Perfect Priory playing it cool

Andy Cornford
Andy Cornford
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Adam Maharaj-Newman is hopeful that Hastings Priory can challenge for the Sussex Cricket League title.

But the Priory captain is sticking to his pre-season target of a top three finish for a side which has accumulated the full house of 90 points from its first three matches.

Asked if they can mount a bid for top spot, a cautiously optimistic Maharaj-Newman said: “I would like to think so, but it’s still very early and I don’t want to make any rash comments.

“We’re yet to play the best sides in the league and I will be better positioned to give a comment on that after we’ve played the likes of (Preston) Nomads and Horsham.”

Priory, who have won all three of their matches reasonably comfortably, currently share supremacy with defending champions Preston Nomads and both teams are 26 points clear of third-placed Horsham.

When questioned if top spot had entered their thinking, he replied: “Yes and no. We’ve only played three games. We’ve got to try and keep winning, and think about it later on.

“Obviously it’s a target of sorts, but our target at the start of the season was top three and we’re sticking to that at the moment. We’re not getting carried away.

“We’ve had three good wins, but we know we can still play better. There’s a lot left in the tank as far as

performances are concerned.”

Next up for Priory is a trip to Brighton & Hove tomorrow (Saturday). Although Brighton are the only remaining unbeaten side apart from the top two, they are 42 points off the pace with one win and two draws so far.

Andy Cornford is expected to be sidelined as a result of pulling up with a hamstring problem while bowling against Grinstead. Maharaj-Newman was unsure of the extent of the injury, but Cornford left the field and didn’t bat.

Crowhurst Park, meanwhile, will be eager to bounce back from their first defeat in Division Three (East) when they entertain Seaford tomorrow from 1pm.

Park went down by 99 runs away to Burgess Hill last weekend, but are second in the table - six points behind leaders Sidley. Seaford are second-bottom having won one, drawn one and lost one so far.