Batting blitz fires Hastings into semi-finals

Adam Pye took three wickets in an over during Hastings Priory's cup win away to Worthing. Picture by Jon Rigby
Adam Pye took three wickets in an over during Hastings Priory's cup win away to Worthing. Picture by Jon Rigby

Hastings Priory Cricket Club produced a batting blitz to power into the Gray-Nicolls Sussex 1st XI T20 Cup semi-finals.

Sussex League Premier Division side Priory amassed a huge score of 227-4 en route to a 94-run win away to Division Three West team Worthing in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) quarter-final.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Priory went straight on the attack. The opening pair put on 97 until James Pooley was bowled for 65 off just 33 balls with 10 fours and two sixes.

Tom Gillespie came in at three and continued the momentum, putting on 66 for the second wicket with Joe Billings before being run out for 33 from only 18 deliveries.

Billings, fresh off his 133 in the previous day’s league fixture at home to Cuckfield, went on to make 66 off 38 balls with 10 fours and a six before becoming third man out with the score 181.

After Jake Woolley chipped in with 15 off 10 balls, Ryan Hoadley (25 not out off 15 balls) and Greg Devlin (11 not out from six balls) took Priory well past the 200 mark.

All six Worthing bowlers went for at least seven per over and four of them conceded more than 11 per over as Priory effectively batted the opposition out of the game.

Although fielding a below strength bowling attack in the absence of Adam Barton, John Morgan, Jed O’Brien and Jack Coleman, Priory reduced Worthing to 7-4 after two overs in reply with three of the home top four failing to score.

Pace bowler Adam Pye (4-0-26-4), who also impressed against Portslade in the previous round, bagged three of those wickets in his first over, including a brilliant caught and bowled, and spinner Josh Beeslee (4-0-32-1) grabbed the other.

Worthing’s lower middle order weathered the onslaught, with batsmen 5-9 all reaching double figures to at least get them to a respectable final total of 133-9, even if they were never in the hunt for victory. The experienced Andrew Lutwyche top-scored with 44 not out.

Veteran Priory spinner Mick Glazier came out of retirement to claim two wickets and return the most economical figures of any bowler on either side with 2-18 from four overs. Hoadley made the most of a rare opportunity with the ball to take two wickets of his own.

Priory coach Ian Gillespie stepped in to field after Alastair Maasch dislocated his shoulder again during the pre-match warm-up.

The other teams through to the semi-finals, incidentally, are Roffey, East Grinstead and Middleton.

Sussex Premier League standings (all played 9 matches): 1 Roffey 211pts, 2 East Grinstead 206, 3 Brighton & Hove 185, 4 Horsham 183, 5 Preston Nomads 177, 6 Eastbourne 162, 7 Cuckfield 130, 8 Middleton 114, 9 Ifield 92, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 82.

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