Staying up is the main objective

Hastings Priory at the crease during their ECB National Club Championship first round loss at home to Bromley on Sunday. Picture by Simon Newstead
Hastings Priory at the crease during their ECB National Club Championship first round loss at home to Bromley on Sunday. Picture by Simon Newstead

Hastings Priory vice-captain John Morgan has said that the club is ‘in transition’ this year as it comes to terms with the loss of six key players from last season’s squad.

The first XI will once again be competing in the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division, but will be without many familiar faces, including Kirk Wernars, who has returned to South Africa. Many younger players will be part of the Priory ranks this summer with Morgan keen to see how those who remain can step up to the plate.

“The last time we said we were in a period of change like this, we went and won the league,” Morgan joked. “But this time the most important thing is to maintain our league status - that is our main aim.

“We’ve had some big losses - such as Kirk and Matt Machan - but it’s time for us to move on and be positive. Bar Kirk, we have the same bowling attack, for example, and everyone is one year older and more experienced.”

As in most seasons, Priory will have to work around the school and college commitments of a number of players early on, meaning they won’t be at full strength straight away.

“We won’t be using that as an excuse,” Morgan continued. “We want to hit the ground running. If we wait until all the school lads are finished to start performing, then we’ll be in serious trouble.

“Dave Lowery will be joining us in June as our overseas option too, but it’s up to those who are involved from day one to make sure we start well.” Priory begin their league campaign at home to East Grinstead tomorrow (Saturday). Play will start at 12.30pm.

Priory (probable): T. Gillespie, Poysden, Maharaj-Newman, Draper, Perera, Freddie Hulbert, Morgan, Woolley, Ahmed, Barton, Glazier.