Eastbourne Cricket Club paid the price for a handful of mistakes as they missed out on silverware in the Gray Nicolls T20 Cup Final at the weekend - but refuse to be downbeat about finishing runners-up.
The Saffrons outfit were beaten by 47 runs against Premier Division outfit Hastings and St Leonards Priory at the Sussex County Ground on Sunday but insist there are still plenty of positives to draw from the defeat.
Captain Mark Tomsett said, “Hastings are a very strong side, covered in all bases - batting, bowling and fielding - and we knew we would have to be at our best to beat them.
“Twenty20 is a very short format of the game and it can spin very quickly. Unfortunately for us, three or four overs at the start of the game - a mix up between myself and Toby aand I got out to a stunning catch - really cost us the game.
“We can take so many positives from it. To have a full cup run and get to the final at Hove was a new experience for the team and a lot of the players.
“We got to the regional final of the National Cup - the last 32 in the country - and we’re top of the league, so I told the boys not to be too down-hearted.
“T20 can magnify your mistakes and sometimes the gap looks bigger than it is.”
Things had all started so well for Eastbourne as Hastings opener Byron Gould was caught by Toby Finzel off the bowling of David Twine with just one run to his name.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Tomsett’s men as Adam Maharaj-Newman and David Lowery put on 79 for the second wicket before falling in relatively quick succession, both with a knock of 38 to see Hastings on 89-3.
The fourth and final wicket of their innings came courtesy of Devang Patel, who clean-bowled Leo Cammish for five.
An unbeaten 41 from George Campbell and 15 from Tom Gillespie rounded off a pleasing outing for Priory as they finished on 158-4 after 20 overs.
Eastbourne’s innings initially got off to a very similar start as opener Toby Finzel fell for one - a bit of confusion with his captain seeing him run out by Freddie Hulbert.
Things went from bad to worse as the second of Eastbourne’s star batsmen fell just a few balls later - Tomsett the victim to a stunning catch by Jake Woolley to see his side on 3-2.
From here, Eastbourne were always going to be playing catch-up - immediately falling behind the required run-rate of eight balls an over and failing to keep wickets in hand.
Callum Jackson came to the crease and managed to show a bit of resistance to the Hastings attack. Playing fresh from his exploits with the Sussex first team at that very same ground, he registered 35 before being bowled by George Campbell.
Hereafter, the wickets began to tumble at regular intervals again - Patel could only manage two before being run out, while Cooke hit six.
With David Twine and Mark Trubshaw also back in the pavillion after single-figure stands, Eastbourne found themselves on 77-8 and with victory looking more elusive with every ball.
Richard Smith made the tally more respectable with a stand of 21 but time ran out and Eastbourne finished on 111-9 - 47 runs short of Hastings’ total.