Horsham finish fourth after Ansty win with Thornely excited about ‘young promising side’

Cricket:  Roffey v Horsham. Michael Thornely. Pic Steve Robards SR1712770 SUS-170406-214406001
Cricket: Roffey v Horsham. Michael Thornely. Pic Steve Robards SR1712770 SUS-170406-214406001

Horsham skipper Michael Thornely is looking forward to continuing next year with his ‘young promising side.’

The Lions finished their season with a win against relegated Ansty - and fielded one of their strongest side’s of the season with George Garton and Will Beer both playing.

Horsham batted first and scored 245-8, with skipper Michael Thornely top-scoring with 88, before they bowled Ansty all out for 152.

And it wasn’t just the prolific Michael Munday with the wickets - he took two - but the rest were shared between Ross Whyte, Nick Oxley and Beer.

Horsham finished fourth overall and were only beaten three times throughout the season.

Thornely said: “I would say bar a couple games we’ve been a difficult and resilient team to beat having only lost three league games all year.

“We’ve enjoyed the switch to half the games being 50-over games as I think this makes the league more competitive when a result is guaranteed.

“At times we’ve played some incredible cricket and I think we’re the only team to have beaten Grinstead twice (league and cup).

“At the halfway stage, we were really in contention for the title but the three weeks rained out in a row took away a lot of the momentum we had and built up over the prior couple months.”

Thornely praised his squad compared to last season and said: “Compared to last year, we’ve got far more strength and depth. The addition of some very talented young players in the likes of Nick Oxley and Ryan Maskell have both been great additions to our team as players but also strong characters which you need in your team.

“Michael Munday has done what he always does and taken wickets consistently all season, he’s an invaluable asset to have in your team.

“Mika [Ekstrom] has done a great job leading our attack and consistently taken wickets at the top of the innings.

“Tom Clark has also made a good impression with some strong performances particularly his 147 not out against Bexhill, which for a 16 year old this is outstanding innings. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of captaining a young promising side at the club I grew up at and look forward to continuing next season.”

On the Ansty game, Thornely said: “It was great to finish with a strong team performance.

“We had one of the strongest teams we’ve had all season and of a wicket that had turn it was difficult to see the result going any other way.

“To be fair to Ansty, after we elected to bat they put the ball in the right areas and had us in real trouble at 30-3, but thankfully due to our strength with the bat we able to post a very competitive total.”

Thornely had two main highlights for the season - the run chase against Middleton where Beer hit 142 not out and Oxley 72 not out and the win against champions East Grinstead where he hit a hundred as the team recovered from 70-7 batting first.