Hastings Priory Cricket Club’s first team lost out in a remarkable high scoring contest yesterday (Saturday).
Priory amassed 313-4 from their 58 overs batting first at home to Cuckfield, but it still wasn’t enough as Cuckfield comfortably chased down the runs for the loss of just two wickets in 47.2 overs.
It was Priory’s seventh consecutive Sussex League Premier Division defeat, although they did at least pick up a reasonable haul of 11 points.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Priory took full advantage of a good wicket and the parched, glass-like outfield in the Horntye Park sunshine.
Opening batsman Joe Billings led the way with a superb 133 from 141 balls with 18 fours - his second big century of the season. Billings has now scored 435 league runs this summer at an average of 54.38.
After James Pooley was bowled by Jamie Hutchings (3-0-35-1) for six with the score eight, Billings forged a second wicket partnership of 107 with Ryan Hoadley, who made 50 from 70 balls with 10 fours before being caught and bowled by Josh Hayward (19-1-97-2).
An even bigger stand followed as Billings and Jake Woolley put on 172 for the third wicket. It eventually came to an end when Billings was was caught by Abidine Sakande off Hayward.
Woolley went on to make 90 off 121 balls with 12 fours - his best ever first team score - before being caught and bowled by Sakande with the score 308. Woolley has also enjoyed a fine season so far with 253 league runs at an average of 36.14.
Priory’s score looked imposing, but in the end it wasn’t nearly enough as Joe Ludlow (145 not out off 135 balls) and Bradley Gayler (125 not out off 91 balls) guided Cuckfield to victory.
Ludlow put on 87 for the first wicket with Gregory Wisdom, who was leg before to Jed O’Brien (18.2-2-94-1) for 29. Priory struck again just 11 runs later as Jack Coleman (10-0-72-1) had Dominic Sear caught by Woolley for five.
But that was as good as it got for the home side as Ludlow and Gayler put together a huge unbroken third wicket stand of 217 to take Cuckfield past the winning post with nearly five overs to spare.
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.
Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)