giddins and Stuart Pulford the not out batsmen.

Eastbourne won the toss and decided to bowl. Brighton opener Martyn Ford posted 76 from 135 balls before he was caught by Pulford from the bowling of Mark Tomsett.

But it was Brighton’s number four that changed the game in the visitor’s favour. He cracked 130 from 155 balls with 15 fours and two sixes. he was eventually ousted by Jamie Goddard caught by Pulford. Brighton Tim Jarvis provided decent support with 34 from 46 balls. It was a tough afternoon for the bowlers with Pulford 1-38, Matthew Cooke 1-57, Tomsett 1-11 and Jamie Goddard 2-21 taking the wickets.

Tomsett dominated the Brighton attack with fellow opener Dan Wells adding a solid 59 from 80 deliveries. Callum Jackson made 31 before he was dismissed by the dangerous Matthew Wood (4-61). At one stage victory looked possible but the middle order failed to fire and in the end Eastbourne were grateful to Giddins and Pulford who saw out the last few balls.

Eastbourne remain in severe relegation trouble and are bottom of the league on 143 points . They do however have a crucial game in hand on fellow strugglers Bexhill Brighton and Worthing.

Elsewhere Horsham moved six points clear of Preston Nomads at the top table after winning by four wickets against their rivals on Saturday.

Third placed Hastings were fortunate to earn a draw against East Grinstead and Chichester have moved into fourth place after beating Roffey by ten wickets.

Chichester mnade short work of Roffey at Priory Park and dismissed them for just 74 with a top score of 23 coming from opener Josh Fleming.

James Stedman returned figures of 5 for 14 and Aussie leg-spinner Adam Zampa 3 for 11. In a winning score of 78 without loss for Chichester Chris Kirkham cracked 62 not out.

At Worthing the home side made 205 for 8 declared against Bexhill with 75 from Andy Reid and 31 from Brad James as Jamie Bristow-Diamond took 5 for 43. In reply Bexhill had reached 159 for 8 at stumps with Tim Hambridges making top score of 49. It was the Worhing spinners who did the damage, Benn Challen taking 4 for 42 and Mason Crane 3 for 49.