Horley skipper Charlie Robins elected to bowl first on a day that looked like rain could play a part in the eventual result.
Horley were looking to make the most out of the conditions by taking early wickets and piling pressure on Chaldon.
They found these wickets via opening bowlers Charlie Robins (1-27) and Ben Davies (3-32) but Mohsin Iqbal (54*) provided the backbone of the innings, although he was running out of partners due to some fine bowling from Jordan Robins (2-15) and Guy Derham (3-42).
With the score at 100-9, Iqbal knew he needed to take more risks and added another 45 to the total before Adam Stephenson took the last wicket in the final over.
Horley’s opening pair of brothers Regan and Guy Derham set about chasing down Chaldon’s total of 145.
They set a good platform, making 25 and 52 respectively, enabling the rest of the Horley batsmen to come in and play freely.
Horley never really looked in any trouble with Nathan Baily (21) keeping the scoring going once Regan had fallen.
Davies (15*) and Ant Puttick (13*) finished the innings off in the 27th over, with Horley only losing four wickets.
Horley’s 20 points puts them in a strong position going into the last two league games of the season with a potential promotion decider next week against Battersea Ironsides CC.
HORLEY CC 2ND XI
After a recent run of poor results in the Surrey County League 2nd XI Premier Division, Horley CC 2nd XI were keen to achieve a win in their 45-over match against Horsley & Send CC, as they were sitting close to the relegation zone.
Horley won the toss and inserted their visitors with rain threatening. They bowled well in the first half of the Horsley innings but then a partnership of 71 for the fifth wicket set up Horsley for a reasonable total of 171-8.
The wicket-takers were Matt Puttick (1-32), Jonathan Barnett (1-31), Trevor Stevens (2-21), Luke Smith (1-21) and Darren Croft (2-27).
The total was always going to be challenging to Horley's batsmen given their recent form and this was certainly the case as Horley were bowled out for just 49 in 18.4 overs.
Only Andrew Thomas and extras managed to get into double figures.
With the two teams below them in the table playing each other, the winners overtook Horley, who now lie in the relegation zone, two points behind Southern Railway & Kenley CC with two games to play.
HORLEY CC UNDER-16s
Horley Cricket Club have a new champion team as their under-16s triumphed in a dramatic Sussex Festival Shield final.
Opponents Crowhurst Park chose to bat and an early wicket from Ben Stewart, caught well by captain Harry Grimwood behind the stumps, was just the start Horley needed, followed by an lbw decision for Thomas Clark, reducing Crowhurst to 29-2.
Then followed potentially the moment of the match. An in-swinging yorker by Evan Grimwood clean bowled Jacob Watson, their Sussex county batsman for a duck. The boys were thrilled as he’d scored over 300 runs in the week.
Further wickets for Evan Grimwood and Luke Smith restricted Crowhurst to 58-5 at drinks, but they battled on to make 131 all out in 37 overs.
Stewart finished with 3-36, Evan Grimwood and Clark both took a second wicket and there was one each for Luke Smith, Jacob Law and Ryan Bunn, while Khyan Patel got no reward for his economical spin bowling.
Openers Bunn (23) and Clark (17) gave Horley’s chase the flying start they were after, but then Crowhurst’s spin attack put Horley in a spin, as they collapsed from 44-1 to 67-6.
But Robin Paulett saved his best innings of the festival week for the final and put on a seventh wicket partnership of 58 with player of the match Evan Grimwood, both finding the boundary with cover drives to take Horley close to the winning line.
Paulett fell for a fantastic 41, then another quick wicket fell, but Evan Grimwood battled on alongside Usman Syed.
It took four overs to scrape the last handful of runs but with a slashing edge over third man Syed gave Horley a memorable triumph.
During the week leading up to the final Horley took maximum points from their group games. They beat Linden Park by three wickets (133 all out, 135-7), Felbridge and Sunnyside by 114 runs (233-6 declared, 119 all out) and Southwater by seven wickets (83 all out, 84-3), while East Grinstead conceded their match as they couldn’t raise a team.
Skipper Harry Grimwood starred in the win over Felbridge, scoring 109. It was an excellent innings off 114 balls, featuring 18 fours.
Smith made Horley’s second-highest individual score of the group games with 51. Syed (32), Bunn (26), Evan Grimwood (25 not out) and Law (23) also had good knocks in those three games and Stewart, Smith, Joe English and Alex Field took four wickets apiece, while Evan Grimwood took three, Syed, Taylor Wallbank and Bunn two each and Bailey Warren one.
Every player made some kind of contribution to the winning week as Horley put in terrific all-round performances and played with excellent spirit.
HORLEY CC DEVELOPMENT XI
Horley CC Development XI are now certain of a place in the semi-finals of the Surrey Trust League Tier Two after an excellent four-wicket win over Merstham CC.
With several of their usual colts players unavailable, due to a clash with the Sussex Festival Under-16s Shield Final, Horley called up players from the under-13s and their bowling and fielding helped Horley maintain their 100% record in the group games.
Merstham batted first and were bowled out for 142, with Will Hofmann taking 4-34, Aidan Spalding 2-36 and one wicket each for Daniel Sired, Jack Jee and Matt Gainsford.
Horley reached 143-6 in just 18 overs, recovering from 42-5 thanks to a terrific 55 not out from Ant Puttick and 56 for Gainsford.
Horley play Merstham again in their last group match this Sunday and will look to continue their winning run all the way to next month’s knockout stages.