Hastings Priory Cricket Club’s perfect home record was ended by a frustrating draw against Pagham on Saturday.
Harry Finch compiled a marvellous unbeaten century with the bat, but Priory were denied a seventh Sussex Cricket League Division Two victory out of seven at Horntye Park after failing to bowl the opposition out on a flat wicket.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Priory got off to the worst possible start by losing both openers without scoring.
But Finch and Tom Gillespie fashioned a superb fourth wicket partnership which ensured they posted a substantial total.
Gillespie was run out for 86 - his best score for the first team - having hit 14 fours in his 95 balls.
Finch went on to make 126 not out from 164 deliveries with 17 boundaries and a six as Priory declared two overs early on 251-5.
All of Pagham’s top four scored more than 30 in reply, which massively hindered Priory’s chances of winning the game, even if they never really looked like losing it.
Michael Hales survived a couple of lbw appeals to make 50, while fellow opener Stuart Hanks scored 32. Joe Turner hit 47 and Erange Dissangge got 56 after nearly being caught off the fit-again Adam Barton very early in his innings.
Priory picked up a few cheap wickets in the middle order late on, but it wasn’t enough to force the win as Pagham closed on 215-7.
All seven wickets Priory took fell to spin, with Elliot Hooper picking up 3-61, Jed O’Brien 2-40 and George Campbell 2-17, which included a Joe Billings stumping.
Standings (all played 13 matches): 1 Lindfield 313pts, 2 HASTINGS PRIORY 282, 3 Worthing 275, 4 Three Bridges 256, 5 Ifield 216, 6 Pagham 216, 7 St James’s Montefiore 207, 8 Ansty 196, 9 Findon 194, 10 CROWHURST PARK 94.
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