Hastings coach: Plenty of positives but not the result

Hastings Priory coach Ian Gillespie
Hastings Priory coach Ian Gillespie

There were plenty of positives, but not the result Hastings Priory Cricket Club was after in last weekend’s defeat against Haywards Heath.

That was the verdict of coach Ian Gillespie after Priory lost a high scoring 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Two away fixture by five wickets.

Gillespie said: “It was a cracking game of cricket. It was a good wicket and it didn’t turn at all. It favoured seam bowling, and they had three seamers and we only had two. The wicket probably got easier as the game went on.

See also: * Hastings beaten despite Hooper hundred
* Former Hastings ace plays in World Cup
* Johnson shines as Bexhill record back-to-back wins
* Crowhurst Park notch up third straight victory

“It was frustrating. They said they were at full strength and they were a good side, so it was a tough game of cricket. We acquitted ourselves quite well and there were lots of positives, but not the 30 points we were after.”

Priory scored 229-9 batting first, with Elliot Hooper making 106, but Heath reached their target with five wickets and four overs to spare, thanks largely to 81 from Jonny Phelps.

“We had to work very hard for our runs,” continued Gillespie. “The South African (Benjamin Van Rensburg) and Jethro Menzies bowled good areas, and made it very difficult for us.

“We battled away, but the only one who really took it away from them was Elliot, who played beautifully, had a great tempo to his innings and played an excellent range of shots. He got good support from Alex Coyle, who played well, and they ran beautifully together.

“We thought at the start 250 was going to be about par so for that (229) to be a good score, we had to get wickets early and unfortunately we didn’t quite manage to achieve that. We didn’t really work Phelps hard enough early on.

“We battled away hard, but just couldn’t get enough wickets to put them under the pressure we probably needed to, primarily because it (the pitch) just wasn’t helping the spin bowlers.

“You needed high quality bowling to ask the questions and we were probably a little bit light in that department.”