Hastings Priory outgunned local rivals Eastbourne to win the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup today (Sunday).
It was the first time Priory have clinched the county knockout competition since 1996 (when it was played over a longer format) and fourth in total (one of which was shared).
Priory elected to bat at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground and despite losing Byron Gould with the score just three, Adam Maharaj-Newman (38 off 35 balls) and Dave Lowery (38 off 32) put them into a strong position with a second wicket stand of 79.
Although both players fell within seven runs of each other and Leo Cammish was fourth man out with Priory on 112, George Campbell (41 not out off 27) and Tom Gillespie (15 not out off 10) ensured they posted a very competitive 158-4 from their 20 overs.
Needing to score at nigh on eight an over in reply, Eastbourne got off to the worst possible start by losing key openers Toby Finzel and Mark Tomsett with the score just three. Freddie Hulbert ran out the former and John Morgan had the latter caught behind by Jake Woolley.
It was always going to be a big ask for Eastbourne thereafter and they never really recovered. Morgan (2-26 off four overs including the only maiden of the match) bowled Dan Wells with the score 30 and man of the match Campbell (2-21 off four) dismissed Matt Cooke in identical fashion 15 runs later.
Priory skipper Campbell ran out Devang Patel to leave Eastbourne 50-5 and bowled Sussex professional Callum Jackson (35 off 24) 10 runs later, effectively ending the opposition’s by now slender victory hopes.
Elliot Hooper, who continued his sparkling season by returning the extraordinary figures of 3-8 from four overs, claimed wickets seven and eight with the score 77, and later had Richard Smith stumped by Woolley for 21 off 16 as Eastbourne came up well short on 111-9.
The result caps a fine season for Priory, who still have a chance of finishing second in the Sussex Premier League despite losing Sussex duo Kirk Wernars and Matt Machan during the winter, and seeing little of key duo Harry Finch and Josh Poysden.