Bring out the big guns

Ben Brown
Ben Brown

Bottom of the league Eastbourne travel to high-flying Horsham this weekend ready to unleash their strongest side of the season so far.

Sussex’s Ben Brown is due to make his first appearance of the campaign for an Eastbourne side looking to cause an upset against third-placed Horsham, alongside fellow county players Luke Wells and Callum Jackson.

Captain Mark Tomsett hopes it will give them a good chance of beating the team who handed them a comprehensive defeat on the opening match of the season.

“Everyone’s beating everyone at the moment and the league is wide open. With the exception of Hugh Finzel who has a hand injury, we’ve got a pretty much full-strength squad.

“It’s a strong line-up on paper but paper burns. We need to make sure each player takes responsibility. We don’t want them thinking just because there’s good enough players behind them in the order, it doesn’t matter if their wicket goes.

Eastbourne will also have former Horsham leg-spinner batsman Tom Johnson in their arsenal after he joined the club from their rivals last week.

Tomsett said, “He’s a fantastic player and probably the strongest signing we’ve had at the club in the three or four years I’ve been here.

“He’s a great wicket taker and a very attack-minded player.”

Johnson notched 21 runs and took a wicket in four overs during Eastbourne’s defeat to Roffey last Saturday, which ended up as a Twenty20 meeting after rain forced the match to be abandoned.

It meant Eastbourne picked up 10 vital points but still ended the day bottom of the Sussex 1st XL Premier Division – a position they’ve frequented too often for their liking so far this season.

“Those points are crucial. We want to pull away from the relegation area as quick as possible and that means picking up as many points as we can.

“I thought we would have turned things around by now. We want to get the job done early as the longer it gets, the more the pressure increases.

“We don’t want to end up being reliant on other teams losing or going into a game knowing we have to win it.

“If we continue to play good cricket and work hard, we can pull away from the bottom.

“It’s going to be tight down there, so there’s everything to play for.”

Provisional squad: Mark Tomsett, Luke Wells, Ben Brown, Callum Jackson, Aaron Mullins, Matt Green, Dan Wells, Tom Johnson, Matt Cooke, Richard Smith, Stuart Pulford, David Twine, Ed Giddins