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.