Hastings Priory’s cricketers must ‘regroup very quickly’ for a visit from the early league leaders.
That’s the message from first team coach Ian Gillespie as Priory prepare to host Worthing in Sussex Cricket League Division Two tomorrow (Saturday) following last weekend’s heavy defeat at Three Bridges.
Gillespie said: “We’ve got to get ourselves together and regroup very quickly to go into a game of that magnitude because defeat at home to Worthing, having lost to Three Bridges, would mean we’re very much going to be behind those two leading teams with some catching up to do.”
After an emphatic 10-wicket victory at home to Lindfield in their opening league game of the season a fortnight ago, Priory were bowled out for just 57 to lose their second match by 162 runs against Bridges.
Worthing are the only team in the division to have won both of their opening fixtures and they’ve won them both convincingly as well. They bowled Ifield out for 76 en route to a seven-wicket win on the opening day before skittling Ansty for 57 in a 10-wicket thrashing last weekend.
“It’s going to be a really tough game on the back of that defeat (against Bridges),” continued Gillespie. “Worthing are very much contenders to get promoted. They’ve been a Premier League side and they’ve got a good side together.
We’re not at full strength at the moment with our batting because of availability for various reasons, but if we can’t get totals on the board and we can’t show some resilience when the pressure’s on, then it’s going to be very tough for us indeed.Ian Gillespie
“It’s probably not the game you’d want to have having just had a heavy defeat. They had a crushing victory on Saturday and will be coming full of confidence.”
The early evidence suggests that Priory’s form with the bat will have a significant bearing on whether or not they can secure an instant return to the Premier League following last year’s relegation.
“I said at the start of the season we felt we could put together a competitive bowling attack, but the frailty that led to our relegation was that we didn’t get enough runs,” Gillespie said. “We couldn’t necessarily get totals on the board or chase down totals as we hoped.
“We hoped this season that could be put right. We’re not at full strength at the moment with our batting because of availability for various reasons, but if we can’t get totals on the board and we can’t show some resilience when the pressure’s on, then it’s going to be very tough for us indeed.”
Joe Lamb and Adam Barton are unavailable for tomorrow’s game, but Joe Billings is expected to make his first appearance of the season at the top of the order and Sam Hobbs may be added to the seam bowling options. Play will get underway from 1pm at Horntye Park.
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