Gallagher gives masterclass as Horsham bounce back to winning ways

Craig Gallagher in action for Horsham. 'Picture by Steve Robards
Craig Gallagher in action for Horsham. 'Picture by Steve Robards
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Horsham bounced back in style from their defeat by Roffey to clinch a comprehensive nine-wicket victory against Brighton and Hove.

Overseas player Mika Ekstrom and spinner Michael Munday both took five wickets to dismiss the third-placed team for 123 in 41.4 overs.

In their reply, former captain Craig Gallagher hit a magnificent 70 in 39 balls to help Horsham rapidly reach their target in just 15.1 overs for the loss of just one wicket.

The maximum 30 points to nil victory lifted Horsham up two places to fourth in the table and just 11 points behind second-placed Cuckfield.

Captain Michael Thornely paid tribute to his players for getting back to winning ways.

He said: “It was a really good win after the despondency of losing to Roffey last week.

“We lost the toss but Brighton batted, which was perfect - we would have fielded if we had the choice.

“We played very well. Michael has been prolific in the league for many years now. It was good to see him cause them problems.

“It was also great that Mika Ekstrom (overseas player) took five wickets, following on from his six-wicket haul a couple of weeks ago.”

Horsham’s innings began with Ryan Maskell (36) opening with Gallagher and putting on 71 for the opening stand.

Maskell hit four sixes and two fours and Gallagher also entertained the spectators by hitting four sixes and eight fours.

Sixteen-year-old Sussex Academy youngster Tom Clark was promoted up the order to number three and went in after Maskell was caguth out by Philip Salt off the bowling of Simon Hetherton.

Clark rewarded Thornely’s faith in him with an accomplished display to score an unbeaten 19.

He scored four boundaries and partnered the experienced Gallagher to see off the required runs.

Thornely was delighted with the way his side went about their work in chasing Brighton’s modest total.

He said: “Ryan and Craig got us off to a great start, going at ten runs an over for the first seven or eight overs.

“Young Tom had played nicely and then got promoted up the order.

“It was incredible to see him playing so well with Craig who has probably been playing for Horsham for as long as Tom has been alive!”

On Sunday Horsham beat Three Bridges by 33 runs in the Sussex T20 Cup.

Horsham visit second to bottom Bexhill this Saturday who have been buoyed by having gained their first league win of the season against Ansty.

Thornely added: “We just need to continue the momentum next weekend.”