Long-serving Gamble leads East Dean to another level

East Dean
East Dean

Skipper Neil Gamble led East Dean to yet another promotion, this time to East Sussex League division two, following a nail-bitting last ball draw with Isfield on the final game of the season.

Gamble is East Dean’s longest serving captain having skippered the side for the last 10 seasons.

During that time they have risen from the Cuckmere Valley League and into division 10 of the East Sussex League.

From there they have progressed through the divisions and next year they will compete in the second tier of East Sussex cricket.

Gamble said, “We have risen up the ranks and it’s been enjoyable to be part of that.

“It can be hard work but to be honest I really enjoy it. It’s a great club to part of and this season the lads have been great.

“We spent four seasons in division three and we found our level. We were competing at the top end for the last few years but this time we managed to do it.

“It has been a real team effort this season and full credit to all of the lads. We have used 25 players this year and they have all contributed. The format of the league has suited us. 
 “We have a decent bowling attack and we know when it comes down to it we are capable of bowling sides out. That’s a massive advantage.”

Former Eastbourne player Chad Chisholm has been a huge threat with the ball along with Steve Perry. Jamie Francis, 17, has also performed superbly this year.

Francis started as number seven bat but progressed up the order to open. He has also bowled well and when called upon kept wicket with great skill.

Chisholm, Perry and Steve Edwards have all averaged more than 50 runs with the bat this season.

Last Saturday East Dean posted a total of 221-4 with Gamble (54) and Chisholm (50). In reply Isfield made steady progress and required four off the last ball to win and East Dean needed one wicket. A dot ball resulted in an entertaining draw and secured promotion.

“We will enjoy it and then prepare for next season,” added Gamble. “Division two will be another challenge but we will look to recruit a few and then give it our best shot.”