Hastings Priory’s cricketers suffered a crushing defeat in their first away league game of the season.
Priory went down by 162 runs against Three Bridges in Sussex Cricket League Division Two on Saturday after being bowled out for a mere 57.
In a big early season clash between two sides relegated from the Premier League last summer, Bridges decided to bat first on a green-looking pitch, but they achieved maximum batting points after reaching 219-7 from their 53 overs.
Adam Barton made an early breakthrough thanks to an excellent catch at gully from Bradley Smith. James Chadburn (45) and Bradley Gayler then built a solid partnership of 86 before Chadburn fell to Jed O’Brien for 45.
Although Priory spinners O’Brien (2-50 off 13 overs), Elliot Hooper (3-46 off 14) and Mick Glazier (1-18 off five) picked up wickets steadily, Gayler notched his first Bridges league ton to take his side past the 200 mark. Gayler hit 103 before being caught by Jack Colley off Hooper.
Priory scored 174-0 in their comprehensive victory over Lindfield the previous weekend, albeit with Sussex professional Harry Finch in the side, but it was a completely different story this time as they slumped to 12-5 in reply.
That proved too much to recover from and Priory were shot out in 28.4 overs, with Joe Lamb (10) the only batsman to reach double figures. In fact, the highest scorer was extras with 13. Bridges’ overseas player Andrew Smith finished with figures of 8-2-15-4.