Hastings Priory’s cricketers pulled off a very good away victory in the ECB National Club Championship on Sunday.
A fairly inexperienced Priory side won by 15 runs against Kent Premier League outfit Bickley Park to set up a second round tie at home to Lordswood or Tunbridge Wells on Sunday May 11.
Priory were asked to bat on a very green wicket following pre-match rain and were 21-2 after both openers fell to catches behind the wicket. Leo Cammish (21) was going really well until departing to a disastrous run out following a mix-up with Adam Maharaj-Newman at 63-3.
Priory weathered the storm, though, and rallied with a fourth wicket partnership of 69 between Maharaj-Newman (49) and Freddie Hulbert, who batted supremely for an unbeaten 67. A useful bit of hitting from Joe Lamb (13) and Jed O’Brien (18 not out) helped Priory posted a very good 212-5 from their 45-over allocation.
New signing Henry Smith bowled with good pace at the start of the Bickley Park reply. It started raining about eight overs into the run chase and it continued for around an hour. Although the ball got soaking wet on the outfield and became very slippery, the umpires wouldn’t come off.
Priory couldn’t bowl their seamers as they couldn’t be sure of their footing and instead turned to their spinners. Jack Coleman (3-37) and O’Brien (4-21) were fantastic in very difficult conditions for spin bowling, while Cameron Smith (2-49) also did a really good job.
Bickley Park were very much in the driving seat at 172-3, but seven wickets went down for 25 runs as they struggled to get the spinners away and some big shots came out that went awry, resulting in them being bowled out for 197.