Pooley takes 5-2 as Hastings thrash Brighton

James Pooley ripped through Brighton & Hove's batting to set up a comprehensive Hastings Priory victory.
James Pooley ripped through Brighton & Hove's batting to set up a comprehensive Hastings Priory victory.

James Pooley produced an extraordinary bowling performance as Hastings Priory Cricket Club recorded an emphatic victory on Saturday.

Better known as a quick-scoring top order batsman, Pooley returned superb figures of 5-2 from four overs to set Priory on the way to a nine-wicket win away to Brighton & Hove.

It was Pooley’s first five-wicket haul in the Sussex Premier League and first at any level of league cricket since taking 5-23 for Hellingly against Rye in a Division Four match three years ago.

Pooley’s heroics meant Brighton were all out for just 66 in 27.3 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

In an amazing collapse, Brighton lost their last eight wickets for only five runs having at one stage been 61-2. The final seven batsmen scored one run between them.

John Morgan, who returned splendid figures of 10-5-14-1, grabbed Priory’s first wicket, bowling Bryce Hounsome for four with the score 11. Jed O’Brien (5-0-21-1) later dismissed Leo Towers in similar fashion for 11 to make it 32-2.

But it was after Pooley had Brighton captain Chris Grammer caught by Ryan Hoadley for 25 that the chaos began.

Pooley went on to claim four more victims in quick succession and Jason Finch got in on the act with 2-3 from two overs, including the wicket of Felix Sheppard - the only other batsman to reach double figures with 12 - before Elliot Hooper finished the innings off.

Priory needed just 13.3 overs to reach their meagre target, with Joe Billings again in impressive form. The Sussex academy prospect followed up his superb 70 against Roffey the previous weekend with an unbeaten run-a-ball 47 not out.

Hoadley was unbeaten on eight at the other end after Leo Cammish, back after missing the previous two games with a neck injury, fell to Sheppard for eight with the score 26.

Sussex Premier League standings (all played 17 matches): 1 East Grinstead 422pts, 2 Roffey 389, 3 Cuckfield 345, 4 Horsham 332, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 286, 6 Preston Nomads 269, 7 Middleton 260, 8 Brighton & Hove 220, 9 Ansty 176, 10 BEXHILL 142.