Finch savours fitting finale

Hastings Priory captain Jason Finch
Hastings Priory captain Jason Finch

“A dream come true” was how Jason Finch described his farewell from league cricket last weekend.

Finch brought the curtain down on a career dating back to the mid-1980s by leading Hastings Priory to the Sussex League title.

He said: “To finish Saturday like that was pretty much a dream come true. It was a very emotional day for me. Sport has a great way of giving you really good memories and it did that on Saturday. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”

The 41-year-old led from the front by taking six wickets with the ball and scoring 35 with the bat as Priory pulled off a magnificent six-wicket victory away to previous leaders Horsham.

“It was the perfect end,” he continued. “It was like a pro game and sometimes in league cricket you can’t create that because the other sides haven’t got the quality, but Horsham have.”

Finch made his Priory first team debut in 1986 and his first full season was the following year when he played under Allan Booth Jones and alongside a lot of the team which went to Lord’s in 1983.

Since then Finch, who in a nice touch was given a standing ovation by the Horsham players, has won five Sussex League titles across four decades with wins in 1989, 1999, 2002, 2003 and now 2011.

He went on: “To win the league with that side is probably my greatest achievement really. A lot of the other (title-winning) sides I played in you expected to win it because you’ve got that quality in your side, but this year development (of the young players) was always our priority.”

Finch, who works in the police, has done a lot of coaching with Sussex CCC this year and will run two age group squads next summer. He also plans to spend some time with his young daughter.

See today’s Hastings Observer for the full article.