Hastings Priory’s cricketers will be without two key bowlers for a vital top-of-the-table clash.
Sussex Cricket League Division Two leaders Priory will be missing injured paceman Adam Barton and spinner Jed O’Brien, who is doing a charity parachute jump, when they travel to second-placed Lindfield tomorrow (Saturday).
Priory first team coach Ian Gillespie said: “Our bowling attack will be perhaps not as penetrative on paper certainly as it has been, although I’m sure the lads that play will be keen to make their mark. We think it’s going to be a very, very tough game.”
Priory are 17 points clear of their opponents, although both teams have won seven and lost two of their nine league games so far.
Lindfield have won all of their last six matches and Priory have triumphed in their last five so something will have to give at Lindfield Common.
Priory were 10-wicket winners in the reverse fixture at Horntye Park on the opening day, but Gillespie doesn’t think that will have any bearing on the return match.
Our bowling attack will be perhaps not as penetrative on paper certainly as it has been, although I’m sure the lads that play will be keen to make their mark.Ian Gillespie
“Lindfield are going very, very well,” he said. “Their own ground will be very different from ours and they’ve got half a dozen very good players.
“I think we were flattered by a 10-wicket victory at home. Both our openers were dropped and if they had gone early, it would’ve been interesting to see what might have happened.”
With two teams to go up, Priory have a handy 42-point cushion over third-placed Pagham at the midway stage of the season and Gillespie says he would settle for a draw tomorrow.
“Definitely I think we would take a draw, “ he added. “The only thing I would say about that is what you’ve got is five teams in contention.
“You look at Worthing and Three Bridges, and there’s a couple of teams there that could easily put a run together, and I think we’ve got to be wary of that. We can’t just look at the team immediately around us.
“The good news is that everyone’s going to be playing each other so there’s opportunity for teams to take points off each other.
“Our lead will be helpful, but in the second half of the season we’ve got to be as positive and play as good, purposeful cricket as we have in the first half, and hopefully that will be good enough.”
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