Hill sit in 2nd place, 3 points behind leaders Portslade after a 96-run victory over Eastbourne 2nd team.
After winning the toss, returning captain Joe Maskell won and decided to bat on a cold overcast day at St Johns Park. It was the same old story for Hill as they lost early wickets, had to rebuild and try accelerating towards the end of the innings. Opening partners Tom Trowbridge and Ben Hopkins were dismissed early by some good swing bowling by Ben Hacker leaving them 20-2. This had Kevin Ramsey and Joe Maskell at the crease, who decided to up the run rate to try and get Hill out of a difficult start. A mini partnership of 32 was formed before Ramsey was caught a first slip for 11 off the bowling of Hacker again. Maskell (20) was out shortly after, LBW to Graeme Anderson when the score was on 62. Nathan Cooper and the inform Tom Penfold needed to knuckle down and bat some overs. They did just that, putting away the bad balls and moving Hill onto 124-4 at drinks. Cooper’s 42 came off just 35 balls, but the drinks break seemed to galvanise Eastbourne as they looked to take quick wickets. Cooper was out Caught and Bowled 2nd ball after drinks, and when Kirk Proto and Dan Strange fell in consecutive balls in the following over, Hill had lost 3 wickets in 7 balls. Tom Penfold (23) also went quickly after drinks, and within 3 overs, Hill went from 124-4 to 135-8 and were staring at a well below par score. Luke Vick (19*) and George Willett build a partnership of 35 before Willett was out caught, and when Peter Billinghay tried to repeat a cover drive, he was caught for 4 leaving Hill 177 all out and only using 42 overs.
Hill had a reality check and a stern talking to during the interval about the first innings and how they needed to rectify that in the second innings with the ball. Leading wicket taker Dan Strange came firing out and took 2 wickets in 2 balls leaving Eastbourne 9-2. George Willett was bowling great lengths and building up some real speed from the other end. He finally picked up the wicket he deserved when he bowled Jack Fletcher-Price for 9. Strange then picked up his 3rd wicket when opener Henry Taylor was LBW for 11 leaving Eastbourne struggling at 31-4. Strange and Willett bowled great lines and lengths as Eastbourne very rarely got their run rate above two an over. It was however captain John Purdey who upped the ante for Eastbourne, striking some crisp shots through cover and backward point. Willett did dismiss Purdey (23) when he was caught magnificently at cover by Nathan Cooper. A cover drive that didn’t get more than a few inches off the ground, was snared by Cooper one handed by his left boot. It didn’t take long for Hill to take the remaining 5 wickets, Willett got 2 more In an over and collected his first 5 wicket haul this season when he bowled Henry Chell for a duck. Strange collected the final wicket to claim his third 5 wicket haul in just 5 matches he has played this season when he had Hacker caught by Tom Trowbridge at 1st slip. Eastbourne where 81 all out after 22.2 overs.
Strange ended up with figures of 5-32 from his 11 Overs and Willett 5-43 from his 11 overs. It takes Strange way out in the lead for wickets in Division three with 22, 7 wickets ahead of 2nd place. Whilst Willett gets into double figures for wickets this season as well. Hill travel to Bexhill next week where they will look to make it 4 wins a row.