Hastings and Bexhill contest high scoring derby draw
Local cricket rivals Hastings Priory and Bexhill played out a high scoring draw on the final day of the Sussex Premier League season.
Both sides picked up a healthy haul of points from a game containing nearly 500 runs and 17 wickets at Horntye Park on Saturday.
The result brought to an end Bexhill's run of victories over Priory in recent seasons and was enough for Priory to clinch a very good top five finish. Bexhill were already guaranteed to finish third - their best result for 19 years.
Bexhill amassed 263-9 from their 58 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat. Although the visitors lost Malcolm Johnson to a good ball from Finn Hulbert with the score just eight, Sam Roberts and Shawn Johnson forged a superb second wicket partnership of 175.
Roberts produced a wonderful display of powerful driving down the ground before falling agonisingly one run short of a deserved century, clipping John Morgan to Harry Scowen at square leg. Roberts hit 17 fours and a six in his 132-ball knock.
That was the first of eight wickets to go down for just 64 runs as Priory fought back well in the latter part of Bexhill's innings. Shawn Johnson was fourth man out with the score 199, and his 80 contained 10 fours and a six.
Bexhill skipper Johnathan Haffenden was the only visiting batsman - other than Roberts and Shawn Johnson - to reach double figures with 32 off 33 balls.
As for the Priory bowlers, Hulbert returned season's best figures of 4-79 from 16 overs, Jed O'Brien took 3-82 from 18 overs to end the summer with 54 league wickets and Morgan ended with 2-56 from 13 overs.
Priory made a decent fist of their reply, finishing their 52 overs on 232-8. That was despite slumping to 13-2 after Joe Billings was run out for a single and James Pooley was bowled by Ethan Guest for four.
Josh Hahnel and Tom Gillespie led the recovery with a third wicket stand of 54, and after Hahnel was pinned lbw by Roberts for 21, Gillespie and Leo Cammish added 51 for the fourth wicket.
Both men were out with the score 118, however, Cammish firstly falling to Josh Beeslee for 15 and Gillespie then being bowled by Roberts for a very good 68 off 73 balls with 11 fours and a six.
Bexhill would have fancied their chances at this stage, but their victory hopes were checked by a sixth wicket partnership of 63 between Bradley Payne (34) and Scowen (36).
From 195-7, O'Brien smashed 16 off eight balls before Hulbert (19 not out) and Joe Lamb (6 not out) earned Priory maximum batting points and the draw.
Roberts capped another splendid individual performance by taking 4-66 from 19 overs and Bexhill's other wicket-taker besides those already mentioned was Callum Guest.
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