Horsham and Roffey book T20 Cup semi-final places

CRICKET: Sussex League Premier Division: East Grinstead (fielding) v Horsham. Craig Gallagher.  Pic Steve Robards  SR1619183 SUS-160407-143014001
CRICKET: Sussex League Premier Division: East Grinstead (fielding) v Horsham. Craig Gallagher. Pic Steve Robards SR1619183 SUS-160407-143014001

Horsham and Roffey kept the chances of meeting in a grand-stand Gray-Nicholls T20 Cup final alive as both booked their places in the semi-finals on Sunday.

A Michael Thornely-inspired innings helped the Lions to a five-wicket victory over Preston Nomads, while Roffey eased to a 74-run victory against Hastings & St Leonards Priory.

Horsham now host Brighton & Hove in the last four on Sunday, July 24, while their Premier Division rivals travel to Division 2 leaders Middleton as they bid for a place on finals day at Hove.

Roffey captain Matt Davies lauded a fantastic performance from his side as they eased to victory over Hastings. Liam Gibson (39) and Usman Khan (40) put on a second-wicket stand of 76.

Chris Webb (37) and Davies (18) made 63 for the fourth wicket to take them to 155-4, before Josh Fleming added 20.

In reply, openers Jake Woolley scored 14 and James Pooley 17 as they fell to 49-4.

Only Elliott Hooper (34) added any more resistance as Rohit Jagota (2-26), Leigh Harrison (2-29) and Luke Barnard (2-5) shared the wickets.

Davies said: “It was a fantastic performance and a really good weekend. To be honest, Sunday was as good as a limited overs performance we have had all season.

“Batting wise, Liam got us off to a good start with Usman and we were going along at a decent rate of ten or 11 an over. Webby came in and put it to all parts of the ground and the rest of the mid-to-lower order chipped in and got us a competitive total.

“We then managed to take wickets at regular intervals. Leigh Harrison bowled very well and Rohit was as economical as ever.

“It was very comfortable in the end which shows how well we played and I am really pleased to have a semi-final to look forward to. Hopefully we can go to Middleton and put in a performance as to get to a Hove final will be nice for the supporters.”

Horsham snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they chased down Nomads’ 125-8 despite an early wobble.

Carl Simon’s unbeaten 30 boosted Nomads’ score from a lowly 75-5, while Jamie Thornely claimed 3-22 with the ball.

Sitting at 20-5 in their reply, Horsham’s Michael Thornely led the way with a 47-ball 98 to see them home with 128-5 in 16.1 overs, as Simon took 4-12.

Captain James Johnson said: “We bowled and fielded very, very well - I haven’t seen us play so well all season.

“I can’t recall us making any mistakes. We restricted them to a low total which should have been easy to reach.

“However, I was out first ball and we were soon 20-5, then 42-5 off six overs. I had to leave the game early and was expecting us to be on the way to a defeat.

“But I was on the train and received a text message saying we had won by five wickets with 23 runs to spare.

“By all accounts Michael Thornely was absolutely phenomenal. He pulled it out of the bag and was well supported by his younger brother Jamie (12 not out).

“The news made my weekend, especially as the second team won as well.”

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