Southern Railway, Kenley and Selsdon Under-12s 115-4 (20 overs), Horley Under-12s 99-4 (20 overs). Southern Railway won by 16 runs.
A below-par bowling performance from Horley cost them a win in the league cup semi-final.
Horley put the hosts in, hoping to take early wickets and put Kenley under pressure. It looked like it was working when Edward James made an early breakthrough with a well-taken caught and bowled with only two runs on the board.
The top order were really struggling to score off the bat but as the innings progressed Horley lost their discipline a little, with wides and no balls becoming more frequent.
There were plenty of good deliveries too and Kenley only scored 66 runs off the bat, with Calum Doherty and Atishaya Jain making the lion’s share of that, retiring on 27 and 25 respectively.
Hugo Hobbs and Joe English were the most economical bowlers, while Jack Love, Evan Grimwood and Taylor Brooks took a wicket each and Grimwood and Brooks both held onto difficult catches.
The target of 115 was by no means out of reach for Horley and Harry Grimwood and Evan Grimwood started well, keeping up the required run rate for the first three overs, before Evan was caught at extra cover.
English came in and continued with his fine batting form, partnering a determined Harry Grimwood in a dogged partnership of 59 that presented few chances to the fielders.
Unfortunately the seven overs faced at the pavilion end were a complete write-off with the sun so low and bright that all the batters could do was hope to get bat on ball.
After English had been bowled out for 23 and Harry Grimwood had retired on 25 the Kenley umpire agreed the team would bowl all the last five overs at one end so the batsmen had their backs to the sun.
Ben Stewart, Hobbs, Benji Benetar and Luke Newton entered the fray but despite boundaries from Hobbs and Newton, the required run rate was too much against Kenley’s best two bowlers, who bowled extremely well, and Horley fell short of victory.
The team that bowled best won the game. Batting conditions may have conspired against Horley but the extras were just as big a problem.
Horley Under-12s 93-7 (20 overs), Oxted and Limpsfield Under-12s 96-4 (13.1 overs). Oxted won by six wickets.
A strong Oxted bowling attack restricted Horley to just 93 from 20 overs, which proved to be too few to defend.
Opener Harry Grimwood made 16, including some nicely-timed shots for boundaries but then wickets started to fall.
Joe English batted nicely for 11 runs but, like the openers, struggled to score quickly against tight bowling. Number four Ben Stewart fared a bit better and eventually retired on 28 after scoring five thumping boundaries.
The lower order tried to accelerate in the dying overs but couldn’t and Horley had just 93 runs to defend.
They were unable to produce their best bowling and fielding performance and Oxted passed the total with plenty of time to spare.
Two wickets from Taylor Brooks in two balls – the first a stunning catch from Benji Benettar - and one wicket from Hugo Hobbs reduced Oxted to 44-3 and gave Horley hope.
Then Jack Jordan made 26 off 12 balls and retired, taking the game away in spectacular fashion.
English took the fourth wicket but Oxted claimed the league points in this very strong division.
Lingfield Under-12s 89-5 (17.5 overs), Horley Under-12s 87-7 (20 overs). Lingfield won by five wickets.
Both sides played outstanding cricket in this hard-fought battle but Lingfield – who have a much bigger squad than Horley and fielded their strongest line-up - came out on top.
Horley chose to bat and lost an early wicket when Surrey age-group bowler Arthur Thilo – easily the quickest bowler this Horley team have faced this season – bowled Evan Grimwood.
Joe English was hit on the thigh first ball but was unperturbed and timed two fantastic fours to relieve some of the pressure and boost the confidence of the team.
Harry Grimwood and English made a very important partnership of 39 runs, being dismissed on 14 and 22 respectively.
Bailey Waarren and Ben Stewart got starts including a boundary each but lost their wickets unselfishly trying to move the score on in the last few overs. Hugo Hobbs then found some form with a more patient innings of 17 including three cracking boundaries and Joseph Barton ended up on six not out with a lovely pull shot for four.
It was a very low total to defend against a strong line-up but Horley took the match into the 18th over, putting in their best bowling and fielding performance in the last three years.
The opening pair only scored 10 runs off the bat in 38 balls and three wickets tumbled in quick succession – first a runout from Harry Grimwood, then an amazing low catch from English off Hobbs’s bowling, then a Harry Grimwood catch off Barton.
Thilo moved things along and made 14 before playing all round a super Stewart seamer, while his fellow county player Aaron Hockey was well caught by Benji Benetar off English’s bowling for 11.
Tom Chavasse and Jack Stephens, batting at six and seven, played really well to see Lingfield home, despite some brilliant stops in the field from Benetar and good captaincy from English.
Horley Under-12s 124-3 (18 overs), Sanderstead Under-12s 123-4 (20 overs). Horley won by seven wickets.
Horley won a good-natured match which definitely suited the batsmen with a total of 29 boundaries scored by the two sides.
Sanderstead chose to bat and Joe English and Hugo Hobbs opened the attack with straight and aggressive bowling, dismissing one opener each.
From there, Horley’s spirit was tested, up against some lovely stroke-play from the next three batsman and another 50 runs went on the board before Ben Stewart swooped in to run out Lucy Allen.
The next two batters both went on to retire with 26 and 27 runs respectively, their hard-hitting style forcing English to change his field and bowling order to try and slow the run-rate.
The flow of runs slowed dramatically after they left the field and Harry Grimwood picked up a runout before the innings closed.
Horley then had to undertake their first run chase of the season and the two Grimwoods, Harry and Evan (no relation) started watchfully against a probing bowling attack.
Helped by a few extras, the run-rate stayed above what was required and the momentum steadily increased as both batters found the boundary rope more consistently.
They both retired, with Harry on 28 and Evan 27, leaving Bailey Warren and Stewart to try to finish the job.
They hit a boundary each before county bowler Allen bowled them both, with Steward unlucky to face the ‘ball of the day’, according to Sanderstead’s umpire.
Man of the match Jack Love cashed in, bludgeoning 12 runs off 12 balls to bring Horley home with time to spare.
Horley Under-12s 138-1 (20 overs), Salfords Under-12s 91-6 (20 overs). Horley won by 47 runs.
Horley were put into bat by Salfords – their preferred option if they had won the toss – and the opening pair of Bailey Warren and Evan Grimwood made the most of their opportunity with the first four overs going at ten an over amid a flurry of boundaries off the pacey but inconsistent opening bowlers.
Warren won the race to retire first (27 from 14 balls) and Grimwood soon followed (27 from 19 balls).
Taylor Brooks misjudged a looping delivery to get trapped in front of the stumps, lbw, so Harry Grimwood joined Joe English at the crease. The scoring rate slowed for a while but Harry Grimwood finished strongly before retiring on 27.
English took a little longer to reach 25, but he never looked like getting out and anchored the innings responsibly through a difficult spell.
Ben Stewart added a couple of boundaries to finish on 11 not out, with the total at 138 for one.
Salfords’ opening batsman started well but thanks to some tight opening overs from Stewart, Harry Grimwood, Hugo Hobbs and Edward James the pressure soon told and Adam Perowne was run out by Stewart after taking one risk too many.
Sam Roberts was also run out, this time by Evan Grimwood, as Salfords tried to chase down their challenging target.
Wicket keeper Warren stumped Jack Timbrell off Ben Mitchell’s bowling, then Salfords’ number five Will Starkie managed to block out 34 balls without scoring before he retired hurt.
The next man, Edward Anderson, only lasted six balls before Joseph Barton clean bowled him and Harry Grimwood returned to take a well-deserved wicket thanks to a comfortable catch for Stewart.
Warren kept a clear head amongst the madness around him with a skilful run out as Salfords valiantly chased runs even off the last ball of the match, but Horley were comfortable winners.
Merstham U12s 55 all out (14.3 overs), Horley U12s 149-2 (20 overs). Horley won by 94 runs.
Horley U12s cruised into the second round of the League Cup with a big win over Merstham which included a hat-trick for Edward James – the first ever by a player in this team.
Horley chose to bat and opener Harry Grimwood hit a majestic 25 from 27 balls including four boundaries before he had to retire.
Batting conditions were actually quite tricky, with a low bounce on a dead pitch causing problems. Evan Grimwood and Joe English both survived a few scares to make 22 not out and 21 not out respectively. Hugo Hobbs chipped in with an exciting cameo of 17 from 17 balls before he was bowled and Merstham helped Horley amass an imposing total of 149 by conceding 61 extras, including 19 from no balls on a pitch where anything pitched short was almost guaranteed to bounce two or three times.
Horley’s bowlers had a terrific day, managing to pitch the ball up very well and the Merstham batters scored just 19 off the bat in total, with 36 extras taking them past the 50 mark.
English took two early wickets and Bailey Warren got a runout, then James stepped up to claim his rare hat-trick, all clean bowled. That earned him the Man of the Match trophy, but Hobbs and Benji Benetar also played key roles with two wickets each, while Erin Gooch was unlucky not to get a wicket and bowled the only maiden of the match.
Capel Under-12s 75-1 (10.5 overs), Horley Under-12s 74-7 (20 overs). Capel won by nine wickets.
Horley chose to bat first and their hopes were raised by a second-wicket partnership of 28 from Harry Grimwood and Evan Grimwood (no relation!) but the two then fell in quick succession, followed by skipper Joe English, and Horley’s chances of a big total were starting to look slim against a strong attack.
Bailey Warren played some lovely strokes, supported admirably by Benji Benetar, who never looked in real trouble until he was well stumped by William Simpson off Jack Ware (3-8 from 3 overs), ending their partnership of 23.
Scoring became more difficult and man of the match Warren was left unbeaten on a chanceless 18 from 31 balls. Harry Grimwood was the only other batter to reach double figures, making 16.
A total of 74 for seven was unlikely to be enough against such a good side, but English started well by clean bowling Joe Collins for two runs.
However, the next two batsmen never looked in any real trouble on a slow pitch, picking off short balls with ease. Horley gave all their players an over each before Capel eased past their total in the 11th over.
English and Erin Gooch were the only bowlers that had the batsman playing and missing, bowling a good length outside off-stump. Along with Gooch, Evan Grimwood was Horley’s most economical bowler.