Hastings Priory’s cricketers made a flying start to their Sussex Premier League campaign.
Priory crushed Worthing - the team promoted with them from Division Two last summer - by nine wickets at Horntye Park yesterday (Saturday).
Worthing won the toss and chose to bat on what looked a pretty good wicket, but slumped to 77-9 at 32.3 overs, at which point they declared to deprive Priory of the extra two points they would have gained had they taken the final wicket.
Although visiting openers Matthew Green (10) and Josh Wood (17) began reasonably enough, wickets soon started tumbling. John Morgan (1-28 off eight overs) had Green caught behind by Jake Woolley, while fellow opening bowler Adam Barton took out four of Worthing’s top five to finish with 4-34 from 13 overs.
Left-arm paceman Barton really came of age as a frontline first team bowler last summer and looks to be picking up where he left off at the start of the new campaign.
But it wasn’t just about the seamers because left-arm spinner Jed O’Brien then came to the fore by taking 3-11 from 7.3 overs in the lower middle order. Two of his victims were caught and bowled, including Worthing’s topscorer Nick Gunning (20).
O’Brien picked up 54 league wickets in 2015 and he too is in fine early season form this term having taken six wickets in the ECB National Club Championship first round victory over Hartley Country Club a fortnight previously.
Priory, whose other wicket in the field came courtesy of a run out, proceeded to make short work of their meagre victory target, knocking off the runs for the loss of only one wicket in a mere 12.2 overs.
James Pooley was in no mood to hang around, blasting 52 not out from just 33 balls with eight fours and two sixes. The in-form Pooley has scored 138 runs in three innings since rejoining Priory over the winter.
Fellow opener Joe Lamb made 16 before being pinned lbw by Shane Felton and overseas player Josh Hahnel was alongside Pooley at the end on six not out.
Heading into this afternoon’s ECB National Club Championship second round tie away to Tunbridge Wells, Priory had lost just four wickets in their three competitive games so far this season.
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