Horley 1st XI kept themselves in the hunt for the Surrey County League Division One title with a win over Whiteley Village, who are fighting for survival at the foot of the league.
In perfect conditions for bowling, Horley were put in but started well by not losing any wickets in the first ten overs and working hard to rotate the strike. At the drinks break Horley were in a strong position as they were only two wickets down and had built a good platform.
Opener Matt Reid pushed the innings along smartly by knocking boundaries when needed and working the scoreboard with relative ease. The rest of the Horley batting line up assisted Reid well by rotating the strike and looking to push the fielders as much as they could for that extra run. Horley ended up on a respectable total of 199 for six after their 45 overs. Reid was very unlucky not to get his 100, as he was out for 96.
As a bowling unit Horley knew they had to put Whiteley under pressure early by starving them of runs. Charlie Robins and Guy Derham started as they have every week, bowling the right lines and conceding few runs. As each over went by the required run-rate pushed up and up, making the batsmen play shots they didn’t need to.
The first three wickets fell with less than 40 on the board, but the fourth wicket partnership showed determination and good understanding of what was needed. Robins brought himself back on to bowl to break this partnership and did so with the second ball of his spell. From there, the opposition struggled to find runs and the Horley bowlers continued to apply the pressure, eventually bowling them out for 119, for an 80-run win. Trevor Stevens took three wickets for 21, Jonathan Barnett and Robins took two wickets each.
With two league matches to go, Horley are just seven points behind first-placed London Gymkhana and they play them away on Saturday. Horley have a 23-point cushion over the third placed club, so a handful of bonus points will guarantee them second place and promotion.