Horsham jump to top spot with big win
An excellent, well-deserved team win enabled Horsham CC to jump into top spot in Division 2 after Bognor Regis CC – now second – suffered their first defeat of the season.
In perfect conditions at Cricketfield Road, Preston Nomads CC 2nd XI elected to have first strike, Horsham captain Michael Thornely saying: “Its such a good wicket at the club, so we’d have loved to bat first.
“Not easy to bowl sides out here, but we did it and then we chased down their decent score very well with a superb display from Chris Nash.
“Its great to be top, and now we need to keep the momentum going!”
Nomads created a good platform, putting on 49 for the first wicket before Nick Oxley and Ed Bird dismissed the openers in quick succession.
Ollie Gatting then fell cheaply, caught and bowled Bird, until Muadh and Ahmed Khan both made forties, but Ben Williams accounted for the pair, and Michael English, too.
Although Nomads built some promising late partnerships, Horsham kept whittling away with Oxley finishing with 4-68, supported by an outstanding running catch by Nick Cooper – adding to his earlier stunner - and a smart Sam Bell stumping.
252 was a challenging target but Horsham also started well, Tom Johnson scoring 38, and Oxley rounding off an outstanding all-round performance with 59.
First team debutant Harry Haines confirmed that Horsham’s coaching conveyor belt is still delivering impressive young talent, as typified by the Haines brothers.
After Ollie’s 56 the week before (and Tom’s recent tons for Sussex), Harry’s watchful 27 strengthened Horsham’s grip on the game.
Then, Horsham favourite Nash stole the show with a characteristic innings, his unbeaten 88 containing an array of shots before accelerating into late overdrive with a flurry of classy boundaries.
And, Cooper announced himself by crashing a six onto the clubhouse roof, immediately followed by two more maximums, finishing unbeaten with a spectator-threatening 21.
Commenting on Horsham’s season to date, Nash told the County Times: “Another great win and brilliant to see the youngsters contributing fully.
“Our fielding has been excellent - we’re playing some really good cricket and the future looks bright with our young players all playing key roles:
“I’m really excited by them as it bodes well for the future of the club.”
This Saturday Horsham travel to Keymer Road, Hassocks to play St James’s Montefiore CC, who beat Mayfield CC last week