Priory celebrate county triumph

Jake Woolley with the NatWest U19 Club T20 Sussex Finals' Day trophy
Jake Woolley with the NatWest U19 Club T20 Sussex Finals' Day trophy
  • Hastings Priory triumph at NatWest U19 Club T20 Sussex Finals’ Day
  • Young Guns see off Findon and Chippingdale at Horntye Park
  • Billings hits 51 against Findon and Hooper takes 4-19 against Chippingdale
  • Competition aims to recreate NatWest T20 Blast atmosphere locally
  • Players wore coloured kit and music added to atmosphere

Hastings Priory Cricket Club’s under-19 team is basking in the glory of winning a county title.

Priory Young Guns triumphed in the NatWest U19 Club T20 Sussex Finals’ Day at Horntye Park on Sunday.

Priory made the most of home advantage to come out on top in a three-way round-robin competition also involving Findon Horses and Chippingdale Megalodons.

The day began with Priory seeing off Findon by eight wickets with seven balls to spare. Findon posted 136-6 batting first, with Finn Hulbert and Jed O’Brien picking up two wickets each, and Elliot Hooper taking one and effecting a run out.

Joe Billings led the run chase with 51 retired not out at the top of the order, and received good support from Teddy Smith (34), Hooper (21 not out) and Hulbert (14 not out).

Chippingdale then beat Findon by 10 runs to set up a winner-takes-all finale against Priory.

Priory restricted Chippingdale to 85-8 batting first in a match reduced to 15-overs-per-side. Hooper starred with 4-19, while Hulbert returned remarkably economical figures of 2-6 from three overs and O’Brien also kept things tight with 1-12 off three.

After losing a wicket before a run had been scored in reply, a splendid second wicket stand of 80 between Hulbert (41 retired not out off just 24 balls) and Hooper (26 not out) took Priory to the brink of victory. They got home with eight wickets and 4.2 overs to spare.

Twelve clubs in Sussex and more than 460 across the country signed up for a competition which aims to recreate the atmosphere of the national NatWest T20 Blast locally, with music playing and players in coloured kit.

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