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.