Close, but not quite over the line, saw Sunbury again underperform with the bat and then run Reigate Priory close before the hosts added 26 for the 10th wicket in a tense finish
On a green top with rain threatening Sunbury batting first, again got off to the worst possible start as they lost both openers, skipper John Maunders (8) and then Elliott Shaw needlessly run out for 9 with the score on just 23. Two lbw’s then saw Ollie Roland-Jones and Rhythm Bedi dismissed before they could get going and when Alex Hughes (7) was next out, Sunbury were struggling at 54-5. With Priory bowlers well on top, Amar Virdi and Ishi Sohi went cheaply and it looked a distinct possibility that Sunbury would be unlikely to get to three figures as they stood perilously on 89-7.
Throughout the carnage Sam Burgess had stood firm after entering the fray at number 3 following Maunder’s early dismissal, but showing great determination and authority he tried to steady proceedings and it was only when keeper Conor Fulton coming in at nine that there was a semblance of a partnership as the pair added a valuable 39 runs before Burgess showed his inexperience as he ran himself out for a well constructed 58. Fulton (15) followed just 2 balls later, with the score on 126-9 and it was left to the last pair of Kevin Smith (16*) and Vishal Manro (13*) to add 29 as the innings closed on another disappointing batting performance with Sunbury on 155-9
The Priory innings started well enough with Oli Hairs hitting a quickfire 27 in 20 balls with 22 coming in boundaries but Smith bowling with menace took 2 wickets and then Virdi seemed to mesmerise the Priory batters as he captured 4 quick wickets to rip out the Priory middle order as they were reduced to 83-8 following a snorter from Sohi which was too quick for the experienced Richard Oliver (34) and another inexplicable run out.
If Sunbury’s tail wagged, Priory’s was even more effective as batting at nine Priory’s skipper Luke Bevan (25) and Richard Stevens added 50 and then to make matters worse for Sunbury, Stevens (36*) and last man Will Hodson (10*) saw Priory over the line in the tensest of finishes with 13 balls to spare. The pick of Sunbury’s bowlers were Virdi 4-28 and Smith 3-48.
Although suffering their third successive defeat the feeling in the camp is one of optimism as they look to turn round their disappointing start starting with a win this coming Saturday against local rivals East Molesey – our third away game on the trot!