Horsham bounce back in style to go level at the top
Another stellar all round performance by Nick Oxley facilitated a clinical maximum points Horsham CC win against Division 2's bottom club Roffey CC 2nd XI, Horsham drawing level with Bognor Regis CC on 190 points after the seasiders were bowled out cheaply to lose against now third-placed Mayfield CC.
At Cricketfield Road Roffey elected to bat and at 68-1 there was no hint of impending disaster for the visitors, but, after Oxley dismissed openers Alex Southon and Chris Webb – for 31 apiece – he triggered an avalanche of wickets to finish with 7-29, a very rare event on Horsham’s traditionally excellent batting surface.
Oxley snared six of his victims either bowled or lbw, and was ably supported by vice-captain Ben Williams (3-25), while James Brehaut held three catches as Roffey slithered inexorably to a totally inadequate 97 all out, six batsmen lasting only 20 balls between them.
Replying, Horsham soon found themselves on 1-1, but Oxley’s 45 contained seven fours before Sussex’s Tom Clark and skipper Michael Thornely chipped in with double figure scores for an early six-wicket Horsham win, despite two economical victims for Will Fenwick.
A full scorecard from the game can be found here.
Having played for Sussex seconds, been called upon by England to help prepare batsmen against left arm spin, and fielded as England twelfth man, 22-year-old Oxley completed pre-season training with the county only to be sidelined with a bad back.
Talking to the County Times he said: “I’m focusing on doing well for Horsham, and on Saturday I just bowled straight to give myself a chance, and I got a bit of help from the wicket.”
And, commenting on his new role as an opening batsman, he added: “I’m enjoying it – it’s good just to go out and get on with it, without having to sit around to think what I might have to do when I get in.
"Against Roffey, we were chasing a small target and once we’d got to 56-1 we only needed 42 more and understandably their bowlers got a bit demoralised.”
On Saturday, at the half way point of the season, Horsham travel to sixth-placed Burgess Hill CC, who, bowled out for 67, lost by 10 wickets to St James’s Montefiore CC last Saturday.