After an encouraging start to the Sussex Premier League season, Hastings Priory’s cricketers produced their most disappointing performance so far on Saturday.
Priory were soundly beaten by seven wickets away to Cuckfield and picked up just one point in the process.
A lack of runs was the root of the problem. Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Priory were all out for just 120 in 35.3 overs.
And it might well have been a good deal worse had it not been for a last wicket stand of 36 between Jed O’Brien (32 not out) and Adam Barton (3).
Things began reasonably enough, with openers Joe Billings (12) and James Pooley (28 off 24 balls) both getting starts. But Priory then endured a spectacular collapse from 51-1 to 54-6, with numbers three to six in the batting order all failing to score.
Elliot Hooper dug in for eight off 35 balls, but when he was ninth man out with the score 84, Priory were in grave danger of not making three figures.
O’Brien, who has been excellent with the ball over the past 13 months, showed his worth with the bat this time to give the innings some respectability.
Priory were also grateful to 25 extras against a Cuckfield side for whom Thomas Weston (9-3-24-4) and Nick Patterson (14.3-7-37-5) did most of the damage.
The visitors were always going to be up against it in the field, although John Morgan (11-3-33-1) did pick up the prize scalp of Big Bash League star Jordan Silk for 17 with the score 33.
James Mitchinson (54) and Richard Stafford (35 not out) patiently put on 77 for the second wicket as Priory made Cuckfield work for their runs. Hooper (3.2-1-11-2) struck twice in successive deliveries to earn Priory a point, but Cuckfield got home after 38.2 overs - almost three more than Priory faced.
Standings (played four matches unless stated): 1 Horsham (5) 107pts, 2 Cuckfield (5) 80, 3 BEXHILL 72, 4 Preston Nomads 72, 5 East Grinstead 71, 6 Roffey 70, 7 Brighton & Hove 63, 8 Worthing (5) 55, 9 HASTINGS PRIORY 51, 10 Billingshurst 28.
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