Tonderful Thornely leads Horsham to key win against unbeaten East Grinstead
Horsham skipper Michael Thornely hit a brilliant century to pave the way for his side to beat Premier Division leaders East Grinstead by 59 runs.
Super spinner Michael Munday followed up last week’s eight-wicket haul by taking 6-32 to dismiss their previously unbeaten opponents for 113 in 39.4 overs.
It was another masterful display which narrowed the gap between fourth-placed Horsham and new leaders Cuckfield to just 11 points.
The match was scheduled to start early at 10.30am because of a music festival being held at Cricketfield Road in the evening.
However, play was delayed due to rain and the overs were reduced from 110 to 100.
Thornely played a true captain’s innings and he admitted it was his best of the season so far.
He said: “I scored 100 against Cuckfield on a difficult wicket, but I’ve never scored an innings like that.
“I was really happy with my performance although I was a bit lucky to be dropped in the slips at 40-3.
“East Grinstead are a good team - Lewis Hatchett and Fynn Hudson-Prentice are good bowlers who have played a good level.
“It was the best wicket we’ve played on all season and it carried well. I wanted us to post a total we could defend and was lucky to get 100 but my focus was on getting the bonus points.”
Thornely shared in stands of 46 with Will Beer (20 in 54 balls) for the fourth wicket and 63 with David Croshaw (five in 34 balls) for the eighth wicket.
Grinstead’s opening bowler, former Sussex players Hatchett and Hudson-Prentice both took four wickets and had Horsham on the ropes at 92-7.
But with Thornely, who hit his 100 in 153 balls including ten fours and three sixes, Horsham managed to set a respectable target of 172 all out in 52.1 overs.
The captain said: “We knew if we could get their first three batters out we had a chance.
“We bowled and fielded brilliantly - Jonathan Whiting and Mika Ekstrom both took wickets in their first spells which got off us off to a good start.
“Then spinners Michael Munday (6-32) and Will Beer (2-28) came on and they bowled brilliantly in partnership together.
“We took all our chances and (wicketkeeper) Ryan Maskell took two stumpings.
“We knew someone would have to get a 50 for them but no-one really got close.
“It was a really tough game of cricket but it was a brilliant result.
“I am really pleased with the boys’ - their character was brilliant. We bowled them out with eight overs left to play and to keep them down to 113 was a brilliant effort.
“We must now be focussed on playing Ansty away next Saturday and make sure we play well to keep the pressure on the top three teams.”