Priory ace scoops league award

Elliot Hooper bowls for Hastings Priory against Preston Nomads during the summer. Picture by Simon Newstead

Elliot Hooper bowls for Hastings Priory against Preston Nomads during the summer. Picture by Simon Newstead

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Hastings Priory talent Elliot Hooper has scooped the prestigious Sussex Cricket League Young Player of the Year Award.

The award took the Sussex Academy starlet by surprise despite his 40 Sussex Premier League wickets for a Priory side which finished in a very commendable fourth place.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to get it at the beginning of the season,” Hooper said. “But I got 40 wickets in the league, and hit a fair few with the bat, so it was nice to be recognised.”

The 17-year-old St Bede’s School pupil also claimed nine wickets - the highest individual tally of the tournament - at a remarkable economy rate of 4.75 as Priory clinched the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup.

Hooper formed an extremely effective bowling partnership at Priory with fellow spinner Josh Poysden, who won the Sussex Cricket League Young Player of the Year Award two years ago.

The pair even starred together with the bat in the final day defeat to Horsham at the end of August, forging a stand of 149 with Hooper scoring a Sussex League best 85.

Hooper also bagged a whole host of Premier League wickets for the Sussex Development XI and was named in All Out Cricket magazine’s England League XI for 2013.

As far as the future is concerned, Hooper has set his sights on cementing his place in the Sussex 2nd XI with a possible stint in Australia next winter.

“I’m hoping to turn out for Sussex seconds on a more regular basis, while next winter I’m aiming to go to Australia as an overseas player,” he added.