Hastings Priory’s cricketers suffered their first away defeat of the season against newly-crowned champions Preston Nomads yesterday (Saturday).
Priory had won all six of their completed Sussex Premier League matches on their travels this summer, as well as a couple of Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup ties, until yesterday’s five-wicket defeat.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat, Priory began fairly encouragingly with teenage opener Jake Woolley making a very good 43. But his departure at 61-2 was the first three wickets to go down for five runs, including last week’s centurion Leo Cammish for a duck.
Byron Gould chipped in with 12 and Adam Maharaj-Newman hit 26, although the latter’s departure at 112-6 was the beginning of the end for the Priory innings as they slid to 129 all out. Freddie Hulbert (11) and Elliot Hooper (10) made double figures in the lower middle order, while Patrick Spencer took 6-41.
Priory needed early wickets if they were to stand any chance of defending a modest total, and they duly got them as new ball pair Adam Barton and John Morgan removed both Nomads openers with the score three.
A third wicket partnership of 80, however, between Joe Gatting and home captain Jeremy Green (31 off 27 balls) put Nomads back on course, although Priory did rally by taking three wickets for 11 runs through Josh Poysden and Hulbert (2-29).
Sussex professional Gatting ensured there were no further slip-ups for Nomads, however, by seeing them over the line with 61 not out from 59 balls. They became the first team to do the double over Priory this season and wrapped up the title with two games to spare.
Priory are now turning their attentions to the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup final against local rivals Eastbourne at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground this afternoon. Play is due to start at 3.30pm.
Sussex Premier League standings (played 17 matches unless stated): 1 Preston Nomads 429pts, 2 East Grinstead 362, 3 Horsham 325, 4 HASTINGS PRIORY (16) 309, 5 Cuckfield 256, 6 Three Bridges 253, 7 Roffey 249, 8 Brighton & Hove 228, 9 Chichester Priory Park 217, 10 Worthing 204.