Horley Under-14s 207-9 (40 overs), Rottingdean 208-5 (35.3 overs). Rottingdean won by five wickets.
Horley Under-14s were unable to make it a league and Festival Bowl double as they were beaten in the final for the second year in a row, this time by a good Rottingdean side.
Put into bat, Zack Collins and Christian Kelly got Horley off to a good start with a big-hitting opening partnership of 56 before Collins was caught for a swashbuckling 31 in the tenth over (five fours).
Kelly and skipper Aryan Patel took the score past 100 before Kelly was caught behind for an excellent 45 after 21 overs (eight fours), then Patel and Freddie Holland kept up the momentum, putting on 72 for the third wicket.
Patel played a great innings, making his best ever score for Horley – 74, including 13 fours and a six – before he was bowled in the 32nd over with the score on 180.
Horley couldn’t keep up the momentum in the final eight overs. Holland was run out for 16 and Harry Grimwood made 11 but three other batters were out in single figures as they tried to hit out.
With a total of 207 to defend from 40 overs, Horley really needed some early wickets and unfortunately they didn’t get them.
Rottingdean’s openers put together a partnership of 41 before Ben Cooper bowled Sam Blatchford in the tenth over. Another eight overs went by before Cooper – who the batters were struggling to score from - picked up the second wicket, well stumped by Kelly.
Rottingdean were a little behind the run-rate as the mid point of the innings went by, but Horley knew they needed wickets and Patel brought himself back into the attack early and had Rottingdean skipper and opener Connor Bettsworth stumped by Kelly for 61 in the 26th over.
By then the score was 135 for three and the visitors were picking up the pace of their innings, so Horley’s only hope was to take more wickets. Patel struck again in the 28th over, bowling Luke Twigger for 36, but Rottingdean were looking like hot favourites to win and they reached the target with four overs to spare.
Patel rounded off an outstanding individual performance by taking a magnificent diving catch off Collins in the 31st over, but Rottingdean were too strong for Horley on the day.
Cooper was Horley’s best bowler, taking two for 25 from his six overs, including a wicket maiden. Patel took two for 27.
Considering Horley have just seven under-14s in their entire squad and always have to call on the best players from the under-13s and 12s, to be champions of their East Surrey Colts League and reach the Festival final is an achievement to be proud of.
Horley Under-14s will contest the final of the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Under-14s Bowl next month after earning maximum points from their two Bowl matches which escaped the rain last week – and seeing one of their players score a maiden century.
Horley had been due to play on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but the last two games were a washout for all 12 teams involved in the competition. However, Horley were top of the table thanks to great wins in the first two games and so qualified to play second-placed Rottingdean in the final, which should have been played on Sunday but had to be postponed due to the rain.
Christian Kelly was the star of the show in Horley’s opening win over West Chiltington and Thakeham on Monday 6 August as he hit 101 not out, becoming only the second player from any Horley team – adult or colts – to reach three figures this season.
Kelly’s previous highest score was 53, and the 14-year-old’s maiden century was crucial in allowing Horley to build an impressive total of 262 for five declared from 35 overs.
He opened the batting with Udith Molanguri, who was out for 44. Further down the order Ben Cooper made 41 and Zack Collins 20.
When West Chiltington and Thakeham replied Aryan Patel took three wickets for 13 from 4.1 overs, Bailey Warren took two for 12 from three overs, Collins two for 30 from six overs and there was one wicket each for Freddie Holland, Evan Grimwood and Molanguri.
Having wrapped up that 122-run win, with maximum bonus points, Horley entertained East Grinstead the following day and picked up another 20 points, this time winning by just two wickets.
East Grinstead batted first and were bowled out for 214 in 40 overs. Josh Barrott top-scored with 52, Collins and Cooper took three wickets each for Horley, Grimwood took two and Holland and Molanguri one each.
Kelly made 39 this time before he was run out, Collins top-scored with 58 while skipper Patel made 47. Warren and Shae Meacher saw Horley home under great pressure from a vocal East Grinstead side, with the innings ending at 218 for eight from 36 overs.
This Horley age-group side won the Sussex Festival Shield when they were under-11s, moved up a tier to the top-level Festival Bowl and were the losing finalists in the U13s competition last year and are now through to the showpiece once again.
Horley Under-14s 72-0 (seven overs), Reigate Priory Under-14s 69 all out (19 overs). Horley won by 10 wickets.
Horley consolidated their lead at the top of the league when they bowled out Priory for a low total and passed it in double-quick time.
Only three Reigate batters made double figures as Aryan Patel, Freddie Holland and Udith Molanguri took two wickets each and Zack Collins, George Bowers, Alex Field and Ben Stewart chipped in with one apiece.
Collins and Freddie Holland opened the Horley reply and made 36 and 26 respectively to knock off the runs required for no wickets. Collins hit eight fours and Holland five.
Limpsfield Chart Under-14s 28 all out (13.3 overs), Horley Under-14s 132-7 (20 overs). Horley won by 104 runs.
Horley cruised to victory over Limpsfield Chart, with Joe English taking three wickets for four runs from his two overs, finishing his spell with two in two balls.
Horley batted first and Christian Kelly top-scored with 31, while Aryan Patel made 21 and Zack Collins, George Bowers and Udith Molanguri all reached double figures.
In the second over of the reply, Freddie Holland bowled a double wicket maiden, English followed up with his first wicket from another maiden and Alex Field then matched him with a wicket maiden of his own.
Zack Collins ended up with the astonishing figures of two wickets for no runs from two overs and for a long time Limpsfield had lost more wickets than they had scored runs.
Evan Grimwood took two wickets for one run and wrapped up the win with more than six overs to spare.
Horley Under-14s 133-7 (20 overs), Reigate Priory Under-14s 70 all out (18.4 overs). Horley won by 63 runs.
It took a real team effort for Horley to win this cup match and progress to the semi-finals. They batted first and Zack Collins top-scored, retiring on 43, while Aryan Patel made 27 before playing on.
Freddie Holland was the only other top-order batsman to make double figures, reaching 14, and number 10 Evan Grimwood struck 10 off just three balls at the death of the innings to take the total past 130.
It looked a below-par total, but batting conditions had appeared to be a bit tricky and so it proved, as Priory were dismissed for just 70 in reply.
Evan Grimwood made the first breakthrough as Patel caught Calum Jordan, the Freddie Holland pulled off a direct hit runout and bowled Alfie Prince for 17 to reduce the visitors to 43-3.
Wickets tumbled after that, with George Bowers picking up two in one over and Harry Grimwood bagging three (two bowled and one caught behind by Christian Kelly). Patel conceded just one run from his three overs and got a caught and bowled, then Bailey Warren, an under-11s player, took the final wicket in his first match for this age-group.
Horley U14s 98-0 (9.1 overs), Banstead U14s 95-7 (20 overs). Horley won by six wickets.
Horley made it two wins out of two in the U14s league, restricting Banstead to a low total with a good all-round performance in the field, then knocking off the runs in double-quick time without losing a wicket. No fewer than 68 of their 98 runs came from boundaries.
Six Horley players took a wicket apiece – Udith Molanguri, Freddie Holland, Joe English, Zack Collins, Tommy McKenna and George Bowers. Holland also claimed a runout and took a catch, while Molanguri and Collins caught one victim each.
Collins and Christian Kelly opened Horley’s innings and Collins retired on 40, including six fours. Kelly, who had made 50 not out for the U15s two days earlier, was in fine form again, hitting six fours in his total of 31 not out, and Aryan Patel ended up on 23 not out (five fours).
Lingfield Under-14s 112-8 (20 overs), Horley Under-14s 113-6 (20 overs).Horley won by eight wickets.
Horley Under-14s made it two wins out of two this season with a memorable and nail-biting victory over their main rivals and last year’s league champions Lingfield.
Christian Kelly and opening partner Harry Grimwood set up the innings with a first-wicket partnership of 78 from 15.1 overs. In this league batters have to retire when they reach 40 and Kelly hit a six when he was on 39 to give himself the maximum individual score of 45 (six fours, from 49 balls).
Grimwood made 22 and skipper Aryan Patel 16, but four other wickets fell cheaply. Alex Field came to the crease with one ball of the innings to go and struck it sweetly for four, taking Horley’s total to 113.
Jake Edwards, Ollie de Havas, Caspar Arthur and Louie Pilkington took a wicket each for Lingfield and Sammy Maclay and Kieron Escott both claimed run-outs.
When Lingfield replied, Kelly took a good low catch off Patel’s bowling to dismiss Oscar Floyd with six on the board and Joe English bowled the other opener in the eighth over. A Freddie Holland run-out had Lingfield struggling at 35-3, but Harvey Roberts and Maclay put on 34 for the next wicket before Holland caught Roberts (28) off George Bowers.
Spinner Ben Cooper bowled the home side’s top-scorer Maclay (32) then Holland (2-12 from four overs) picked up two wickets, one a superb high catch by Patel.
Lingfield were edging nearer to Horley’s total despite the rapidly failing light. A pink ball was brought into play with three overs to go and the batters took a liking to it and scored heavily in the 18th over, leaving themselves needing just eight from the last two overs to win. But Holland conceded just two runs in the 19th over and Patel kept it tight at the death, so Lingfield required three off the last delivery.
The ball was struck along the ground to Field and he sent in a terrific throw to run out Jake Edwards as the batters went for a second run to try to tie the match, so giving Horley a one-run win.
Sutton Challengers Under-14s 104-5 (20 overs), Horley Under-14s 105-2 (16 overs).Horley won by eight wickets.
Horley Under-14s got their league season off to a winning start, passing the Sutton total with four overs to spare, which was just as well as it was nearly dark by that time and the red ball had been changed for a pink one to help the batters see it.
Sutton elected to bat and made a good start but slowed down once the top three were out of the way. Skipper Aryan Patel took two wickets for Horley and Alex Field and Joe English – from the under-13s and under-12s respectively – took one each. Harry Grimwood – another of the six under-12s in the Horley team – claimed a runout.
Patel got Horley’s reply off to a strong start, reaching 40 before league rules dictated he had to retire. Zack Collins made 29 and Christian Kelly was 21 not out when Grimwood hit the winning run.