Hooper hits heights as Priory go top

Elliot Hooper enjoyed a day to remember as Hastings Priory went top of Sussex Cricket League Division Two.

Joe Lamb holds the match-winning catch for Hastings Priory against Findon. Picture courtesy Regwood Photography
Joe Lamb holds the match-winning catch for Hastings Priory against Findon. Picture courtesy Regwood Photography

The talented teenager scored 142 with the bat and took five wickets with the ball in the 79-run win at home to Findon on Saturday.

Jed O’Brien also picked up five wickets and Tom Gillespie made an unbeaten half-century as Priory made it five home league wins out of five.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat in a match between two teams who had both won five and lost two at the start of play, Priory amassed a remarkable 304-5 declared in just 41 overs.

Hooper led the onslaught with his maiden first team league century for Priory and he is now the third highest runscorer in the entire Sussex League this season. The left-hander hit 22 fours and two sixes from the 117 balls he faced.

Gillespie got in on the act with 77 not out off just 52 deliveries with nine fours and three sixes - his best score for Priory’s front side - and Jack Colley hit 34 off 27.

Priory’s early declaration gave them 59 overs to bowl Findon out, but on a good wicket and lightning quick outfield, the visitors were going along nicely at 150-1.

Things changed, though, once Hooper caught Curtis Howell for 72 off his own bowling. The runs dried up and wickets started to fall at regular intervals as spin twins Hooper and O’Brien made their way through the Findon batting.

O’Brien took 5-63 off 15 overs and Hooper finished with 5-58 off 15.1 as Findon were all out for 225. There were also excellent catches from Gillespie and Joe Lamb, the latter finishing the game with a fine take low down at deep cover to dismiss Glenn Bridson for 44.

Standings (all played 8 matches): 1 HASTINGS PRIORY 199pts, 2 Lindfield 182, 3 Pagham 182, 4 Findon 162, 5 Worthing 159, 6 Three Bridges 145, 7 St James’s Montefiore 123, 8 Ansty 115, 9 Ifield 107, 10 CROWHURST PARK 41.

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