Cup holders suffer early exit

Elliot Hooper bowling for Hastings Priory against Horsham. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140615-184152002)
Elliot Hooper bowling for Hastings Priory against Horsham. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-140615-184152002)

Hastings Priory’s cricketers fell at the first hurdle in their defence of the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup.

Having received a bye through round one, Priory went down by 21 runs at home to fellow Sussex Premier League side Horsham in round two yesterday (Sunday).

After winning the toss and batting, Horsham amassed 161-7 from their allocation. The visitors got off to a flying start with Ben Shoare and Craig Gallagher really taking a liking to Priory’s opening bowlers.

Priory soon turned to spin and began to stem the flow of runs slightly. Jed O’Brien made the breakthrough by having Shoare stumped by Jake Woolley for 37 off 25 balls with the score 81.

Horsham continued their progress with a second wicket stand of 50 before Priory rallied by taking three wickets for one run. Elliot Hooper trapped James Johnson LBW for 24 and then had Tom Johnson stumped for a second ball duck before Kamau Leverock was bowled by Jack Coleman going for a big shot in the following over.

Hooper again struck twice in an over, firstly bowling Elliott Cloy and then having Gallagher caught by O’Brien at deep square leg for 69 off 52 balls with seven fours and a six.

The excellent Hooper, who played a key role in Priory winning the competition last year, completed his five-wicket haul by having Travis Muller caught by Leo Cammish in the final over of the innings.

Needing to score at more than eight an over in reply was never going to be an easy task, and although all of Priory’s top six made double figures, none went on to compile the sort of big score needed to overhaul the target.

Priory began reasonably well with an opening partnership of 41 which ended when Adam Maharaj-Newman fell for 18 off 12 balls. Fellow opener Imran Javed departed 14 runs later for a rapid 32 off 15 balls with three fours and three sixes.

Sussex Academy duo Hooper and Cammish went for 11 and 10 respectively to make it 79-4. Freddie Hulbert (28) and Tom Gillespie (25) added 36 for the fifth wicket, but Priory were all out for 140 off the final ball with the last four wickets going down for five runs.