Wells ton helps deliver first win for Eastbourne

Luke Wells
Luke Wells

Eastbourne first XI recorded their first win of the season, beating Worthing comfortably, thanks to a fine century from Luke Wells.

Put in to bat on an initially damp and tricky wicket, Eastbourne were in early trouble when they lost three wickets for 30 runs.

However, Aussie overseas player Aaron Mullins joined Wells to steady the ship.

While Mullins played cautiously, giving intelligent support, Sussex star Wells showed superb form to dominate the Worthing bowling attack.

The pair went on to add 160 for the fourth wicket, by which time Wells had made his second century of the season for Eastbourne.

In the end, the only way Worthing could get him out was to run him out, after he had made 130 in just 130 balls.

Mullins eventually reached his half-century, before falling for 55.

Not long after Eastbourne declared on 227 for seven.

Worthing had no answer to Eastbourne’s seam attack.

Stuart Pulford struck first, but it was Ed Giddins who did most of the damage, picking up four for 28 in 14 excellent overs that kept the pressure on the whole time.

The rest of the wickets were shared around, as the Worthing batsmen came and went with great regularity, no one even reaching 20 for them.

It took only 40.3 overs to bowl out the hosts for just 112, as Eastbourne won by 115 runs.

With tough fixtures to follow against Preston Nomads and Roffey, second and third respectively in the league, it was a vital fillip to the side.

Delighted skipper Mark Tomsett said afterwards, “It was a crucial win for the club and showed what happens if we execute our skills well.

“This side has become a really tight unit and is showing great team spirit.

“Our new arrivals have settled in well, and added to the atmosphere in the dressing room and on the pitch.

“We are still a young side, and so we’ll occasionally make mistakes, but the important thing is that we keep learning.

“We know we have some challenging games ahead, but we go into them with a really positive frame of mind.”

Seconds are up and running too

A comprehensive win over Worthing at the Saffrons took Eastbourne second XI two places up the table as the side gained its first victory of the season.

Worthing batted first and their first-wicket pair put on a partnership of 39 before David Twine struck.

Thereafter it largely became the Bradley Smith show, as the experienced spinner proved too good for the visitors.

He finished with six for 48 after a marathon spell of 17.3 overs.

Left-arm spinner Joe Barnett gave good support and picked up two wickets late on, as Worthing crumbled to 146 all out.

After opener Ben Chambers was fourth man out for an aggressive 48, the rest of batting was unable to build on his work.

Skipper Luke Tomsett and young Ted Smith ensured there would be no danger of an upset as they formed a solid opening partnership.

The runs came at a brisk pace, with Smith the first to reach his half-century – his first at this level – before the pair went on to complete a century partnership.

Smith eventually fell for 59 off just 71 balls, with the score on 109. Tomsett then completed his fifty, but was out LBW for 67 off 78 balls with Eastbourne just three short of their target.

After their eight-wicket victory, Tomsett said “There’s no reason why this side can’t now go on a good run and climb up the table rapidly.

“Competition for places is getting tougher, which can only be a good thing as it shows the strength in depth that we have at the club.’

Poor batting

hinders thirds

For the second successive week, Eastbourne third XI were let down by a poor batting performance that cost them the game.

Put in to bat at the Larkins by Ringmer second XI, Eastbourne got off to the worst possible start, stumbling to 28 for four.

Steve Perry and Chris Jones began a fightback, putting on 37 for the fifth wicket, but both then fell within the space of two balls.

Sara Lord again battled hard to hold together the latter stages of the innings, but the home side were dismissed for just 107.

On a pitch that made runscoring difficult, Eastbourne needed to bowl line and length, but too many of their bowlers proved wayward, and at the tea break Ringmer had reached 70 for two.

With memories of their early-season victory over Firle still fresh in their minds, Eastbourne came back with high hopes they could pull off another dramatic turnaround.

Ilham Mohammadi and Chris Jones both bowled steadily and began to exert real pressure.

Mohammadi in particular showed the true virtue of aiming at the stumps, all his five wickets coming either bowled or LBW.

Ringmer scrambled their way to the finishing line with seven wickets down.

Skipper Ian Marshall said, “This was a very disappointing result. On paper we had a very strong side, but we again failed to score enough runs, which left our bowlers with no margin for error. I am sure we will put it right next game.”