Horsham sides revel in best start for years

Ben Thatcher grabbed eight wickets for Wisborough Green on Saturday
Ben Thatcher grabbed eight wickets for Wisborough Green on Saturday

A brilliant eight-wicket haul from Ben Thatcher inspired Wisborough Green to victory against Keymer & Hassocks on Saturday.

The strike bowler’s fine figures of 8-44 saw visiting Keymer bowled out for 121 - a total Green surpassed in just over 25 overs for the loss of two wickets as they won successive Division Four matches.

The victory adds to what has been one of the best starts to the Sussex League for our local Horsham District cricket sides for many years.

In the Premier Division Roffey now lead the way after their fine win away at East Grinstead. Hot on their heels in second place are Horsham, who got back to winning ways at home to Eastbourne.

Both have genuine hope of challenging for the league title this season, Roffey for the first time and Horsham a decade after last being crowned champions.

Newly promoted Billingshurst kept up their solid start to life in Division Two with a draw at Worthing while in Division Three Pulborough grabbed their first win of the season.

Division Four is currently being dominated by Horsham District sides. Steyning lead the way having taken maximum points from their five games and Slinfold are only 20 points behind in second.

Henfield are third with Wisborough Green just below, making it an all Horsham District top four in the early standings.

Thatcher has been taking regular wickets in Wisborough Green whites for more than a decade, and speaking about his magnificent performance, James Self beamed: “You don’t often see one player take eight wickets in a match, especially given the conditions were good for batting.

“He took six wickets on the opening day and he has 20 wickets already from only four games he’s played which is unbelievable. He just bowled such a consistent line as he always does and the wickets kept falling. He built up great pressure and they didn’t have an answer, it’s one of the best performances I’ve seen.”

In reply contributions from Tim Dodd with 40, Ben Tracy with 33 and James Newman with 26 saw Green easily knock off the runs.