Hastings tackle basement battle

Leo Cammish and Elliot Hooper add a run to Hastings Priory's total against Chichester Priory Park last weekend. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh23015c)
Leo Cammish and Elliot Hooper add a run to Hastings Priory's total against Chichester Priory Park last weekend. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh23015c)

Hastings Priory vice-captain John Morgan said the bottom two clash away to Three Bridges today (Saturday) is big - but nobody is talking about relegation.

Priory sit one place and 12 points above Three Bridges at the foot of the Sussex Premier League table, although the Horntye Park-based outfit is only 19 points adrift of fourth-placed East Grinstead.

The game is the sixth of the campaign for Hastings, who had their first two fixtures abandoned before losing two home matches either side of the win at Cuckfield.

“On reflection of our three completed fixtures, we really could have won them all,” said Morgan. “We’re not being ‘rolled over’ by any stretch, and the games could’ve all had different and better outcomes.

“That’s gone now, though, so we must focus on Three Bridges. This is the type of game when picking up bonus points is crucial. We never go into a game looking to draw.

“We’re not thinking about relegation, even if we are in the bottom two teams at the moment. In this division, anyone can beat anyone on their day. We beat Cuckfield, and then they battered East Grinstead, so it’s hard to predict.

“We’ve got no real targets, but wins in games like this will set us up nicely going into the second half of the campaign. Three Bridges are a young side, in transition - very much like ourselves - and we’re hoping we can be better than them in every department on the day.”

Morgan will come back into the Priory line-up after missing last weekend’s defeat at home to Chichester Priory Park, but Harry Finch, Leo Cammish and George Campbell are all unavailable.

Meanwhile, Crowhurst Park captain Colin Ayres has called for more ‘maturity’ with the bat as they travel to second-bottom Pulborough off the back of a creditable draw at Division Two leaders Eastbourne last weekend.

Park’s final four batsmen scored more than the top seven and Ayres thinks his team needs to learn when to try and score the runs despite being the first team to avoid defeat against Eastbourne this season.

“We need to bat with a bit more sense and patience,” admitted Ayres. “We rush things, and get a bit over-confident at times. We have some superb batsmen, we just need to learn a little bit.

“Having said that, in respect to where Eastbourne are, we did very well to draw.Tomorrow (Saturday), we can hopefully pick up 30 points, which will really help to solidify our place in the division.”

Seventh-placed Park will make one change, with Pete Beaumont set to make his debut after impressing for the seconds. Matt Peters will make way. Priory’s game will start at 12.30pm and Park’s will get underway at 1pm.