Staying up the main aim for champs

Matt Machan
Matt Machan

Hastings Priory’s main aim for the new cricket season is to avoid relegation despite winning the title last year.

That’s the view of vice-captain John Morgan going into the 2012 Sussex Premier League campaign which begins today (Saturday) at home to Roffey.

Bowling all-rounder Morgan said: “We’re going to look to remain in the Premier League because we’ve got a very young side. Take away myself, Mick Glazier and George Campbell, and everybody’s under 25.

“It’s not being pessimistic. Our main aim last year was to stay up in the Premier League because it’s such a competitive league and there’s no real weak teams in it. To win it was extraordinary.”

League-winning captain Jason Finch and Andy Cornford are the only notable departures over the winter, while Toby Finzel has returned after missing most of last season. Sujith Perera is the sole newcomer.

“I fancy us to beat anybody on any day, but we need a bit of luck with the availability of (Sussex professionals) Matt Machan and Kirk Wernars,” continued Morgan. “It’s about being realistic and not over-fancying ourselves.”

Priory will be without the likes of Harry Finch, Elliot Hooper, Joynal Ahmed, Tom Harvey, Max Finzel and captain George Campbell due to education commitments during the opening weeks.

With Campbell away, either Machan or Wernars will probably captain the side assuming they’re not required by Sussex. Josh Poysden is expected to travel down from university in Cambridge to play. The start time is 12.30pm.

Priory (possible): T. Finzel, Machan, Wernars, Payne, Draper, Maharaj-Newman, Perera, Freddie Hulbert, Morgan, Poysden, Glazier.

See this week’s Hastings Observer for the full article.