A quickfire unbeaten 81 from the ‘outstanding’ Tom Johnson helped Horsham to a dramatic final-ball victory over Mayfield on Saturday.
It was a meeting between the Premier Division’s bottom two sides at the Wellbrook Ground with Horsham without a win in four.
Promoted Mayfield, meanwhile, found themselves bottom of the table after also winning one of their opening four fixtures ahead of the weekend’s clash.
But it was the Lions, who can have counted themselves unlucky in a number of games in previous weeks, that secured a much-needed second win of the season – and it came in the most dramatic of fashions.
Johnson made the match-winning contribution of 81 from 62 balls as Horsham secured the winning runs on the final ball of their run chase.
They achieved 285-7 in 44 overs to chase down Mayfield’s 284-4 which included 101 from Harry Lloyd and a century from Kaushal Silva before both were bowled by the returning Nick Oxley.
Horsham captain Michael Thornely said: “It was down to the final ball and we had a win like that early in the season last year and they are brilliant.
“It was just what we needed. We just needed a win in general really, so to do it in that style was even more satisfactory.
“It was definitely a big game. I think we have been a little unlucky so far and there have been we could have won – Middleton and Cuckfield in particular, so to get over the line was brilliant.
“I am really happy that the guys fought hard throughout the day and I think we warrented the change of luck.”
After Rob Raymond (duck)was bowled with eight runs on the board, Lloyd (101) and Silva (100) set about putting on a second wicket stand of 188.
Robert Sharma (11), Ed Finch (24*) and William Sheffield (33*) then boosted their total.
In reply, Rhys Beckwith (19) and Tom Haines (59) put on an opening stand of 57, before Thornely set about a crucial knock of 67. He took them to 96-2, 154-3 with Oxley (34) and 233-4 when he was dismissed. Johnson then saw them home in superb style.
Thornely added: “We won the toss and it was a pretty green wicket which we thought would do a bit, but it did not really do as much as we thought.
“They played well and we could not find a way to break their partnership (Lloyd and Silva). With the rain we got reduced to 44 overs, so to chase that down in 44 was outstanding.
“Tom Haines got us off to a great start as he has done most weeks. Tom Johnson was then outstanding, it was an enjoyable and proper innings.
“He looked cool and paced it perfectly. He can hit it miles as it is and it a not a big ground, but it was more the pressure of the situation. He handled that pressure well and we certainly all enjoyed watching him.
“It was also great to have Nick Oxley back playing. It gave a bit of confidence to everyone in the team to have him back.”
Horsham host Three Bridges on Saturday and Thornely added: “We need a bit of confidence and a win like that is the best way to get it.”