Hastings Priory’s cricketers finally celebrated their first league win of the season at the 16th time of asking.
Priory broke their Sussex Premier League duck with a very good 70-run victory over Cuckfield at Horntye Park Sports Complex yesterday (Saturday).
Having lost the toss, Priory were asked to take first knock on a very green wicket which was difficult for batting. The pitch was so soft in fact that the ball often made indentations in the surface when it pitched.
Priory, nonetheless, got off to a decent start with an opening partnership of 57 which ended when returning captain George Campbell was caught for 47 off 71 balls with nine fours.
Harry Finch and Elliot Hooper continued the good work with a second wicket stand of 64 only for both players to fall with the score 121, firstly Hooper for 28 off 40 balls and then Finch for 41 off 99 with five fours.
Leo Cammish departed for an eighth ball duck just a run later, but Tom Gillespie - batting at five having spent much of the season at the top of the order - got the innings going again with a valuable 36 off 55 deliveries.
Although Gillespie was sixth man out with the score 183 and three more wickets followed fairly quickly - including Jed O’Brien for 17 off 12 balls - Priory managed to post a very respectable 200-9 from their 58 overs. Josh Hayward took 4-57 and Nick Patterson 3-71.
John Morgan made an early breakthrough for Priory in the field by having Richard Stafford caught behind by Cammish with the score just seven and Priory continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals as Cuckfield never looked like reaching their target.
Morgan (2-13 off 10 overs) bowled the other opener, Tom Cummins, to make it 24-2 and two more wickets fell with the score 31, Finn Hulbert (2-17 off seven) having Nick Beard caught by Campbell and then bowling Marcus Campopiano for a second ball duck.
Hooper (2-39 off 15) then caught Chris Mole off his own bowling for 18 to leave Cuckfield in deep trouble at 43-5. Dan Doram got in on the act by having Jason Oates caught by Jake Woolley for 21 off 20 balls to make it 61-6.
Hooper and Campbell (1-8 off three) struck with the score 91, and although Cuckfield staged a mini-revival by adding 31 for the ninth wicket, Doram (3-41 off 10) claimed the last two wickets as the visitors were all out for 130 in 45 overs.
Standings (played 16 matches unless stated): 1 Preston Nomads 318pts, 2 East Grinstead 311, 3 Roffey (15) 311, 4 Eastbourne 279, 5 Horsham 258, 6 Brighton & Hove 236, 7 BEXHILL 224, 8 Cuckfield 221, 9 Three Bridges 172, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 156.