Horsham off top spot after narrow away defeat

Given the distance between the two sides in the table – Horsham CC were top coming into this game and Chichester Priory Park CC in the lower reaches – and, Horsham had beaten Chi by 8 wickets in May’s home fixture, this was a game that Horsham might have expected to win.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 1:22 pm

But, although it was a close run thing, defeat resulted in forfeiture of Horsham’s lead at the top of Division 2.

At Goodwood, Horsham were inserted and the game could not have started more badly, with both openers back in the hutch without scoring.

The ever-consistent Nick Oxley and Michael Thornely set about repairs with 30 and 52 respectively, but once they were both out, wickets fell too regularly.

Captain Michael Thornely hit 52 in Horsham CC's loss at Chichester Priory Park CC. Picture by Nick Evans

Double figure contributions came from Ollie Haines, Nick Cooper, Sam Bell and Jake Martin, but in the face of a marathon stint from Ajit Sambhi and a destructive tail-destroying spell from Tarryck Gabriel – each finishing with four wickets – Horsham were bowled out for 135.

Replying, Chichester also found batting problematic, James Brehaut (3-50) dismissing the openers cheaply and Ben Williams following up with a pair of scalps.

And, with Chi five down and barely past half way to the target, Horsham were still very much in the game, especially when the hosts were tottering on 121-8.

However, late twenties from Owen Spicer and Martin Ford, and an unbroken 17-run ninth-wicket partnership denied Horsham victory.

A full scorecard from the game can be found here.

Skipper Thornely told the County Times: “It was a tight game on a difficult surface. Both teams bowled well and made scoring difficult.

"We were 25 runs short of a winning score, but I was proud of the way we came out fighting with the ball in the second half, our bowlers making it a challenging chase.

"We need to work harder with the bat to put enough runs on the board. We’ve got plenty of talent and I’m looking forward to seeing the team raise our game next week.”

St James’s Montefiore CC now head the table after romping home against Roffey CC 2nd XI, shading Horsham by nine points, with Bognor Regis CC in second courtesy of a ten wicket win against relegation-flirting Billingshurst CC, whom Horsham welcome on Saturday.