The new and improved Hastings Priory cricket squad is targeting a top three finish.
Having made several marquee signings over the winter, Priory will begin the 2011 Sussex Premier Division season with a trip to Chichester Priory Park tomorrow (Saturday).
New captain Adam Maharaj-Newman said: “We’re looking to try and challenge for a top three place, especially if we can keep our best players available.
“I’m not going to say it’s impossible to win the league and if we play as well as we can obviously it is a possibility, but we’re going to target the top three.”
Youth internationals Matt Machan, Jack Parsons and Kirk Wernars have arrived at Horntye Park Sports Complex, Toby Finzel has returned from relegated neighbours Bexhill and wicketkeeper/batsman Dave Draper has also come in.
Machan and South African overseas player Wernars have been in fine early season form. Machan was 100 not out and Wernars was unbeaten on 65 for Sussex in their drawn 2nd XI Championship match against Somerset last week.
Machan followed that up with 71 off 38 balls in Priory’s friendly at home to Tunbridge Wells on Saturday. Max Finzel hit 53, Maharaj-Newman 38, Jason Finch 30 off 19 balls and Draper 32 off 20 in a total of 327-9 from 45 overs.
Priory then bowled out their Kent Premier Division opponents for 190 with John Morgan and Wernars taking three wickets each. Josh Poysden chipped in with two, and there was one each for Harry Finch and Mick Glazier.
“Kirk looked a very good bowler,” continued Maharaj-Newman, “and Matt looked in extremely good touch with the bat. I’m very happy. We won quite comfortably and everyone chipped in.”
Priory are likely to field a very similar side tomorrow, although Max Finzel has returned to university. Parsons is carrying an injury and won’t feature for a while anyway due to Hurstpierpoint College commitments.