Priory coach lauds young talent

JPCT-03-09-11 SC11360200a CRICKET: Horsham v Hastings. Harry Finch (?) -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-03-09-11 SC11360200a CRICKET: Horsham v Hastings. Harry Finch (?) -photo by steve cobb

Hastings Priory coach Richard Burnett paid tribute to the club’s young talent after their title triumph.

Priory clinched top spot in the Sussex Cricket League courtesy of a six-wicket final day success away to previous leaders Horsham two weeks ago.

Burnett, who returned as coach this year for the first time since Priory’s last league win in 2003, said: “It’s a very sweet win because we played with a lot of very young guys.

“Sometimes when you’ve got young cricketers they make mistakes and that’s how they learn, but there were some great performances from the younger players and it was very, very pleasing for me.”

Having gone into the last game trailing their opponents by 18 points, Priory ended four ahead after bowling Horsham out for 177 and knocking the runs off for the loss of only four wickets.

“The nice thing was there was a great atmosphere,” continued Burnett. “There was quite a big crowd and the players expressed themselves without any fear of failure.

“There have been major contributions from every single person in the squad and I’d like to express my thanks to the commitment of all the players, especially Jason Finch for his superb captaincy. It’s been a very satisfying season and I can’t speak highly enough of the players.”

It was Priory’s seventh triumph in total since the Sussex League was formed in 1971, a figure matched by Preston Nomads (winners from 2008-10) and bettered only by Horsham’s eight wins.

“If you had odds at the beginning of the season, you probably would’ve said we were about 10, 12-1 to win it, maybe even longer odds than that,” continued Burnett. “But we gelled very well as a unit, everyone played for each other and took on responsibility.”

See Friday’s Hastings Observer for the full article.