Priory still in title hunt

Hastings Priory action. 21/8/11'Jason Finch
Hastings Priory action. 21/8/11'Jason Finch

Hastings Priory haven’t given up hope of clinching their first Sussex Cricket League title since 2003.

Third-placed Priory are 18 points off the lead in the Premier Division with two matches remaining, starting with a visit from bottom club Pulborough tomorrow (Saturday).

Their captain Jason Finch said: “We’re still in with a shout. We’ve got to be favourites to win this weekend and if the results go for us, all three sides could be quite close going into the final day.”

Although guaranteed to finish in the top three - which was their aim at the start of the season - Priory could have been just two points off the pace had they taken the last Sussex Development XI wicket on Sunday.

But tomorrow’s fixtures are favourable for them because not only do they host a Pulborough side which could be relegated this weekend, leaders Horsham and second-placed Preston Nomads play each other.

Should Priory pick up the full house of 30 points and their title rivals contest a draw - as they did earlier in the summer - Finch’s side could even lead, or at least be very close to the lead, going into the final game.

“We will have one eye on the result between Horsham and Nomads,” added Finch. “I suppose really a draw with neither side getting many points would be the ideal result, but we’ve got to concentrate on doing our job properly.”

Priory should be close to full strength because county professionals Matt Machan and Kirk Wernars are expected to be available, along with experienced former league winner Andy Cornford.

Priory travel to Horsham and Nomads - the champions for the last three years and four of the last five - are away to mid-table Roffey on a potentially dramatic final day next weekend.