Hastings Priory’s cricketers consolidated their position at the top of the table with a dominant victory away to Crowhurst Park.
Priory won the first ever Sussex Cricket League meeting with their near neighbours by eight wickets to retain their 17-point cushion at the Division Two summit. Park, on the other hand, are well adrift at the foot of the standings.
Park were all out for 131 in 39.3 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat. Priory captain John Morgan got his team off to a good start by dismissing both Park openers to leave the hosts 16-2.
Fox Parker (17) and Brad Payne (32) staged a partial recovery by adding 43 for the third wicket only to fall within two runs of each other. Park lost their fifth wicket with the score 74 and two more for one run to sit 94-7.
Clive Tong was still going strong at the other end until being ninth man out for 31 with the score 115. Park new boy Cameron Christie hit an unbeaten 16 at number 10 to at least get the home side a couple of batting points.
Jed O’Brien was the most successful Priory bowler with 4-15 from 6.3 overs, taking his wicket tally to 15 in four games. Morgan and Elliot Hooper each claimed two wickets, while Henry Smith bagged 1-17 off 10 overs and Sam Hobbs 1-8 off three.
Priory were in no mood to hang around in reply, racing to their fifth successive victory in just 17.3 overs for the loss of only two wickets, both of which were picked up by Tong.
Hooper continued his excellent form with 75, and shared in partnerships of 59 with fellow opener Joe Billings (21) and 53 with number three Joe Lamb (16 not out). Adam Maharaj-Newman was alongside Lamb at the end on 17 not out.
Standings (all played nine matches): 1 HASTINGS PRIORY 229pts, 2 Lindfield 212, 3 Pagham 187, 4 Worthing 185, 5 Findon 175, 6 Three Bridges 175, 7 St James’s Montefiore 137, 8 Ansty 125, 9 Ifield 115, 10 CROWHURST PARK 44.
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