Priory knocked off top spot

Team picture and individual head and shoulders shots of the Hastings Priory Cricket Team at Horntye Park, Bohemia road, Hastings.'23.04.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY 'Kirk Wernars

Team picture and individual head and shoulders shots of the Hastings Priory Cricket Team at Horntye Park, Bohemia road, Hastings.'23.04.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY 'Kirk Wernars

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Hastings Priory have been knocked off the top of the Sussex Cricket League.

Priory suffered only their second defeat of the Premier Division season on Saturday as they went down by seven wickets away to fellow high-flyers Preston Nomads.

Kirk Wernars hit 84, Tom Harvey 45 and George Campbell 37 as Priory made 242-9 batting first. They then had Nomads 14-2 in reply before Wernars’ fellow Sussex professional Joe Gatting made an unbeaten 106.

Priory are now in second place – 15 points behind a Horsham side which beat Chichester Priory Park but with a game in hand – and seven ahead of Nomads having played the same number of matches.

Bexhill are fifth in Division Two after being on their free week, while Sidley moved 17 points clear at the top of Division Three (East) courtesy of a six-wicket derby victory away to Crowhurst Park.

The hosts recovered from 52-5 to post 204 batting first thanks to 54 from Clive Tong and Victor Walcott’s 36. Peter King took 6-87 from a marathon 26-over spell and Paul Swannell claimed 4-53.

John Haffenden was undefeated on 100 and King hit 47 to take Sidley home despite two wickets each for Ed Smissen and Paul Brookes. Full reports will appear in Friday’s Observers.

Standings – Premier Division (played 14 matches unless stated): 1 Horsham (15) 313pts, 2 HASTINGS PRIORY 298, 3 Preston Nomads 291, 4 East Grinstead (15) 270, 5 Roffey 207, 6 Brighton & Hove 186, 7 Three Bridges (13) 176, 8 Eastbourne 176, 9 Chichester Priory Park 151, 10 Pulborough 146.

Division 2 (played 13 matches unless stated): 1 Worthing 304pts, 2 Glynde & Beddingham 252, 3 Haywards Heath 233, 4 Cuckfield 222, 5 BEXHILL 220, 6 St James’s Montefiore (14) 216, 7 Goring By Sea 209, 8 Ifield 167, 9 Lewes Priory (14) 154, 10 Stirlands 149.

Division 3 (East) (played 13 matches unless stated): 1 SIDLEY (14) 273pts, 2 Lindfield 256, 3 Seaford 248, 4 Hellingly 240, 5 Ansty 214, 6 CROWHURST PARK 207, 7 Keymer & Hassocks (14) 203, 8 Burgess Hill 202, 9 Uckfield Anderida 200, 10 Crawley 164.