Dream day for cricket clubs

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

Saturday was surely one of the finest days in the history of local cricket.

Hastings Priory won the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division title, Bexhill gained promotion from Division Two and Sidley topped Division Three (East).

Priory clinched their seventh league triumph and first since 2003 by two points despite going into the final day 18 behind opponents Horsham.

Jason Finch took 6-31 as Horsham were all out for 177 batting first and Priory got home at 178-4 with Kirk Wernars hitting 72, Matt Machan 39 and Finch 35.

Bexhill finished runners-up in a dramatic finale to the Division Two season with the top three teams separated by just four points.

Third at the start of play, Bexhill reduced Worthing to 65-9, at which point the leaders declared knowing that Bexhill could only pick up 28 points and therefore wouldn’t be able to catch them.

Chris Topp took 3-7 and Mark Steketee 2-14. Malcolm Johnson (30 not out) and Callum Guest (20 not out) eased Bexhill to victory at 69-0, meaning they finished one point behind champions Worthing.

Glynde & Beddingham, who were second beforehand, needed to win against Haywards Heath to leave Bexhill outside the top two. But they failed to take the final wicket and had to settle for a draw.

Sidley claimed the win they needed at home to Keymer & Hassocks to head a very tight and unpredictable Division Three (East).

Chris Deeprose took 6-60 to bowl Keymer out for 191 and Sidley reached their target at 193-6 with John Haffenden making 63, Paul Thompson 56 and Paul Swannell 30.

Crowhurst Park finished eighth in the same division following a four-run loss at home to Lindfield. Bradley Payne bagged 5-38 to bowl out the visitors for 104, but Park were all out for 100 in reply after slumping to 63-9.

Full reports on all these matches will appear in Friday’s Observers.