Priory held despite Finch ton

Harry Finch scored 168 not out for Hastings Priory in their draw at home to Three Bridges
Harry Finch scored 168 not out for Hastings Priory in their draw at home to Three Bridges

Hastings Priory’s cricketers had to settle for a draw at home to Three Bridges yesterday (Saturday) despite a brilliant hundred from Harry Finch.

The Sussex professional and England under-19 international was 168 not out off 154 balls, but Priory missed on their first Sussex Premier League victory of the season by just one wicket.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Priory amassed 291-2 declared after 56 overs. Home captain Finch led from the front with 18 fours and six sixes at the top of the order.

Following the loss of fellow opener Tom Gillespie for 12 with the score 36, Finch forged a huge second wicket partnership of 223 with Leo Cammish, who continued his sparkling form by scoring 89 off 116 balls with six fours and three sixes.

Adam Maharaj-Newman chipped in with 14 not out off just six balls at the end as Priory closed in on 300 in the Horntye Park sunshine. Danny Alderman and Tom Blandford were the only wicket-takers for Bridges.

Priory got off to a great start in the field as Henry Smith had Ben Speake caught behind by Cammish for a second ball duck and when the other opener, Conor Golding, was bowled by Sujith Perera for 15, the visitors were 29-2.

Richard Webber (31) and James Chadburn (41) got Bridges back on track, but they were in a spot of bother at 123-6 after Priory took three wickets for 15 runs, Perera (3-65 off 22 overs) claiming one of them and Cameron Smith (2-22 off four) the other two.

Priory’s progress was checked, however, by a seventh wicket partnership of 49 between Rob Stacey (35) and Alderman (19). The hosts then took three wickets for 12 runs through Perera, Henry Smith (2-21 off eight) and Jack Coleman (1-55 off 14) to move within one of victory.

But last pair Jigar Parekh (6 not out off 17 balls) and Michael Rose (3 not out off one ball) stood firm as Bridges finished their 54 overs on 187-9. Priory’s other wicket-taker in their third home league draw out of three this season was Imran Javed (1-15 off six).