Horsham on brink of promotion back to Premier Division

Horsham are on the brink of promotion back into the Premier Division.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 12:17 pm
Nick Oxley starred with bat and ball once again for Horsham CC - this time against Roffey CC 2nd XI. Picture by Steve Robards

At already-relegated Roffey CC 2nd XI, they restricted their hosts to 183-9 and then knocked off the runs for the loss of four wickets to leave themselves needing just three points to be absolutely certain of promotion for next season.

Skipper Michael Thornely told the County Times: “We were short of our consistent opener Tom Johnson (sidelined with a rugby injury) and there was plenty of turn out there, so we were glad to get over the line.”

Electing to bat first, Roffey reached 55-1, with opener Alex Collins (25) accelerating with a straight six onto a garage roof at the bottom of the ground.

Shams Suddahazai, his father Imran, and Josh Gander all got to double figures, but it was fast up-and-coming Lewis Shivnarain who took the batting honours, top-scoring with 47.

Against economical Horsham bowling, though, progress was contained, with Nick Oxley and James Brehaut both grabbing three scalps, and Nick Cooper two.

Despite the dry, turning wicket, with Horsham needing 184 from 45 overs, and a fast out field and modest boundaries, Roffey would need to bowl and field exceptionally well to win, and although Fred Bridges, Tom Barnes, Will Fenwick and Shivnarain picket up a wicket apiece, Horsham batted consistently throughout.

Opener Ollie Haines showing the way again, with much promise, with four fours and a six in his 22 ball 30, before holing out.

Elliot Cloy on seasonal debut followed up with a well-timed 38, putting on 83 with Nick Oxley (40), before Thornely whacked Horsham home with 6-4-6 off the three final balls.

Thornely added: “That wasn’t entirely straightforward! We were without Ben Williams, at work, and, with 25 extras (including 18 wides), we gave them too many runs, but all of our batsmen batted through.

"It’s been a challenging season, but we’re almost there, with only Burgess Hill – not the worst side – to play, at home, on Saturday”.

Roffey 2nd XI captain,Tom Barnes said: “That performance just about summed up our season – we batted and bowled reasonably well, but dropped crucial catches, making it difficult for ourselves.

"We lost players before the season started, but we’ve got some good ones coming through, so there are positives.”

Leaders Bognor Regis CC are promoted into the Premier Division. St James’s Montefiore CC are third, 28 points behind Horsham, while at the lower reaches of the table, with one round of matches to play, Preston Nomads CC 2nd XI are in the penultimate spot with 220 points, with Billingshurst CC eighth on 232, and Lindfield seventh with 244.