Priory thrash reigning Kent champions
Hastings Priory's cricketers thrashed the reigning Kent League champions in their first competitive match of the season.
Priory triumphed by eight wickets at home to Hartley Country Club in round one of the ECB National Club Championship yesterday (Sunday).
Jed O’Brien continued the excellent form he showed throughout the 2015 campaign by taking six wickets to bowl Hartley out for just 102 at a decidedly chilly Horntye Park.
Although Bradley Payne made a fairly early breakthrough on his first competitive outing for Priory following his winter switch from Crowhurst Park, Hartley got off to a fast start after choosing to bat.
But from the moment John Morgan had Dan Stickels caught behind by Jake Woolley for 28 off 22 balls, the innings went into rapid decline with the last nine wickets falling for only 53 runs.
Morgan (2-27 off seven overs) struck again soon afterwards to leave Hartley 53-3 before left-arm spinner O’Brien took centre stage, initially picking up wickets in successive balls to make it 57-5.
O’Brien claimed two more victims as Hartley slumped to 67-7. Leg spinner Jack Coleman got in on the act by bowling Jake Benfield for 24 before O’Brien bowled the final two batsmen to finish with 6-19 off 6.2 overs.
Hartley were all out in 20.2 overs and it took Priory two overs fewer than that to reach their target in reply.
Joe Lamb (35 off 40 balls) and James Pooley (38 off 42 balls), back at Priory after a few years with Hellingly, got the home side off to the ideal start with an opening stand of 71.
Although both men fell within 14 runs of each other, Adam Maharaj-Newman (19 not out from 19 balls) and Payne (3 not out) completed a comprehensive victory.
Priory will travel to Tunbridge Wells, who won their first round tie at home to East Grinstead by 64 runs yesterday, in round two on Sunday May 8.
It was a good weekend for Priory because they also won a friendly at home to Mayfield in the final over on Saturday.
They are away to Seaford in round one of the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup next Saturday before beginning their Sussex Premier League campaign on May 7.
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