Johnson century paves the way for Horsham to extend fine run

Tom Johnson, Horsham CC 1st XI batting. Photo by Clive Turner
Tom Johnson, Horsham CC 1st XI batting. Photo by Clive Turner

A century for Tom Johnson paved the way for Horsham to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches with a comprehensive 128-run victory over East Grinstead.

Such a resounding result against last year’s Premier Division champions has continued to signal the Lions’ intent this year.

Michael Thornely, Horsham CC 1st XI batting. Photo by Clive Turner

Michael Thornely, Horsham CC 1st XI batting. Photo by Clive Turner

They may sit fourth in the table, but are now level on points with Grinstead and two behind second-placed Brighton & Hove.

Roffey, who Horsham claimed a derby scalp over last week, lead the table by 27 points.

But the Lions are going about their business having won six of their ten matches this season.

Saturday saw Johnson led the way with 124 of their 324-5 total after they won the toss and chose to bat.

They they bowled out their visitors for 196 in 48.2 overs.

The hosts lost Tom Clark (nine) early to Lewis Hatchett (2-96), before a 195-run second-wicket stand between Johnson (124) and skipper Michael Thornely (69) put the hosts in control.

After a time at the crease, both Johnson and Thornely fell in quick succession to Ian Sturmer (2-44) and saw the Lions at 212-3.

There were handy cameos from Joe Ashmore (40*) and Alexander Bone (41) as Ashmore and Paul Williams (17*) saw out the rest of the Horsham innings.

In reply, East Grinstead’s batsmen failed to kick on and hit big totals as the Lions produced an effective bowling display.

Openers Bradley Hatchett (32) and Darryl Rebbetts (11) lost their wickets to Jamie Thornely (1-36) and Mika Ekstrom (1-41) as the champions stumbled out of the blocks.

A 64-run third-wicket knock between Fynn Hudson-Prentice (42) and wicketkeeper Leo Cammish (29) looked to settle early East Grinstead nerves but they were soon both removed by the excellent Ashmore (4-47).

The visitors’ batsmen could not deal with the Lions pair of Ashmore and Nick Oxley (3-64) as they made light work of the lower order.

Some resistance was met by Sturmer, who crashed 22 off just eight balls before he was run out, but no other lower half batsmen could muster more than 20 runs for the champions.

Horsham now travel to Preston Nomads on Saturday.