'Unlucky' Horsham fall to narrow defeat at Cuckfield in run-filled game

Horsham's overseas bowler Jamie Brown took 3-35 in their Premier Division defeat to Cuckfield on Saturday. All pictures by Steve Robards
Horsham's overseas bowler Jamie Brown took 3-35 in their Premier Division defeat to Cuckfield on Saturday. All pictures by Steve Robards

Captain Michael Thornely rued Horsham’s luck as the Lions fell to a 15-run defeat at Cuckfield in the Premier Division on Saturday.

The hosts scored 324-7 off 50 overs thanks to a 257-run fifth-wicket partnership between Marcus Campopiano (91) and Harry Clark (158).

Horsham captain Michael Thornely in the field against Cuckfield

Horsham captain Michael Thornely in the field against Cuckfield

In reply, Horsham were bowled out for 309 in 49.5 overs despite a brilliant 107 from Tom Haines.

This was the second week in a row where Horsham had scored upwards of 300 and had failed to take home the win.

Thornely said: “It wasn’t a daunting total. We saw that they scored very quickly on a good wicket on a small boundary, so we were always confident we were going to chase it.

“I think me, and Tom Haines were going very nicely and then I got run out just on drinks and that was quite a big turning point.

“I still thought we could chase it and to end up 15 short was, again, a pretty good effort. To get over 300 and not win is rare.”

The Lions got off to a storming start with the ball, reducing Cuckfield to 18-4 thanks to a superb opening spell from Jamie Brown (3-35).

But Campopiano and Clark bludgeoned the hosts to 275-5 to put them in the ascendancy. Campopiano fell to Will Beer (1-50) before Ben Caidan (four) was caught and bowled by Paul Williams (2-87) five-runs later.

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Williams then bagged what proved to be Horsham’s last wicket, ending Clark’s electric knock, as Cuckfield captain Josh Hayward (14*) and Nick Patterson (23*) saw out the rest of the innings.

Tom Clark (ten) fell early in the Lions’ reply but a 101-run second-wicket partnership between Haines and skipper Thornely (45) pushed Horsham to 134-2.

A 64-run stand at four between Haines and Williams (45) was eventually ended by the rampant Billy Meboroh-Collinson (4-76) as he removed Haines at 228-4.

And the loss of Haines saw the Lions fail to kick on with their run-chase. Brown (20), Williams, and Sam Bell (17) all chipped in with quickfire totals but after Bell was taken Horsham had only moved on to 288-8.

Jonny Whiting, at eleven, hit 14 off 12 balls but the removal of James Brehaut (five) saw the Lions’ chase finish 15-runs short of victory.

Thornely added: “We’re being pretty unlucky at the moment, especially over the last two weeks anyway.

“We were much improved from the week before, but it was still not enough on the day.

“Cuckfield did well to play their way out of a tight position after the first ten overs to win the game. Hats off to them.”

Horsham host local rivals Roffey on Saturday.