Sussex Premier League
Billingshurst 99 All Out (34.4 overs) Horsham 101-1 (22.1 overs)
Horsham won by 9 wickets
After a quick-fire demolition job Horsham increased their lead at the top of the table to a 45 point cushion over Cuckfield. At Cricketfield Road Horsham won the toss and put Billingshurst in. Horsham Captain James Johnson said: “Getting this game on was a huge testament to the skill and dedication of our hardworking groundsman Jamie Morgan with a great deal of assistance from our Chairman Richard Marshall.” Richard added: “On Thursday we had no chance – it was horrendous during the day and then we had more very heavy rain in the evening and night. Fortunately there was some relief on Friday and we just rolled and rolled the wicket to see what happened and on the morning of the match the umpires were happy that it was safe to play.”
Billingshurst lost an early wicket but reached 38 before further loss despite the introduction of Michael Munday into the attack after just 9 overs. Sam Cushing, finishing with 3-29, dismissed both openers but Scott Stratton, top-scoring with 28, and Mike Burroughs contributed to promising partnerships, however wickets kept falling and Billingshurst were reduced to a precarious 44-6. Munday took 3-21 in 13 overs, hollowed out the middle order although the wicket was more conducive to seam. Only Awais Malik providing some late resistance as Horsham Rugby Club’s Jonny Whiting ran through the tail to end with 4-43, Billingshurst totalling 99. In reply Craig Gallagher fell to Ben Williams but Joe Ludlow with 43 and Tom Johnson 30, both undefeated, saw Horsham home, the game finishing at 4.25 despite a leisurely tea interval. Tom Johnson’s run a ball innings included 2 sixes, the second of which brought Horsham victory.
Skipper James Johnson told us: “I flipped the coin right today, then Sam bowled well and Jonny never gives us other than 100%. Another good win for us – obviously!” Billingshurst Captain Ben Williams commented: “The wicket was soft and the outfield slow so it wasn’t a fast scoring day, but we just didn’t get anywhere near enough runs – it was as simple as that. But, considering that we had nothing to defend we bowled well enough.”
Horsham were pleased to notch up a further 30 points on a day when East Grinstead’s ground was flooded, abandoning their game, and Preston Nomads lost.
This coming Saturday (June 25) Horsham, looking to avenge elimination from the National Knockout Cup by their close neighbours, are at home again in a sterner challenge against Roffey. The game starts at 11am with a Music Festival, food stalls and a beer tent opening during the afternoon.
Martin Read – Sports Reporter