Billingshurst remain rooted to the bottom as Hastings win basement battle

Hastings Priory v Billingshurst cricket action - Will Fazakerly bowling for Billingshurst SUS-161106-231627002
Hastings Priory v Billingshurst cricket action - Will Fazakerly bowling for Billingshurst SUS-161106-231627002

Billingshurst remain rooted to the foot of the Premier Division as they suffered a 169-run defeat at Hastings Priory - the host’s first win since the opening day of the season.

Hastings captain Tom Gillespie scored 108 at the top of the order, as Priory triumphed over the basement dwellers to lift themselves out of the relegation places.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a warm afternoon at Horntye Park, Priory amassed 300-4 declared in 52.4 overs.

James Pooley hit 22 before being cleaned up by a full Andy Barr delivery having earlier survived a chance to third slip, while Gillespie was dropped by the wicketkeeper off Will Fazakerly.

Gillespie and Josh Hahnel (75) then put on 136 for the second wicket to put Priory in the driving seat.

Gillespie and Elliot Hooper continued the momentum with a third-wicket stand of 102. Hooper went on to make an unbeaten 60 off just 44 balls and Priory declared after Jake Woolley fell for 14.

Priory proceeded to bowl Billingshurst out for 131 in 39.4 overs to complete their first league victory since the opening day of the season.

Bradley Payne (7-3-17-2) took two wickets in three deliveries to leave Billingshurst 10-2.

Skipper Stuart Barber (38) and Tom Nightingale (28) put on 57 for the third wicket before both departed within seven runs of each other.

Mike Burroughs (15) and Scott Stratton (32) added 40 the fifth wicket, but after Burroughs was pinned lbw by Jed O’Brien (6-15), the last six wickets tumbled for a mere 17 runs.

Billingshurst skipper Barber revealed they allowed their opponents to score too many runs, despite their fine display.

He said: “We dropped an early chance and from 26-1 they really kicked on.

“Their captain (opener Tom Gillespie) batted an excellent second part of the innings to score 108. Every shot they hit reached the boundary.

“They batted nicely and made way too many runs than they should have done.

“It was a lightning outfield and was a long, hot day.

“We got out too easily and we haven’t reached 200 yet. The game was played to a good quality.

“Myself (38) and Tom Nightingale (28) put on a decent partnership but then I got out and we crumbled.

“It was a shame because there were a lot of weak dismissals. It was not a good day all-round.”

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