Plenty at stake as Horsham go to Pulborough for early season derby

JPCT 150511 Cricket. Horsham v Three Bridges. Matt Henry   -photo by steve cobb
JPCT 150511 Cricket. Horsham v Three Bridges. Matt Henry -photo by steve cobb
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THIS Saturday Horsham travel to neighbours Pulborough for what will be a first ever league meeting between the sides and despite being early in the season there’s plenty at stake for both teams.

As well as fighting off for local bragging rights both will be desperate for points for opposite reasons.

Horsham are looking to build on their seven wicket win over Three Bridges on Saturday to keep pace with the top two Hastings and Preston Nomads, while Boro are still searching for a maiden Premier League win.

Craig Gallagher’s visiting Horsham are without Owain Jones following his match-winning 72 last weekend, with Luke Fisher replacing him, but spinner Will Beer is expected to feature after helping Sussex Seconds beat Gloucestershire inside two days this week.

Gallagher said: “On the back of last week’s win we’re really confident that we can bowl sides out and I think the pitch will help us as well.

“It’s always a tough test going away but I’m confident with the side I’ve got and that we can chase side’s down as well.”

Horsham will be expected to win comfortably against a side who have so far struggled since their promotion from Division 2 last term, and Gallagher admits the pressure will be on his side.

“You can’t win really,” he said. “If we win that’s what we’re expected to do and if we don’t it’s a major catastrophe.

“They have not got off to a great start but they are a good side and I’m sure they are just waiting for things to click. That could come against us so we just have to stick to our game plan and execute it thoroughly.”

For the hosts, Phil Ropper will play his first match of the season to provide a much-needed boost to the top of Boro’s batting order.

Pulborough secured a very creditable draw with Brighton & Hove in their opening match but have slumped to heavy defeats against Preston Nomads and Eastbourne last week with most of their troubles coming with the bat.

They were skittled out for just 66 at Eastbourne on Saturday and skipper Rohit Jagota said: “Our batting at the moment is not clicking, in the last two matches we have not got enough runs to play with.

“Although it’s the beginning of the season it’s important to get points and this match is important for us because if we don’t do well we could already be behind other teams.”