Seconds fade badly after excellent start

Ed Giddins returns from injury to bowl for Eastbourne.
Ed Giddins returns from injury to bowl for Eastbourne.

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 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. 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 twin brother Cameron.

EASTBOURNE third XI slipped to their second successive loss, let down by poor batting after a great effort in the field.

Fine opening spells from Ben Barter and Ilham Mohammadi reduced Rottingdean to 53-three but Tim Bickmore and Mike Fielding added a vital 64 for the fourth wicket before veteran Terry Daniels struck to dismiss Bickmore for 54, thanks to a superb diving catch from 15-year-old James Bellett. Thereafter, Daniels proved naggingly accurate and picked up two more wickets, while legspinner Matt Isepp also took two. Barter came back to polish off the tail and leave Rottingdean 140 all out.

Eastbourne’s run chase got off to the worst possible start - Siraj Mashood trapped and a chaotic run out leaving them 0-2, before Isepp threatened to make swift work of the target, blasting 39 off 28 balls.

But he fell when he played early to one that died and after that, only Sara Lord coped but no-one could stay with her or release the pressure exerted by slow left-armer Steve Johnson. Eastbourne were eventually bowled out for a disappointing 105, with Lord stranded on 22 not out.