Hastings Priory Cricket Club’s first team wrapped up a season to forget with an away defeat on Saturday.
Already relegated Priory went down by five wickets against Cuckfield - their 15th loss in 17 completed Sussex League Premier Division matches this season.
It followed a similar pattern to many that have gone before it, with Priory being bowled out for a below par score and the opposition duly knocking off the runs.
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After losing the toss and being asked to bat on a damp wicket following a heavy dew, Priory were all out for 128 in 27.4 overs despite a valiant 47 not out from Harry Scowen.
They got off to the worst possible start when Joe Billings was dismissed for a second ball duck before a run had been scored.
Tom Gillespie and Ryan Hoadley staged a partial recovery before Hoadley and Greg Devlin - the latter first ball, departed with the score 37 and Gillespie went for 11 just four runs later.
Things got even worse when wickets five, six and seven all fell with the score 51, starting with Elliot Hooper for 10 off seven balls.
At this stage it might’ve turned into a re-run of Priory’s 52 all out in their previous away game against East Grinstead a fortnight earlier, but they fought back with a very commendable eighth wicket partnership of 61 between Scowen and John Morgan.
Morgan was eventually bowled for 27 off 32 balls straight after drinks and the last two batsmen failed to score, leaving Scowen stranded three short of his fifty.
It was the teenager’s third not out in Priory’s last four matches having stood firm in some tough situations against some good quality bowling.
Sussex squad member Abi Sakande was Priory’s chief tormentor with 5-39 from 10 overs, his victims including four of the top five. Tom Weston picked up the last three wickets and Nick Patterson took 2-39.
Although four of the five Priory bowlers went for three runs per over or fewer, Cuckfield made their way to 78 before Hoadley made the breakthrough, trapping Ben Candfield leg before for 47 off 56 balls with five fours and two sixes.
That proved to be the first of five wickets to fall for 23 runs as Priory refused to go down without a fight. Hoadley, who had never previously taken a first team wicket, ended up with three and Hooper the other two, including opener Gregory Wisdom for 26.
There was no further success, though, as Dominic Sear (10 not out) and Sakande (14 not out) took Cuckfield past the winning post in 37.4 overs - exactly 10 more than Priory had faced in their innings.
Hoadley finished with 3-30 from 10 overs, Hooper 2-30 from 10, Morgan 0-24 from 8.4 and Adam Barton 0-20 from seven.
Sussex League Premier Division final standings (all played 18 matches): 1 Roffey 445pts, 2 Eastbourne 393, 3 Preston Nomads 381, 4 East Grinstead 370, 5 Horsham 357, 6 Brighton & Hove 335, 7 Cuckfield 297, 8 Middleton 264, 9 HASTINGS PRIORY 170, 10 Ifield 145.
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