Holders Horsham continue T20 Cup title defence with Cuckfield success

Craig Gallagher in action for Horsham. 'Picture by Steve Robards
Craig Gallagher in action for Horsham. 'Picture by Steve Robards

Holders Horsham continued their defence of the Gray-Nicholls T20 Cup after beating Cuckfield by nine wickets in the quarter-final on Sunday.

Their Premier Division title rivals posted 129-5 after being inserted and a half-century from stalwart Craig Gallagher then helped his side home with 132-1.

It sets up an interesting semi-final clash with Roffey at Cricketfield on July 23, with Preston Nomads and Hastings making up the other last-four clash.

Horsham captain Michael Thornely said: “Jeet Raval, Joe Ludlow and Abi Sakande did not play, and are probably their best three players, but I thought we played really well.

“It was a nice wicket and a big outfield, so there were lots of twos run – it was a good solid win.”

Cuckfield’s Dominic Sear (four), Harry Clark (one), and Thomas Weston (10) all lost their wickets without stamping their authority, but it was opener Bradley Gayler who was proving a thorn in the side for Horsham.

While his partners were struggling to impose themselves, his knock of 65 came off 44 balls, which included ten boundaries and a six, helped his side to a competitive score.

Gayler finally fell to a catch by Tom Haines off the bowling of Michael Munday (2-14).

James Thorpe (15) was the last wicket to fall for Cuckfield, as Ben Candlefield (27) and Billy Meboroh-Collinson (one) saw out the rest of their allotted 20 overs closing with 129-5.

In reply, Horsham’s batsmen took the game under full control. They only lost one wicket in their innings, with Ryan Maskell (17) bowled by Nick Patterson (1-28).

Craig Gallagher made 54 off 46 balls, which included seven boundaries, before he retired hurt after injuring the front of his foot and being in too much pain to continue.

Skipper Thornely scored 44 not out off 43 balls, making six boundaries, as he saw out the innings with Haines (four*), to finish with 132-1 in just over 18 overs with nine balls to spare.

Thornely added: “Their opener got a 50 and played well, but after that they struggled with any other partnerships. We were able to pick up wickets on a regular basis and restrict them.

“Craig Gallagher batted really well before he retired hurt. He and Ryan got us off to a great start.”