Having been unbeaten at home for a season-and-a-half, Hastings Priory's cricketers have now lost three of their last five games at Horntye Park.
Fielding a depleted bowling attack, Priory went down by 46 runs against fellow mid-table side East Grinstead in the Sussex Premier League on Saturday.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat in windy conditions, Grinstead amassed 240-9 from their 58 overs thanks largely to some key knocks in the lower middle order.
Despite being without key bowlers Adam Barton, John Morgan and Elliot Hooper, Priory started well. Finn Hulbert dismissed Will Adkin for a duck with the score just two and fellow new ball bowler Bradley Payne (13-1-37-2) struck twice to leave Grinstead 39-3.
Tim Cummins (19) and Raj Chaudhuri (35) added 46 for the fourth wicket before falling within five runs of each other, both to Jed O'Brien (23-3-111-4).
With half the team gone for 90 between them, the second half of Grinstead's batting line-up scored a further 150 to give the visitors maximum batting points.
Benjamin Davies (44) and Darryl Rebbetts (22) forged an important sixth wicket partnership of 60 until the former became O'Brien's third victim.
Rebbetts fell to Mick Glazier (15-1-52-2) to make it 169-7 and Glazier struck again 20 runs later, but number eight Ian Sturmer blasted a crucial 64 not out off just 52 balls. O'Brien picked up Priory's ninth and final wicket, his 46th in the league this summer.
Sturmer (3-66) then replicated his batting form with the ball, removing both opening batsmen as Priory slid to 48-4 despite a run-a-ball 23 from Joe Billings on his return to the first team after injury.
Leo Cammish led the resistance, however, initially during a fifth wicket stand of 73 with Hulbert (27). From 125-6, Cammish then added 45 for the seventh wicket with Harry Scowen.
Cammish, facing the club he played for last season, finally fell for a game-high 71 off 96 balls with eight fours and a six, and Scowen followed 13 runs later for 31. In the end Priory were all out for 194 in 48.3 overs.
Standings (all played 17 matches): 1 Roffey 379pts, 2 Cuckfield 360, 3 BEXHILL 343, 4 Horsham 320, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 285, 6 East Grinstead 275, 7 Preston Nomads 256, 8 Brighton & Hove 231, 9 Billingshurst 194, 10 Worthing 137.
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