Hastings set to wrap up ‘completely freak season’

Josh Beeslee bowling for Hastings Priory against Preston Nomads last weekend. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Josh Beeslee bowling for Hastings Priory against Preston Nomads last weekend. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Hastings Priory Cricket Club is set to wrap up what coach Ian Gillespie described as ‘a completely freak season’.

Priory will conclude their 2018 Sussex League Premier Division programme with a trip to Cuckfield today (Saturday) having already been relegated.

Gillespie said: “The good thing is everyone’s stuck together. There’s no moaning and groaning or falling out which is really good because it has been an horrendous season.

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“Priory has never had a season anything like this. To lose 14 games would’ve taken six to eight seasons in the 70s, 80s, 90s and noughties. It’s a completely freak season I think.

“I really don’t think we’re that bad a side. I honestly thought at the start we had a team that was capable of finishing fifth, as we had done the previous two seasons, but we’ve never fired.

“We’ve lost the big moments, things have gone against us, confidence is low and we’re there for the taking.

Hastings Priory spinner Jack Coleman sends a delivery on its way against Preston Nomads.

Hastings Priory spinner Jack Coleman sends a delivery on its way against Preston Nomads.

“I also think the league probably has been stronger this season. Some of the teams have strengthened with high profile players.

“We’ve been exposed certainly at times with the bat, the ball and in the field. We’ve got to look at our fielding, we’ve got to look at our batting because we’ve got to score a lot more runs than we have.”

Four points or more against Cuckfield will at least ensure Priory finish off the bottom and key batsman Jake Woolley should be back from holiday.

“There’s a lot of work to be done making sure we can hold on to the players we’ve got, and learn from this season, and correct our faults for next season,” continued Gillespie. “That will be the challenge.

“Another thing is making sure we can have more consistency in our team selection so people know what they’re going to be doing week in, week out.

“The main thing is to keep our players together if we can, try and strengthen if we can, which is easier said than done in our isolated location, and look at our plans for what do we work on over the winter. We’ve got to have a think about the whole thing.”

Sussex League Premier Division standings (all played 17 matches): 1 Roffey 415pts, 2 Eastbourne 380, 3 Preston Nomads 351, 4 Horsham 344, 5 East Grinstead 340, 6 Brighton & Hove 325, 7 Cuckfield 267, 8 Middleton 234, 9 HASTINGS PRIORY 166, 10 Ifield 139.

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