Hastings rock Eastbourne

Eastbourne were comprehensively beaten by league-leaders Hastings & St Leonards Priory at the Saffrons on Saturday and remain marooned at the bottom of the Sussex Premier League table.

The visitors batted first, and the returning Ed Giddins and Stuart Pulford began with a good spell, with Giddins picking up two early wickets.

Then Sussex’s Kirk Wernars and skipper George Campbell added 112 for the third wicket.

Although Hastings never took complete control, they still progressed steadily to reach 257 for nine after 58 overs.

The Eastbourne bowling was dominated by Giddins, who finished with five for 68, and Pulford, who took three for 69.

Although Brad Smith and Matthew Green put on 29 for the first wicket, all of the top four were dismissed by the time the score reached 40.

Aaron Mullins tried to hold things together, top-scoring with 27, but the Eastbourne batting crumbled away.

Spinner Michael Glazier took 4-8, while the pace attack of Wernars, Joynal Ahmed and Harry Finch gave nothing away.

Speaking after the game skipper Mark Tomsett admitted it had been a disappointing performance from Eastbourne and that they had been up against a side that was too good for them on the day.

He said, “It’s not all doom and gloom, as we have had some strong performances in recent weeks.

“Players have got to look to their own performances, and pull together to get the best out of each other.

“Team spirit is good, and we have to work hard in training so that we can deliver when it counts.

“And that starts next week, when we take on Worthing, who picked up their first win this week.”

Seconds slip

after fine start

Eastbourne’s second XI failed to build on a good start and ended up well beaten by Hastings and St Leonards Priory.

Eastbourne’s first wicket pair of 14-year-old Ted Smith (40) and Jamie Goddard (31) put on 90 for the first wicket on a surprisingly low and bobbly track at Horntye Park.

But this positive base was soon dissipated as much of the rest of the batting line-up failed to apply themselves to keeping the score ticking over and building a decent score.

Only Darren Cumming, with 38, showed any resilience as he continued his good form of recent weeks.

Early wickets were vital if Eastbourne were to stand any sort of chance, and the combination of spinner Joe Barnett and Henry Smith immediately proved effective, as each picked up a wicket before Hastings had reached double figures.

But thereafter the Hastings batsmen, led by Edward Avann (80 not out) progressed solidly and sensibly, pushing the ball into the large outfield and taking few risks.

There was one more moment of success when Henry Smith took a good catch in the deep off the bowling of his twin brother Cameron.

But that was the only wicket taken, as league leaders Hastings cruised to victory by seven wickets with more than five overs to spare.

Next week, Eastbourne face Worthing in a vital game between the bottom two sides in the league.