21 May:
Hastings & St Leonards Priory 173;
Middleton 175 for 1

28 May:
Bognor Regis 130;
Hastings & St Leonards Priory 76

Despite valiant performances by John Morgan with both bat and ball, Hastings & St Leonards Priory were well beaten in their third and fourth matches of the Sussex Cricket League season. The Premier Division, in which Priory did well to cling on last summer, is proving a daunting arena for their young team, with most  batsmen – experienced and raw alike – struggling to make significant scores against quality bowling.

John Morgan – batting and bowling feats
CREDIT: Dave Young

In the home match at Claremont against Middleton, early conditions favoured bowlers after recent rain. Priory, losing the toss and invited to bat first, slumped to 60 for seven. Morgan (77 not out off 94 balls, including eight 4s and five 6s) and Ryan Hoadley (31 off 47) joined in a partnership of 64 runs as the pitch improved, and Morgan farmed the strike over the latter stages to raise the eventual total to 173.

Priory’s bowlers needed to make quick inroads into the visitors’ formidable batting line-up if they were to make a game of it, but although they put in a competent display, catches were dropped, and the result was punishing. Old adversary Sean Heather hit 93 not out as the target was reached with only one wicket down and only half the allotted 50 overs bowled.

Travelling to Bognor Regis last Saturday, Priory’s seam attack was much more successful, dismissing their hosts for 130 in 35 overs. Abhay Negi (five wickets for 37) and Morgan (four for 32) were consistently hostile.

Any thoughts of a morale-boosting win were quickly set in reverse. Within 11 overs Priory’s top five batsmen had been dismissed for just 29 runs, four of them leg before wicket. The late order stuck around – Harvey Faulkner and Seaver Cowley each faced 42 balls – but only Morgan reached double figures (comfortably  outscored by Extras) in a desperately disappointing total of 76. 

Next up is another away game at Preston Nomads, then Eastbourne come visiting to Claremont on 11 June. 

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