Collapse leaves 5s relegation battle in the balance
By Antony Ireland
By Simon Morris
The 5th Team visited high flying Banstead with a strong team, for this important end of season match. With only 3 games left in the season and finding themselves in the relegation zone, Priory need a win.
The conditions favoured the bowling team, as at one end the wicket was damp (it appeared the covers had leaked) and the weather was overcast. Banstead won the toss and unsurprisingly put Priory into bat.
Unfortunately, Brijesh got lost and arrived just before the start and Andrew Hook was asked to open the batting with Ross Gurbutt. Facing first, Hooky left a ball which angled in and hit his off stump. Although the Banstead bowlers were accurate, on a helpful wicket, Priory did contribute to the steady fall of wickets with 2 avoidable run outs. Only 4 Priory players reached double figures, Brijesh Patel -11, Steve Cross -11, Michael Ramsden -14 and Aaron De Mello 10, in an under par batting performance. The shot of the day belonged to Aaron who smashed an off-drive for an unstoppable 4 runs.
Priory were all out for a disappointing 83 in 32 overs.
Priory opening bowlers Steve Cross and Manoj Rajarethinem bowled with an energy and desire that showed they felt that the game could still be won. This was supported by an excellent fielding display by a team hurting from setting such a low target. Steve took the first wicket, caught behind by Michael Ramsden. This was quickly followed with a wicket for Manoj, with Hooky confidently taking an excellent high catch. Steve went on to take another wicket in his 9 over spell and Manoj took another 2 wickets in his spell. The Banstead number 3, Irfan Sultan, scored an unbeaten 40 and this secured the win. Banstead reached their target with five wickets down from 22.3 overs.
It was a classic performance of two halves for Priory, with the highlight being the bowling and fielding and then there was the batting!
The situation is now very straightforward, to secure our place in the Premier League we need 2 wins from the last 2 games. This starts on Saturday with a home game (Red Lion) against Wimbledon. If you are free, I am sure the team would really appreciate your support.