Horsham slip to home defeat but stay top
Taking first strike after success at the toss, Horsham CC posted a 243-run target for visiting Bognor Regis CC, but, on a perfect summer’s day for batting, although it was not entirely plain sailing, the visitors bounced back from three consecutive defeats to win by five wickets with eight balls remaining.
Horsham though, remain top of Division 2 despite losing to Bognor at home and away in this campaign.
Tom Johnson got Horsham off to one of his customary bright starts with two fours and a six, but after Josh Sargeant grabbed two wickets,
Nick Oxley and skipper Michael Thornely set about rebuilding the innings, Oxley going on to make 85 and Thornely 53.
Joe Willis followed up with 32, but after a flurry of late wickets, the innings closed on 242-9, Bognor using seven bowlers with Sargeant 4-40 and Mike Harris (3-60) sharing the major honours.
A 121-run opening partnership put the visitors on track for victory, but when Ben Williams dismissed Harris for 74, and Oxley accounted for Nicholas Ballamy (41), Bognor stuttered to 178-5 with both sides eyeing chances.
But, Ryan Maskell, formerly with Horsham between stints at Bognor, got the visitors over the line with a captain’s innings – his boisterous, unbeaten 64 off 47 deliveries, including five fours and four sixes.
Maskell was accompanied by a run a ball 21 not out from Josh Steward, the pair putting on a match winning 68 between them after Williams’ marathon spell had earned him 3-75.
A full scorecard from the game can be found here.
Vice-captain Williams said: “We were a bit too short of runs – it was a very good pitch. And we dropped some catches when we were in a promising position.
"Ryan Maskell batted very well and Bognor are a good side and deserved to win on the day. There are good players in our league, so we need to take the chances presented, sides that don’t are likely to be punished.
"But, we’re still top, and its great to see our youngsters improving every week.”
Horsham are on 244 points, with St James’s Montefiore CC having 229, just two clear of Bognor, while at the foot of the table, Lindfield CC (eighth) are on 149, Billingshurst CC – back in the relegation zone – penultimate with 146 and Roffey CC 2nd XI with 110.
This Saturday Horsham travel to seventh-placed Chichester Priory Park CC, who also have 149 points.