Hastings Priory’s cricketers got their league campaign off to the perfect start.
John Morgan’s side made an early signal of intent by running out emphatic 10-wicket winners at home to Lindfield in Sussex Cricket League Division Two on Saturday.
Priory are eager to go straight back up following their relegation last summer and they bowled the opposition out for 173 in 50.5 overs before knocking off the runs without losing a wicket.
Number three Max O’Dowd was very much the cornerstone of Lindfield’s innings with an important 75 until becoming one of five victims for Jed O’Brien, who continued his fine early season form by taking 5-45 off 12.5 overs.
Four other Lindfield batsmen made it to double figures, yet none got to 25 as Priory held sway. Seam bowlers Morgan (1-22 off seven) and Adam Barton (1-21 off six) accounted for the opening batsmen, but the other eight wickets fell to spin. In addition to O’Brien’s five-for, Elliot Hooper picked up 3-49 off 16.
Hooper then starred with the bat as he and Sussex professional Harry Finch guided Priory to victory in 28 overs. Finch was 79 not out off 96 balls with 10 fours and a six, while Hooper was unbeaten on 66 from 72 deliveries with 11 boundaries.