Priory seek to consolidate lead

Hastings V Bexhill II at Horntye Park. 25/6/11
Hastings V Bexhill II at Horntye Park. 25/6/11

Hastings Priory are back on top of the Sussex Cricket League at the midway point in the season.

Unbeaten Priory enjoy a 15-point cushion after they won at bottom club Pulborough last weekend and previous pacesetters Preston Nomads drew with third-placed Horsham.

Priory captain Jason Finch said: “We’ve been top most of the season, but it’s what happens at the end that matters. It’s nice to be top, but I think it’s going to be nip and tuck most of the way.”

After successive away matches, Priory are back on home soil today (Saturday) against third-bottom Chichester Priory Park and Finch believes results against the lower placed sides could be crucial in the final analysis.

“Horsham, Nomads and us are all very similar,” he continued. “If any of us have a couple of bad days against the lower sides, that could prove costly at the end. I think that’s going to be the key this year and that’s where we’ve improved I suppose.”

Given the usually excellent batting pitches at Horntye Park Sports Complex, bowling teams out after batting first is often difficult so Finch may consider fielding first even though the points system is loaded against doing so.

Kirk Wernars is likely to feature after not being included in Sussex’s side for their four-day LV County Championship match against Warwickshire at Arundel which began on Wednesday.

Josh Poysden is back and Andy Cornford is available this weekend having been coaching in Guernsey, but Max Finzel is still struggling with a hand injury. Play will start at 12.30pm.

Finch added: “It’s exciting times really. We’re playing good cricket, we’re a good side and we’ve got some very good depth. It’s a good place at the moment.”