Although beaten by the Sussex Premier League leaders, Hastings Priory’s cricketers did at least show an improvement with the bat.
Priory scored more than 200 for the first time in the league since early June, yet still succumbed to a seven-wicket loss at home to in-form Preston Nomads yesterday (Saturday).
The hosts were asked to bat after losing the toss and proceeded to score 214 all out from 55 overs with Harry Finch - captaining the side in the absence of George Campbell - playing a starring role.
Priory lost their first wicket when Adam Maharaj-Newman departed to Matt Hobden with the score 12. Leo Cammish was bowled by Carl Simon (4-33) with the score 36, but Finch and Jake Woolley put on 84 for the third wicket.
Woolley was eventually bowled by Kashif Ibrahim for 26 and Elliot Hooper then fell second ball to Patrick Spencer (4-69). Sussex professional Finch went on to make 89 off 112 balls with 12 fours before being caught by Ibrahim off Spencer to make it 155-5.
Freddie Hulbert (21) and Dan Doram (12) chipped in until being the first two of three batsmen to fall for two runs to leave Priory 183-8. Tom Gillespie (17) and John Morgan (15) added some useful late runs to take Priory past the 200 mark.
Nomads had progressed to 43 in reply by the time Finn Hulbert made the breakthrough by bowling Daniel Phillips for 18. It was 82-2 when Doram had Spencer caught by Jack Coleman for 21 and Coleman himself trapped Oliver Gatting LBW for 46 to make it 94-3.
That was as good as it got for Priory, though, because Jeremy Green (56 not out) and Robert Wakeford (73 not out) guided Nomads to victory in the 46th over with an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 123.
Standings (played 14 matches unless stated): 1 Preston Nomads 281pts, 2 Roffey (13) 277, 3 East Grinstead 276, 4 Horsham (13) 233, 5 Cuckfield 209, 6 Eastbourne (13) 209, 7 Brighton & Hove 205, 8 BEXHILL 186, 9 Three Bridges 150, 10 HASTINGS PRIORY 116.