Horley Cricket Club round-up: Gainsford stars in winning draw for firsts

A fifth five-wicket haul of the season for Will Taylor and a 61-ball innings of 73 from Matt Gainsford helped Horley to a winning draw against Lingfield in their latest Surrey County League Premier Division match.

Returning Horley skipper Charlie Robins elected to bowl first. Ben Davies (3-85) found the first wicket, leaving Lingfield 10-1, but Tom Mason (85) and Jack Unwin (51) looked very comfortable at the crease and built a strong platform.

Matthew Puttick (1-28) came on and accounted for Mason while Davies dismissed Unwin soon after. Having taken Lingfield from 149-1 to 167-3, Horley squeezed the batters and slowed the run rate down, mainly due to Taylor’s haul of 5-56. Thomas Mitchell (21) and Callum Forbes (20) were the only other notable scores in the Lingfield innings and the visitors finished on 242-9 after 50 overs.

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Horley opened with the Derham brothers, Regan and Guy, but lost Guy early to the bowling of Dan Pollard (1-36). Regan (66) was anchoring the Horley innings, but Lingfield were taking regular wickets at the other end, thanks largely to Paul Langton, who bowled 23 overs in a single spell and took 3-109.

Matt Gainsford top-scored for Horley in their winning draw

At 88-4, Horley looked to be struggling. Gainsford tried his luck, getting dropped four times, but hitting four sixes and five fours in his 73, giving the Horley innings the impetus it needed.

With Regan Derham falling to a spectacular one-handed catch at midwicket off the bowling of Jake Edwards (3-55), the pressure was firmly put back on Gainsford with the score 130-5. Richard Waddington (19) provided a crucial partnership with Gainsford, to steer Horley up to 213 before falling lbw to Langton.

Gainsford ran out of luck, falling to Edwards with the score still on 213 and soon Horley were 213-8 after Edwards claimed another victim. Adam Stephenson and Robins saw Horley to the 218 required to secure the winning draw before seeing off the last two overs.

The result saw both teams move down one place in the table with Horley now in third and Lingfield in eighth. Horley travel away to Godalming next Saturday for the last timed game of the season.

Horley’s 2nd XI nudged up into second place in Surrey County League 2nd XI Division One with their eighth win in succession, winning at Sheen Park by three wickets.

The hosts won the toss and batted and Horley got off to a good start with both opening bowlers bowling well. Luke Smith made the first two breakthroughs, one caught by Jordan Robins and one caught and bowled.

Pratik Patel then held Sheen Park together with a well struck 60 whilst Horley bowled tightly to restrict them to 115-5. Sheen Park launched into the last ten overs and ended up on 210 -6 from the 45 overs. Trevor Stevens took two wickets and Alex Field and Ollie Millard one each.

Horley’s chase got off to the worst start possible as they slumped to 7-3 early on, but the middle order turned the game back around. First, Jordan Robins at number five came in and decided to counter-attack and counter-attack quickly, taking the Sheen Park bowlers to all ends of the ground on his way to a 23-ball 50.

Robins was finally caught at long on and Matt Reid continued the onslaught with 60 off 50 balls, supported by Smith (35). Millard finished off the chase with 17 not out as Horley passed the 210 off just 33 overs with three wickets to spare.

Horley face two big tests in their push for promotion in the next two weeks, as they entertain top-of-the-table Shepperton on 30 July, then travel to third-placed Croydon on the first Saturday of August.

Horley 3rd XI returned to winning form in Sussex Division 11 West, beating Crawley 3rds by 50 runs, with under-15s player Bailey Warren getting his highest score in adult cricket, 81.

Horley won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry, decent track. A good start saw Horley cruise to 28 before Ryan Bunn (14) missed a straight one. Three relatively quick wickets fell, losing opener Khyan Patel (14), Danny Patel (14) and Leon Watson (4) before Bailey Warren came in with Will Hofmann to steady the ship. They put on a very well-earned 64 partnership, with Hofmann making 26 and Warren 81.

Horley had a waggy tail and posted a decent total of 218.

Crawley’s reply did not start well, as they lost wickets at regular intervals with the opening bowlers Stewart Warren and Syed Usman taking three wickets each. Crawley were kept on a tight leash with some very economical bowling from skipper Joe Wildman, Darren Croft, Hofmann and Aidan Spalding restricting Crawley to 158 all out.

This is hopefully a turning point in Horley's season, as it was their first win in four games.

Horley’s Development XI beat a club which plays its first team cricket four tiers above them for the second week in succession, sneaking home by one wicket at Dorking after having beaten Leatherhead by five wickets the week before.

In the Surrey Trust League, clubs field teams made up of a combination of senior and colts players, so wins over teams featuring adults from such a high level in the Surrey league pyramid are hard to come by.

The stand-out Horley players in the win at Dorking were under-15s spinner Will Hofmann, who took 3-34 while Dorking were bowled out for 167 in 36.3 overs, and 16-year-old all-rounder Ben Stewart who batted superbly and held the Horley reply together as seven wickets fell for 55 runs at the other end, and finished on 81 not out from 80 balls, his career-best score.

Horley Development XI have four wins out of four in this season’s campaign and play strong opposition again next Sunday in the shape of Hampton Wick.