Horley Cricket Club 1st XI secured promotion to the Surrey County League Premier Division despite a heavy defeat in their final league match of the season.
Sitting in second place in the table before the game, nine points ahead of third-placed Putney, Horley were skittled out for 82 by Shepperton and were unable to return the favour, as their visitors made 83-2 to win the game. Horley then had to endure a long wait to find out Putney’s result and, to their delight, when the news came through during the evening it was good, as Putney had picked up just six bonus points in a loss to bottom-placed Old Tenisonians, so Horley had hung on to the second promotion spot behind champions London Gymkhana.
This was Horley’s second season in Division One, having been promoted at the end of 2017 after three seasons in Division Two. They won six of their first seven matches this year then went off the boil a bit with three draws mid-season and only two wins out of their last five games.
Nevertheless, skipper Charlie Robins was obviously delighted they had secured promotion.
“After we lost the last match, when we thought we might have blown our chance of going up, we were saying to each other that to finish third would be all right – we would have been happy with that at the start of the season.
“But, after the way we started the season, we had hopes, and so we are buzzing to be going up.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this league – all the top teams lost their last match and all the bottom teams won.”
Horley’s second team had already sealed the County League 2nd XI Division One title with a match to spare, and with their T20 team finishing as losing finalists, it has been an extremely successful season for the club. They expect life in the Premier Division to be tougher still, but Robins said: “Our team is really young – the average age is about 25, so we can get better.”