Batting collapse brings an opening day defeat

Action from Eastbourne v Horsham at the Saffrons on Saturday
Action from Eastbourne v Horsham at the Saffrons on Saturday

Eastbourne skipper Mark Tomsett could have been forgiven for wishing his side’s opening match of the season had fell victim to the weather.

The Sussex League programme was almost entirely wiped out by waterlogged pitches on Saturday; in many cases ground conditions were too wet for pitches to be prepared.

However play was possible in two Premier Division matches and the only one played for full points saw Horsham take a maximum 30 from a 116 run victory at Eastbourne to become the early leaders in the title chase.

Sterling work by Saffrons’ groundsman Jamie Ramsden saw play was only delayed by 30 minutes but, unusually, the two drinks breaks saw both teams served with hot coffee rather than the traditional orange squash.

Eastbourne won the toss and put Horsham in to bat but dropped catches cost them dearly and the visitors reached 214 for 6 declared from their maximum 53 overs.

Will Beer was dropped early in his innings and went on to make 69 and James Johnson, who made 55, led the rungetters.

David Twine, a 19 year-old pace bowler made his Eastbourne debut, and was the pick of the bowlers, he took 4 for 50 in 13.1 overs. Fellow quickie Stuart Pulford latest just 5.5 overs before he pulled-up with a suspected hamstring problem.

The Eastbourne reply stuttered from the start and they were eventually dismissed for 93 in 40.5 overs with leg-spinner Michael Munday taking 4 for 24 for Horsham from 8.5 overs.

Top scorer for the home side was Matt Cooke with a swashbuckling 25 at the end of the innings.

Play was not possible at Brighton and Hove,where Bexhill were the visitors, until 3.30 so the teams battled out a 20/20 clash for points.

Brighton won the toss and reached 131 for 5 from their 20 overs, Tim Jarvis hit 49 and Sussex triallist Michael Rippon from South Africa made 39 not out.

Bexhill skipper Malcolm Johnson led his side to victory with 58 not out as they reached 132 for 4 with an over to spare. Chris Atherton was the pick of the bowlers, he took 3 for 20 One match was played in Division 3 (West), at Arundel where the home side won emphatically. Batting first Arundel scored 164 for 5 in 50 overs with Richard James scoring 87 and Keelan Shoulders 44.

In reply, Littlehampton were dismissed for 121. Keelan Shoulders completing a good all-round match by taking 4 for 22 in 11 overs, having opened the bowling.

Meanwhile, Eastbourne seconds match at Horsham was cancelled due to the weather.

Hellingly’s Sussex League first XI Division Three East match at Burgess Hill was abandoned as was Seaford’s fixture at Lewes Priory.

In the East Sussex League Willingdon’s division one match against Ditchling was called off along with Hailsham’s division two fixture against Laughton.

ABOVE: action from Eastbourne v Horsham at the Saffrons on Saturday