Cricketers gear up for local derby

Hastings Priory appeal for a run out in the reverse fixture against Bexhill
Hastings Priory appeal for a run out in the reverse fixture against Bexhill

The cricketers of Bexhill and Hastings Priory will go head-to-head tomorrow (Saturday).

Priory will be hot favourites in a second-bottom versus second-top Sussex Premier League derby at The Polegrove. Play is due to start at 12.30pm.

Their captain George Campbell said: “Everyone’s always up for the Bexhill clash. We’re getting our personnel back which is great, but we certainly won’t be taking them lightly.”

Priory cruised to a 10-wicket victory in the reverse fixture on May 19 after Bexhill were bowled out for 89 on a wet wicket, although Campbell admits winning the toss made a massive difference.

But Bexhill exacted a measure of revenge by pulling off a three-run victory in a Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup second round tie between the clubs at The Polegrove last month.

Priory will be without Kirk Wernars, who is part of the Sussex side which began a four-day County Championship match against Durham at Arundel on Wednesday.

The big South African has scored 350 runs and been dismissed once in his last four Priory innings. He also took 5-15 with the ball in the reverse fixture against Bexhill.

His replacement, though, is Sussex Academy starlet Harry Finch, who attended England junior trials last weekend. Another Sussex player, left-handed batsman Matt Machan, is also due to be in the side.

Bexhill stalwart Jeff Chinn said: “Hastings are big odds-on favourites to win the game and if we get a result it’s a miracle. But you just do not know.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Sidley will host Pulborough in a clash of the bottom two in Division Two and Division Three (East) leaders Crowhurst Park will entertain Seaford.

Bexhill will be back in action on Sunday when they travel to Premier League leaders Preston Nomads in a rearranged Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup semi-final.