Cricket season set to open up

The new season of local cricket is set to get under way this weekend, weather permitting
The new season of local cricket is set to get under way this weekend, weather permitting
  • First games of local cricket season due to take place this weekend
  • Hastings Priory scheduled to host Mayfield tomorrow and Hartley Country Club on Sunday
  • Bexhill due to visit Crowhurst Park tomorrow
  • Battle and Robertsbridge have away games in InterSport of Lewes Trophy
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Temperatures may be struggling to hit double figures, but the opening matches in the 2016 local cricket season are due to be played this weekend.

Hastings Priory are scheduled to contest a friendly at home to Mayfield tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting Hartley Country Club in round one of the ECB National Club Championship on Sunday. Both games will start at 1pm.

“We’re just looking on it as two good workouts at home,” said Priory coach Ian Gillespie. “Outdoor practice has been pretty decimated by the weather so far. We did a couple of hours, mainly fielding practice on Saturday, but not on the square.”

As is invariably the case at this time of year, Priory won’t be at full strength. The likes of Adam Barton and Elliot Hooper are away at university, and Sussex professional Harry Finch is ineligible for the national competition.

Bradley Payne, a winter recruit from neighbours Crowhurst Park, is expected to feature in both matches. Australian overseas player Josh Hahnel has already arrived in the country.

Bexhill, who like Priory will be playing in the Sussex Premier League this summer, are scheduled to visit neighbours Crowhurst Park in a friendly tomorrow, 1pm start.

“We could do with playing,” said Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden. “We’ve been netting indoors since February, but we’ve not been able to do any fielding or anything outdoors yet.”

Shawn Johnson is still in Australia, while Tim Hambridge and Joe Cox are away.

Bexhill’s first round tie at home to Bromley Common in the ECB National Club Championship was due to take place this coming Sunday, but has been put back a week due to availability issues on the part of the opposition. The reserve date in case of bad weather is Bank Holiday Monday May 2.

Jamie Bristow-Diamond has joined Tenterden, but Bexhill otherwise have a similar squad to last year - when they came an excellent fourth in the league.

Elsewhere, Robertsbridge are scheduled to visit Keymer & Hassocks and Battle are away to St Peters in round one of the East Sussex Cricket League’s InterSport of Lewes Trophy tomorrow.

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