A sublime innings of 108 by Jonathan Barnett helped Horley secure a valuable win at Ripley.
Horley were top of the league before the start of play on Saturday, but have London Gymkhana snapping at their heels, and so felt a victory at Ripley was essential to their title ambitions.
Horley were put in to bat and struggled early in tough conditions, losing three wickets for just 16 runs on the green surface.
However, number three Richard Waddington and batsman five, Barnett, were able to steady the ship, and Horley reached 100 in the 34th over without losing another wicket. Both batsmen soon reached 50, and the run rate picked up rapidly. When Waddington was dismissed for 62, the score read 151-4.
From there, Barnett made the pitch look like a flat track, tearing into the bowlers with a flurry of boundaries to all parts of the ground. He raced to his first first-team century of the season, eventually falling for 108.
After 45 overs, Horley had amassed 208-6. Tim Grech was the pick of the Ripley bowlers, taking three for 31 from nine overs.
Ripley immediately struggled under the pressure of maintaining the required run rate. Charlie Robins and Guy Dereham bowled a tight opening spell and Ripley were seven for one after eight overs. Several batsmen got themselves in and then got themselves out and when Dylan Knight and Tim Russell were building a decent partnership, rotating the strike, Trevor Stevens dismissed them both in the same over. He and Charlie Robins ended up with three wickets apiece, while Jordan Robins took two and Barnett one, ensuring that Ripley were unable to complete their task, eventually being bowled out for 171.
Horley are eight points ahead of London Gymkhana at the top of the Surrey County League Division One table with four games to go. This Saturday they entertain mid-table Sheen Park.