Hastings Priory’s cricketers dropped out of the promotion places following their fifth defeat in seven away matches.
Priory were beaten by 49 runs at St James’s Montefiore in Sussex Cricket League Division Two on Saturday despite six wickets for Jed O’Brien.
St James’s were all out for 183 after winning the toss and choosing to bat. The bulk of the work was done by the top order as the first five batsmen all reached double figures, but the remaining six scored just nine between them.
Harry Rollings (39) and Sam Cooper (24) put on 70 for the first wicket only to both fall on the same score. Mali Richards - son of West Indies great Sir Viv Richards - made 27 before St James’s subsided from 141-4 despite Adam Davies making a game-high 55.
O’Brien did the bulk of the damage with 6-42 from 20.4 overs. It was the left-arm spinner’s sixth five-wicket haul or better of the season and he is now the division’s leading wicket-taker with 46 victims at 11.96.
Elliot Hooper and George Campbell took two wickets each as all the wickets again fell to spin.
Priory’s reply was a tale of batsmen getting starts, but not going on. Four players - Hooper (28), Campbell (24), Joe Lamb (22) and O’Brien (23) - were dismissed in the 20s and none reached 30 as the visitors were all out for 134.
Priory lost Joe Billings with the score just one and Harry Finch then fell for seven - the first time he’s been out for less than 50 in five league appearances for the club this season.
When three wickets went down for 13 runs to leave Priory 73-6, they were in deep trouble. And despite the efforts of O’Brien, Lamb and Adam Barton (11), it proved too much of a hole to escape from.
The wickets were shared around among the St James’s attack, with Sam Rattle picking up 4-46, Russell Piper 3-23 from 12 overs and Michael Murray 3-32.
Standings (all played 14 matches): 1 Lindfield 327pts, 2 Worthing 303, 3 HASTINGS PRIORY 293, 4 Three Bridges 282, 5 Ifield 246, 6 Pagham 246, 7 St James’s Montefiore 235, 8 Ansty 207, 9 Findon 204, 10 CROWHURST PARK 97.
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