Priory taking nothing for granted

Elliot Hooper bowls for Hastings Priory in their six-wicket victory at home to Brighton & Hove last weekend. Picture by STEVE HUNNISETT (dh23503a)
Elliot Hooper bowls for Hastings Priory in their six-wicket victory at home to Brighton & Hove last weekend. Picture by STEVE HUNNISETT (dh23503a)
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Defending champions and current leaders Hastings Priory will not be taking local rivals Eastbourne lightly.

The teams will go head-to-head in a Sussex Premier League bottom versus top derby at The Saffrons in Eastbourne today (Saturday).

Priory captain George Campbell said: “It’s a local derby and it’s always fiercely contested. I don’t know why they’re struggling to the level they are because there’s some very decent cricketers there.”

Horntye Park Sports Complex-based Priory extended their advantage to 11 points on the back of a six-wicket victory at home to Brighton & Hove last weekend.

The result continued Priory’s record of winning every first team fixture they’ve contested in 2012 at a time of the season when they’re at their weakest due to several players being unavailable through education commitments.

“So far so good,” continued Campbell. “One of the reasons we won the league last year was because we were successful in our first six games and exactly the same is happening this year.”

Priory are likely to field their strongest team of the season so far. Campbell plays his last game before another three weeks of teaching in Hertfordshire, Harry Finch and Tom Harvey are available, and Toby Finzel is back from holiday, making for a tough selection.

Eastbourne are one of only two teams yet to notch up a win and already 78 points behind Priory, although they do possess some quality players with the likes of Mark Tomsett, Callum Jackson and Ed Giddins, as well as ex-Priory pair Bradley Smith and Matt Cooke.

Luke Wells is unlikely to play as he was in the Sussex side for the four-day LV=County Championship match against Surrey which started on Wednesday.