Priory take on local rivals at Horntye

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BEXHILL face arguably their biggest test of the season when they visit reigning Sussex Cricket League champions Hastings Priory on Saturday.

Both teams have managed to get some cricket in despite the awful weather and sit alongside one another in the top five of the fledgling Premier table.

Last weekend Bexhill contested a full game at home to Eastbourne which ended in a draw, while Priory got their season underway with a Twenty20 win away to Horsham.

Kirk Wernars - one half of Priory’s dynamic Sussex professional duo along with Matt Machan - hit 79 off just 54 balls. Machan also hasn’t been in bad nick and last Sunday hit his maiden county hundred in the CB40 win over Unicorns.

Bexhill first team manager Hamish Russell said: “They are the title holders, they are the ones who have all the experience and they are on their home ground so our bowling has got to be top notch. It’s a big test, as big as there is.”

Bexhill came off at the end of last Saturday’s game pleased to have avoided defeat as Eastbourne had more than three overs at the last pair, but frustrated that they did not really perform with the ball. They also failed to build on a century opening stand between in-form skipper Malcolm Johnson and Tim Hambridge.

“We won’t take lightly,” said Priory vice-captain John Morgan. “They have got some big game players like Malcolm Johnson. On paper and player for player we should come out on top but all it needs is a bit of complacency on our part and a few good performances from them, and we could be staring at defeat.”

Although neither Wernars or Machan were included in the Sussex squad for the County Championship match away to Worcestershire, they may be involved in the CB40 contest against Northamptonshire on Sunday, and as the game is away there may be some doubt over their availability for Priory.

Play at Horntye Park starts at 12.30pm.

Elsewhere, Sidley visit Pulborough in Division Two and Crowhurst Park travel to Seaford in Division Three (East).