Priory bottom after narrow loss

Henry Smith top-scored for Hastings Priory in their narrow defeat away to East Grinstead
Henry Smith top-scored for Hastings Priory in their narrow defeat away to East Grinstead

Hastings Priory’s cricketers slumped to the bottom of the Sussex Premier League after a narrow defeat yesterday (Saturday).

Priory were edged out by one wicket in a fairly low scoring game away to second-placed East Grinstead and are now the only team in the division yet to record a league victory.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Priory were all out for 151 in 57.3 overs. Missing the likes of Sussex professional Harry Finch and captain George Campbell, the top order failed to fire.

None of the top eight batsmen made it to 20 and numbers five to seven scored just a single between them. Leo Cammish - the league’s second highest runscorer - was the leading scorer among the top eight with 16, while Jake Woolley and Adam Maharaj-Newman made 12 each.

But the lower order came to Priory’s rescue. After John Morgan scored 11 at number eight, number nine Henry Smith (41 not out) and number 10 Jack Coleman (33) produced an excellent rearguard action to give Priory something to bowl at.

Will Adkin and Alex Edwards each took three wickets for Grinstead, and the duo then made 48 and 12 respectively at the start of the home reply.

But Grinstead also didn’t find batting easy with only three of their final nine batsmen scoring more than seven as Priory clawed their way back into the match.

Elliot Hooper - fresh off his five-wicket haul against Horsham in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup the previous weekend - picked up 4-40, Morgan claimed 3-48 and Imran Javed took 2-29.

In the end, however, it wasn’t quite enough as number eight Ian Sturmer guided Grinstead over the line in the 39th over with an unbeaten 27, aided by last man Sam Jewiss (2 not out).

Standings (played-points): 1 Roffey 7-158, 2 East Grinstead 8-140, 3 Preston Nomads 7-134, 4 Horsham 7-133, 5 Brighton & Hove 8-117, 6 Cuckfield 8-116, 7 Eastbourne 7-94, 8 Three Bridges 8-93, 9 BEXHILL 7-73, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 7-66.