Hastings Priory Cricket Club coach Ian Gillespie said his team lacked a plan with the bat during last weekend’s derby defeat to Bexhill.
Priory were all out for 108 having chosen to take first knock in the Sussex Premier League fixture and hosts Bexhill reached their modest target for the loss of just three wickets.
Gillespie said: “It was a massively disappointing performance. We batted really well the last two weeks, but it all went wrong for us on Saturday.
“Bexhill bowled well in fairness to them. Their seamers bowled very straight and their spinners took advantage of a slow, turning wicket. But there was no real sense of direction with our batting.
“We had a couple of people in their teens who gave it away really, and that was compounded by some poor shot selection and the lack of a batting plan really. We drifted rather aimlessly and disappointingly to a very sub-standard total which was difficult to defend.”
Sam Roberts did the bulk of the damage with 6-32 in 15 overs (he’s now taken 14-56 in 29.3 overs this season) and fellow spinner Josh Beeslee picked up 4-22 as Priory subsided from 36-0 and 78-2.
Adam Barton bowled with real pace and bounce to leave the hosts 16-2 in reply, and John Morgan struck 17 runs later, but an unbroken 76-run partnership between Shawn Johnson (45 not out) and 16-year-old Ethan Guest (28 not out) saw Bexhill home.
“We showed a lot of character in going at Bexhill hard and we got two or three early wickets,” added Gillespie. “But we were always up against it trying to defend that sort of total, and the Bexhill lads batted sensibly and got home very comfortably.”
Priory face a key game away to Worthing this coming Saturday in their quest to preserve their Premier League status. Worthing occupy the second and final relegation spot, and are two places and 38 points behind Priory having played an extra match.
Gillespie said: “I think we’ll go down there looking to win. This is a real opportunity, having beaten them at home, to do the double and put us in a strong position.
“Obviously if it doesn’t go well it’s very important that we don’t lose the game because that will just open the door to them again. But if we can repeat the form that we showed against Billingshurst, Roffey earlier in the season, Brighton and (Preston) Nomads two weeks ago, I think we’ve got a very good chance of winning.”
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