Horley – chasing a second successive promotion - were looking to bounce back from last week’s agonising defeat at home against league leaders Thames Ditton, but ended up losing narrowly to bottom-of-the-table Frimley.
A slightly damp track meant it was a good toss to win, but Horley lost and were put into bat.
The newly formed opening duo Matthew Gainsford (26) and Danyal Razzaq (10) set a solid first five overs with 30 on the board before a delivery to Razzaq stuck in the pitch and he edged it to the keeper.
Having been the hero with the ball in the previous two games, Adam Stephenson was keen to demonstrate his batting ability too. Gainsford was bowled by Luke Burrows for his second wicket but
Jonathan Barnett came in at four in the absence of Sam Remfry and he and Stephenson built an excellent partnership with a few cheeky singles, a six or two amongst great stroke play, taking Horley to 100 for two off 22 overs at the drinks break.
The track was slowly drying out and offering a little more to the batsmen, however Barnett could not capitalise on this and was dismissed for 34 shortly after drinks.
Incoming batsman was Matt Ware (19) contributed well with Stephenson before he too was bowled whilst looking to push the score along. Ben Remfry again showed his talent at such a young age with some wonder cover drives and leg flicks and the scoreboard ticked along nicely before he fell for 18.
By now skipper Charlie Robins was thinking about when to declare. He sent his brother Jordan Robins in to add some quick runs, which he duly did. Stephenson hit a huge six down the ground and Robins (38) sent the crowd wild with a few of his own. The two scored at ten an over for the last six overs and Horley declared on 231-6 when Robins was out. Stephenson batted maturely and elegantly making a patient and hard fought 73 not out.
Cricket is a game of two halves, and Horley made a sluggish start in the field, dropping a catch inside the first few overs. Runs were being freely scored by Frimley. Trevor Stevens – eight overs for 14 runs - did his best to tie down an end but unfortunately the pace of the ball off the bat at the other end did Charlie Robins no favours as he picked up a wicket, but went for 50 from seven overs.
The skipper turned to his brother to build some momentum and whilst Horley had some glimpses of getting back in, with the odd good ball, the runs just kept on flowing.
Jordan Robins dismissed the number three batsman and Jonathan Barnett clean bowled the remaining opener and the number four then later had number seven caught by Elliot Strode for a duck.
Barnett ended up with 3-26 from nine overs and Gainsford took two for 20 from five overs to conjure some sort of hope and put Horley back in the mix.
However the Frimley captain John Hebditch put a valiant individual effort as wickets fell at the other end, scoring 72 including some monstrous sixes. Horley were all too kind in supporting his quest with four dropped catches including one for what would have been the final wicket with five runs still needed to win.
Hebditch and Alex Ogilvy got Frimley home with a wicket to spare and Horley were left to rue their missed chances.
This week Horley play away at Ripley, who are third from bottom in the table. They are still within a fighting chance of climbing from fourth into one of the two promotion spots as just 13 points separate them from second.