Remembering when Horsham Cricket Club triumphed at Lord's

Skipper Luke Marshall celebrates the win at Lord'sSkipper Luke Marshall celebrates the win at Lord's
Skipper Luke Marshall celebrates the win at Lord's
Fifteen years this week, Horsham enjoyed one of the greatest days in the club's history - by winning the Cockspur Cup at Lord's. Here Martin Read remembers the day and talks to some of the people involved.

August 23, 2005, was a huge day for Horsham Cricket Club - winning the prestigious national Cockspur Cup Final at Lords’s. 15 years ago, but still very fresh in the memory of those lucky enough to be present

Overnight rain threatened the game. But, former England spinner Richard Illingworth - umpire in the most recent Test against Pakistan – was captaining opponents Barnt Green, and persuaded the reluctant Lord’s groundsman to provide a wicket.

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Inserted, Horsham got off to a flyer, Howard Kasey (64) and Craig Gallagher (50) putting on 93, Sussex’s Chris Nash following with 58. At 199-3 a killer total beckoned, until Illingworth and his son shared four cheap wickets, Horsham subsiding to 220-9 off their 40 overs.

Replying, Barnt Green began with a 50 partnership, but Horsham chipped away, Chris Baker and Chris Nash taking two wickets apiece.

60 from Dallaway left the Birmingham Leaguers needing eight from the palpitating, brave last over from 24 year old skipper Luke Marshall. Aiming to clear the short boundary, Frogatt was LBW, then Williams was run out attempting a suicidal single, until Samworth, on 57, got two off the penultimate ball, but, with four required, only a single resulted, giving Horsham victory by three runs.

Picking up the £6,000 winners’ cheque, Cockspur Cricketer of the Month, Marshall later led his side on an all expenses paid playing trip to Barbados, meanwhile praising his young side’s fielding, and Man of the Match Chris Nash’s runs throughout the tournament.

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Ahead of Lord’s underestimated Horsham saw off Dulwich, East Molesey, Beckenham, Walton-on-Thames, Teddington, Sunbury, and Havant.

Horsham Chairman Richard Marshall told the County Times: “This was an extremely proud family occasion for me, and the club – a fantastic game of cricket at a lovely place, perfect!” Craig Gallagher, later Horsham Captain, and still playing for the 1st XI, said: “I remember it fondly, such a great build up. The last ball came to me in the covers and fortunately I stopped it! An unbeatable day for the club.”

The then Horsham President, John Dew, described the attainment as “the best day of my life”, while, after enjoying his son’s bowling, Paul Baker added: “What really pleased was that 11 of our 12 at the final had grown up through our colts’ system. And, its the only occasion in a Lord’s final where there have been two sets of brothers in a team (the Nashes, and the Gallagher twins). The other great thing was the wonderful sponsorship we had from Graham Ripley of IDentilam – the win meant so much to him”

Scorer Kevin Bethell said: “A golden era for Horsham cricket – we’d won the Premiership the year before and notched up 4 Sussex Cup titles on the bounce, yet weren’t playing well in the league. But on Cockspur Sundays it was different – we were so determined!” Today’s scorer, Tom Hogsflesh couldn’t be present, but was excited to hear Bill Frindall announce the result on Test Match Special.

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Like the final, all rounds were well supported, Brian Martin telling us: “We had coaches going everywhere – six went up to Lord’s ! It was so enjoyable following the team.” Neil Chartres also toured, saying: “It was such a fantastic experience!” Chris Scovell agreed, with: “In a summer of tight finishes, this was another nail-biter – a credit to both clubs and an excellent advert for cricket.”

Horsham’s Shaka Shambrook summed up with: “We’d won the Ashes and the Cockspur Final was so great for Sussex cricket. Local clubs, including Horsham Rugby, got together, many going up by train for a wonderful day.”

Horsham’s triumphant team – Luke Marshall, Chris Baker, Craig Gallagher, Paul Gallagher, Chris Garcia, Will Howard, Phil Hudson, Howard Kasey, Chris Nash, Mark Nash, Michael Thornely (current 1st XI skipper) + Ollie Wassell (12th man)