By Derren Howard
A remarkable 240 from James Hockley and seven wickets for skipper Jacob Smith saw Eastbourne boost their title hopes against Brighton last Saturday.
Hockley’s 240, an Eastbourne Cricket Club and Sussex Premier League record, came from 172 balls and included 31 fours and 10 sixes on a boiling hot day at the Saffrons.
It eclipsed the previous highest score in the Sussex Premier of 209 not out set by Chris Liddle in 2012.
It is also said to be the first double ton scored by an Eastbourne first team player in a league match since Robin Hanley hit 204 not out.
It isn’t however Hockely’s highest total, as he once recorded 283 in the Kent League a few years ago.
His huge total on Saturday helped Eastbourne post a total of 319-5 declared from 50 overs. Malcolm Johnson offered valuable support with a steady 42 while Sussex skipper Ben Brown, who played due to his omittance from the Sussex T20 side, scored just one - not that it mattered.
Brighton fell well short of their target as they ended with 140 in the 37th over. Their opener Bryce Hounsome top scored with 55 before he became another of Smith’s victims. Smith accounted for all the top four batsmen and then claimed most of the tail as he finished with sublime figures of 7-48. The spin attacked continued and Joe Pocklington maintained his fine recent form with 3-36 from 10 overs.
The result saw Eastbourne leap frog Brighton into second place. Smith’s men are on 312 points behind leaders Roffey who have 327, with four matches remaining.
Eastbourne will host Roffey on the penultimate match of the season on August 25.