Hastings pipped off final ball

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Hastings Priory suffered a dramatic last ball defeat in the area finals of a national club cricket competition.

Priory were edged out by Ashtead in a closely-contested NatWest Club T20 south area semi-final at Horsham CC on Sunday.

The match was reduced to just 10-overs-per-side following all the rain of Saturday night and Sunday morning, which was accompanied by very strong winds.

Having earned the right to represent their county by winning the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup last year, Priory lost the toss and were asked to bat by Surrey champions Ashtead.

Priory got off to a bad start with Jake Woolley falling to Tom Homes with the score only two and Leo Cammish being dismissed by Sam Homes three runs later.

Adam Maharaj-Newman and Finn Hulbert then put together a very good third wicket partnership of 52 before three wickets fell with the score 57, which may well have been crucial in the final analysis.

Maharaj-Newman was trapped LBW by Paul Cohen for 23 off 14 balls with three fours and a six, Hulbert was then caught off Tom Deighton for 22 from 14 deliveries with four boundaries and Tom Gillespie was run out by Deighton for a duck.

Elliot Hooper made 13 off 10 balls before becoming Sam Homes’ second victim, while Jed O’Brien was 14 not out from 10 deliveries as the innings closed on 88-6.

Paul Harrison got Ashstead’s reply off to a fast start, so much so that the score was already on 20 by the time fellow opener Danny Miller was adjudged LBW to Hooper for a golden duck.

Harrison was caught by Freddie Hulbert off Adam Barton two runs later for 20 off 10 balls with three fours and a six. Barton then had Conor Young caught by Finn Hulbert to leave Ashtead 27-3.

Stewart Cameron and Michael Sanderson then forged a useful fourth wicket stand of 35 which ended when the former was caught behind by Woolley off Jack Coleman for 26 from 21 deliveries.

Barton claimed his third victim by bowling John Vaughan-Davies to leave Ashtead 78-5, but Sanderson (16 not out off 17 balls) and Sam Homes (10 not out from six deliveries) scrambled Ashtead home by five wickets off the final ball.

Although wicketless, Sujith Perera did well to concede just 11 runs from his two overs for a Priory side whose interest in the various knockout competitions has now finished after a busy summer of Sunday cricket.

Beckenham, incidentally, eased past South Wilts by nine wickets in the other semi-final, but then lost by 12 runs to Ashtead in the final later in the day.

Ashtead will advance to the regional finals on Sunday August 24 and if they win that, they will progress to the national finals live on Sky Sports at Northamptonshire CCC on Tuesday September 9.