Hastings Priory's cricketers pulled off a splendid victory at home to Horsham yesterday (Saturday).
The two-wicket win at Horntye Park was Priory's seventh of the Sussex Premier League season and first against a team in the top four.
Horsham won the toss and chose to bat in glorious sunshine, but were bowled out for 147 in 53.3 overs by another good display from a Priory bowling attack which has been strong all season.
John Morgan (11-5-29-1) and Finn Hulbert (9-4-21-1) again gave little away with the new ball, while spinners Jed O'Brien (17.3-4-40-5) and Elliot Hooper (16-2-44-2) bowled splendidly in tandem to pick up the bulk of the wickets.
Hulbert made the initial breakthrough by trapping Craig Gallagher lbw for 12 with the score 28. Priory later picked up three wickets for two runs to leave Horsham 53-4, O'Brien dismissing opener Joe Ludlow for 20 and Sussex player Will Beer for a 15-ball duck - both caught by Jake Woolley - either side of Morgan getting rid of Thomas Haines for 11.
Horsham rallied with a fifth wicket stand of 69 only to then lose three wickets for six runs as the score became 128-7.
O'Brien ended the partnership by having Tom Johnson caught by Hooper for 28 off 32 balls with three sixes. He then claimed his fourth victim by bowling Ollie Cross for two before Hooper dismissed Michael Thornely - who has 40 first class appearances to his name - in the same fashion for 41.
Hulbert ran out David Croshaw to make it 144-8 and Hooper pinned Jonathan Whiting lbw first ball. O'Brien wrapped up the innings and completed his sixth five-wicket haul of another superb season by bowling Michael Munday for two.
Although they experienced one or two wobbles, Priory seemed likely to reach their target from the moment Josh Hahnel and James Pooley put on 58 for the first wicket.
Hahnel was first to go for 11 and the hard-hitting Pooley followed nine runs later for a game-high 46 off 45 balls with nine fours and a six (only running four of his runs).
Hooper was bowled for 14 to make it 87-3, and a few nerves might have creeping in to the home camp when Leo Cammish fell for 16 and Hulbert went first ball with the score 106.
A useful sixth wicket of 27 got Priory back on track as Tom Gillespie and O'Brien batted positively for 17 off 19 balls and 30 off 24 balls respectively, O'Brien hitting four fours and a six.
Woolley fell for a single to leave Priory 142-8, but Harry Scowen (10 not out) and Joe Lamb (1 not out) saw them home in the 41st over, despite Munday - easily the league's leading wicket-taker - finishing with 7-69 from 17.5 overs.
Sussex Premier League standings (played 15 matches unless stated): 1 Cuckfield 310pts, 2 Roffey (14) 299, 3 BEXHILL (14) 281, 4 Horsham 270, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 254, 6 East Grinstead 237, 7 Preston Nomads 237, 8 Brighton & Hove 189, 9 Billingshurst 174, 10 Worthing 123.
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