It’s the halfway point of the 2013 cricket season and things are looking pretty rosy for Eastbourne Cricket Club.
Sitting 31 points clear at the top of the Sussex 1st XI Division Two table, the Saffrons outfit are well in contention for promotion back to the Premier Division they were relegated from last year.
Club captain Mark Tomsett has always insisted bouncing back at the first attempt was the primary aim and, with nine games left to play, they remain on track to do just that.
Eastbourne have enjoyed top spot for all but a week of the season to date, with Goring-By-Sea temporarily toppling them before Tomsett’s men regained their perch with victory at Goring.
A comfortable victory over St James’s Montefiore last weekend extended the margin at the top of the table from seven to 31 points, but both Bexhill and Goring remain hot on Eastbourne’s heels in the race for glory.
This weekend, Eastbourne face a Findon side they dispatched of relatively comfortably back in May, triumphing by 39 runs thanks to a good start from opening batsman Toby Finzel (44).
Not much has changed since then, with Finzel and Tomsett still creating a formidable opening partnership.
Tomsett, in particular, has found form in the past few weeks, hitting a 132 against Goring, following up by a 92 versus Middleton.
Last weekend, he and FInzel put on 114 for the first wicket, both passing the half century mark, before the captain recorded season-best bowling figures of 5-43.
Eastbourne will not want to rely on single players in their promotion push, though, and will be looking for everyone to step up to the plate as they host Findon at the Saffrons, 1pm.
Eastbourne IIs went down by two wickets in a tight league game against Preston Nomads.
Matthew Isepp underpinned the Eastbourne innings with 58 but it needed a ninth-wicket stand of 46 between Ollie Guy and James Bellett to lift the visitors to 178 all out.
Adam Blackburn 4-84 in 24 overs and Darren Cumming (3-30) bowled Eastbourne into a good position before resilient lower-order batting enabled the hosts to edge home.
The next day Eastbourne IIs made the short journey to Bexhill for a T20 Cup quarter final and, on choosing to field, first felt the full force of Lloyd Waughman’s bat.
The Bexhill opener hammered 109 in his side’s 178-6 and although Natha Horsman (31) and Darren Cumming (36) briefly theatened a challenge the visitors subsided to 142-9 and a 36-run defeat.