Horsham captain Michael Thornely was proud of his young Lions side despite falling to a three-wicket away loss to Preston Nomads.
Their seven-game unbeaten run in the Sussex Cricket Premier Division came to an end despite a spirited display.
Nomads won the toss and elected to field and Horsham were bowled out for 130 off 54.4 overs with skipper Thornely (38) top-scoring.
In reply, Nomads were made to fight by a youthful Horsham side, who made five changes from last week’s win, as they made 136-7 off 37.2 overs.
Stuart Faith (48) was the pick of the batsmen for the hosts.
After the defeat Thornely was pleased with his side, calling it a ‘good experience’ for the Lions’ youngsters.
He said: “I was very happy with the way we played.
“We had a team full of young players which meant it was a changed team after the last few weeks.
“It was a great experience for some of the younger lads and they came away saying they’d never faced bowling that quick or I’ve learned a lot today.
“It was frustrating but on the other hand I couldn’t have asked for more from the guys.”
Horsham’s Rhys Beckwith (one) retired hurt early in the innings before Craig Gallagher (17) and Joe Ashmore (12) fell to Navin Patel (2-47).
After the loss of Thornely to Tim Moses (2-20) at 80-4, the Lions lost a further two wickets without adding to their total.
Michael Harms (13) fell at 104-8 before tail-enders Harry Huddlestone (11) and James Brehaut (11) pushed Horsham to 130.
Mika Ekstrom (3-42) removed the Nomads’ openers early before a 50-run fourth-wicket knock from Faith and captain Jeremy Green (18) put the hosts on 91-4.
Faith and Hugo Shephard (three) fell in quick succession to Ashmore (2-41) and Liam Ward (2-10) to give the visitors hope but a quick 21 from Patel allowed Moses (14*) and Will Collard (two*) to see them home.
Thornely added: “The guys dug in deep and worked hard and we managed to get 130 and by that point we were just trying to get something that we could defend.
“We knew they had been pretty shaky with the bat the past couple of weeks and that proved to be the case.
“I think if we had got 30 more runs we would have won the game.
“Considering that a lot of their blokes didn’t do much apart from their overseas players with the ball and the team that we had, to only just lose by three-wickets was a really good performance.
“Of course it’s a loss and unfortunately our selection issues this week didn’t allow us to have as strong a team as we’ve had in recent weeks but I was really proud of how we performed.”
Up next for the Lions is a home game against Cuckfield in the league this Saturday.