Saffrons has to be fortress – Tomsett

Eastbourne captain Mark Tomsett is adamant his side must make the Saffrons a fortress if they are to start climbing the Sussex Premier League table.

The town club’s cricketers have suffered four defeats in a row and have now slipped into the league’s relegation zone.

Tommorrow they host fourth-placed East Grinstead knowing that a win is absolutely vital.

The visitors have been poor travellers so far this year though, having picked up only one win on the road all season, and Tomsett believes that this is where his side can look to pounce.

He said, “It’s crucial to make the Saffrons a fortress. We all know the pitch very well, and we can put the teams that come here under considerable pressure.

“The fact is that if we win all our home games we’ll be safe come September. If we don’t, whenever we go away from home there is an added pressure that we can do without.

“We all want to pull together and start to get the right results because these last few weeks we haven’t done ourselves justice.”

They will certainly be hard-pressed to reverse their recent poor form against long-term adversaries East Grinstead, who boast one of the strongest bowling attacks in the league.

They have, similarly to Eastbourne, been struggling for runs with the bat though, and it is here that Tomsett hopes his side can gain the upper hand.

“They have two county bowlers, as well as an ex-professional seamer, so we know that they’ll be very dangerous with the ball.

“However, we’re confident that we can get at their batsmen and cause them problems. In training we’ve been trying to put our batsmen into different situations, rather than just batting for the sake of it.

“We’re putting more emphasis on the consequences of playing certain shots, and in our net sessions we are now adopting the attitude that if you’re out, you’re out.

“It’s paying dividends because the batsmen are improving all the time, and with the form they’re showing in training there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be posting 200 runs in every match we play.”

Eastbourne go into the game on the back of a disappointing six-wicket defeat at the hands of reigning champions Preston Nomads, although Tomsett has put the defeat down to an outstanding individual performance from opposition fast-bowler Carl Simon, who ended the day with figures of 7-16.

Tomsett said, “He’s their overseas player, he’s an ex-pro bowler and he bowled a great spell on a difficult pitch; take him out of the equation and it would have been a totally different game.

“I can’t put my finger on why we haven’t been playing well. The training is going great, the players are certainly good enough and we should be a lot higher in the league.

“The bowling and fielding especially have been first class. If we can get our batting right as well, I’m sure we’ll start climbing the table.”