Hastings suffer first defeat of season

Greg Devlin scored a half-century with the bat in Hastings Priory's defeat against Billingshurst
Greg Devlin scored a half-century with the bat in Hastings Priory's defeat against Billingshurst

Hastings Priory Cricket Club suffered its first defeat of the season today (Saturday).

After a big win away to Goring-By-Sea on the opening weekend of the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Two campaign, Priory lost by 34 runs at home to Billingshurst.

It means Priory sit third in the early league table, 18 points behind joint leaders Billingshurst and St James’s Montefiore.

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Having won the toss and chosen to field, Priory bowled Billingshurst out for 174 in 39.5 overs with six different bowlers among the wickets.

Adam Pye was the most successful with superb figures of 3-4 from three overs until injury forced the tall pace bowler out of the attack.

There were two wickets each for John Morgan (9-4-30-2) and Elliot Hooper (7.5-0-35-2), while Jed O’Brien, Jack Coleman and Ryan Hoadley picked up one apiece.

After an opening partnership of 39 between Jordan Willoughby (49) and Josh Wood (24 off 18 balls), Billingshurst fell to 68-5 with batsmen three to six scoring six runs between them.

Willoughby and Benjamin Mortimer (27) put on 52 for the sixth wicket before Max Hollander (15), Jon Alexander (15) and Tom Alexander (11) all chipped in with useful lower order runs.

Priory were then bowled out for 140 in 33.5 overs, with Mortimer (6-1-35-4) and Ben Williams (7.5-2-22-4) claiming four wickets each, and wicketkeeper Wood taking five catches and a stumping.

The home reply began in awful fashion as Priory slumped to 7-3, with Mortimer bagging all three wickets. Ricardo de Nobrega and Hooper tried to mount a recovery with 23 apiece, the latter off just 14 balls, but three wickets for 19 runs to leave them 62-6.

Greg Devlin did his best to salvage things at number six. The former Hellingly batsman put on 30 for the seventh wicket with O’Brien (18) and then 48 for the eighth wicket with Adam Barton.

But Devlin was caught behind off Williams for a splendid 56 and then Barton, who had offered sterling support, fell in identical fashion before another run had been added. With the injured Pye retiring out, the game was up and Billingshurst could celebrate a notable victory.