Hastings Priory fought out a draw but Bexhill were beaten on the opening day of the 2014 Sussex Cricket League Premier Division season.
Last year’s Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup winners Priory drew at home to Brighton & Hove, while Bexhill’s return to the top flight began with a five-wicket loss at home to Horsham yesterday (Saturday).
Priory were sent out to field after losing the toss in a game played to 100 overs rules following a delayed start. Brighton scored 216-7 from their 53 overs with all bar one of their batsmen reaching double figures, Alasdair Wilson leading the way with 54.
John Morgan was the pick of the Priory bowlers with 4-37 from 13 overs, while Jack Coleman was the other wicket-taker with 3-88 from 15. Imran Javed, who was Sidley’s overseas player in 2003, finished with 0-18 from five overs on his Priory debut.
Priory got to 142-6 from their 47 overs in reply. Things weren’t looking good for the home side at 38-4 with Sussex professional Harry Finch among those to fall, but a fifth wicket stand of 72 between Leo Cammish (55 not out) and Adam Maharaj-Newman (36) helped guide Priory to safety.
Bexhill were bowled out for 118 in 44 overs after being inserted by Horsham. The highlight of the innings was a fourth wicket partnership of 45 between Shawn Johnson (27) and Max Finzel (30), but wickets tumbled thereafter.
Although Joe Cox made an early breakthrough in Horsham’s reply, a second wicket stand of 70 between Ben Shoare (44 not out) and Will Beer (44) put the visitors firmly on course. Wickets for Dean Crawford (2-28 off 11), Jamie Bristow-Diamond and Josh Beeslee left Horsham 99-5, yet they got home in 36.1 overs.
Elsewhere on a horribly chilly and very windy day, Crowhurst Park’s trip to Chichester Priory Park in Division Two and Rye’s first ever Division Four match away to Crawley were abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Priory and Bexhill are due to be in ECB Royal London Club Championship second round action this afternoon (Sunday). Bexhill are at home to neighbours Eastbourne and Priory entertain Tunbridge Wells with both matches scheduled to start at 1pm. Crowhurst Park are down to visit Newick in the National Village Cup.