Horley maintain promotion challenge with narrow win
Horley CC moved up to third place in the Surrey County League Premier Division with a win over Merrow CC which went down to the wire.
At the start of the game Merrow were in fourth place in the league with Horley only a couple of points behind them.
Merrow put Horley in and took an early wicket, but what followed was a fantastic 166-run partnership from Regan Derham and Nathan Baily.
The two of them paced their innings very well, with good running between the wickets and found the boundary when needed.
Baily was the first to fall, bowled by a tight yorker for 88. Derham was edging closer to his maiden league century but unfortunately he fell just short after hitting one to the deep cover point boundary when he was on 94.
Ben Davies scored a quick 34, hitting two massive sixes into the tree before Horley skipper Charlie Robins declared on 237-3 from 45.5 overs.
The message was clear from the skipper at the tea break – Horley needed to take 10 wickets to move ahead of Merrow in the league.
After some quick scoring from Merrow's opener, Robins struck and some fast thinking from Ant Puttick behind the stumps enabled Davies to dismiss the number three and Merrow found themselves two down with 47 on the board.
Merrow then began to bat for the draw after only 12 overs. Wickets were taken steadily throughout with an incredibly attacking field set for Adam Stephenson (two short legs, leg slip, catchers all around the bat).
He took two for 14 from his 10 overs, including five maidens, and all of the Horley bowlers contributed in some way with Guy Derham taking a sharp run out chance at short leg off of the bowling of Matt Gainsford.
Merrow were eight down with 10 overs left in the game. Robins tried fielders in all sorts of positions with nine catchers around the bat but nothing was breaking through, until part-time off-spinner Phil Norman was thrown the ball.
His first over went for one run and no wickets. However, an lbw shout in his second over saw the end for the number 10 batter and Norman then bowled an excellent yorker, hitting the bottom of the stumps to dismiss the last man.
All 11 players celebrated the 149-run win, which moved Horley up to third in the league with eight games to play.
HORLEY CC 2ND XI
Horley CC 2nd XI missed a chance to pick up a win at Byfleet CC, one of the three teams below them in the Surrey County League 2nd XI Premier Division, but did at least stop their hosts taking maximum points by batting it out for a draw.
Horley put Byfleet in and Chris Cosham and Ben Stewart were unlucky not to pick up any wickets in good opening spells.
Unavailability of some senior players meant Stewart was one of four colts in the Horley team and two others – Alex Field and Luke Smith – took one and two wickets respectively, while veteran Trevor Stevens kept the run-rate down, bowling five maidens in his 13 overs.
Cosham and Stewart took a wicket each in their second spells, Sam Bracken picked up one wicket and a last-ball runout from Richard Waddington mean Byfleet finished on 180-7 from 50 overs, and gave Horley their third bowling point.
The visitors were hopeful of chasing down the total in their allotted 45 overs but found it very difficult to get the ball away.
Matt Ware top-scored with 23 and put on Horley’s best partnership, with Waddington (17). Smith made 18 but Horley were behind the run-rate and batting for the draw from the mid-point of the innings.
There were still 2.2 overs to survive when 11th man and skipper Darren Croft came to the crease but he successfully saw off 12 deliveries to finish three not out – although hearts were in mouths when he edged the last ball up in the air but it fell safely between the many close fielders. Stevens was 11 not out.
HORLEY CC HACKERS
Horley CC Hackers cruised into round two of the knockout stages of the Sussex Slam T20 with an eight-wicket win over Lingfield CC Lancers at Horley Row.
Lingfield elected to bat and lost Andrew Daw first ball, lbw to Matt Gainsford. The visitors made just 109-6 from their 20 overs, with Andy Morton top-scoring with 30 not out.
Gainsford ended up with three wickets for just eight runs from four overs, Charlie Robins took two wickets and Adam Stephenson one.
Jordan Robins almost pulled off an amazing boundary catch, leaping to take the ball one-handed and save a six, but he had to throw the ball infield to avoid stepping over the rope.
Anthony Puttick made a fluent 49 in Horley’s reply before being well caught on the boundary as he attempted to pass the retirement mark with a six.
Lewis Tomkins made 27 and Jordan Robins hit four consecutive fours in a 23 not out to help Horley reach 110-2 off just 14.2 overs.
Horley play Edenbridge CC in the next round, looking to continue their progress towards a place in finals day at Hove.
HORLEY CC SUNDAY STROLLERS
Ryan Bunn took three wickets and hit a quick-fire 27 off 15 balls to help Horley CC’s Sunday Strollers beat the Outwood CC Millermen by two wickets.
Outwood were 108 all out in 26 overs, with Chirag Patel taking three wickets for 10, Ryan Bunn 3-19 and his dad Dave 3-25. Ollie Millard picked up the other wicket.
Horley’s team featured five colts and one of them, Ryan Bunn, got the reply off to a fast start. After 15 from Khyan Patel, 12 from Dave Childs and 11 from Graham Brookes, Ollie Millard came in at nine and hit 18 off 16 balls to take Horley to 109-8 from 29.5 overs.