Slinfold Rams win the Mirfield Cup - again!
The well-attended Mirfield Cup Final has long been an outstanding event at Horsham Cricket Club, providing entertaining T20 evening cricket, and this season’s game was no exception, with Slinfold retaining the title to lift the silverware for the fifth time.
Confident Slinfold won the toss and elected to bat, but at the half way mark they were a modest 47-4 after Horley Hackers’ Ben Davies had clung onto two early catches in the deep, helping Chris Cosham to a miserly 3-18 from his four over allocation.
But, Fazlan Nizamdeen and Slinfold skipper Dan Smith set about improving the situation, scoring 87 between them from 62 balls, including two sixes apiece. Smith was obliged to retire on 50 under the competition rules, Nizamdeen departing for 37 courtesy of an excellent caught and bowled by Guy Derham.
Outgoing batsmen were saying that 140 would be a good score, the wicket being slow after continuous covering in the preceding monsoon, and Slinfold set Horley a 142 run target, made even more demanding when Nizamdeed executed a superb direct hit run out in their first over.
When all rounder Adam Goacher came on to bowl, Slinfold’s otherwise tidy fielding lapsed with two dropped catches, but Smith later showed the way with a spectacular diving grab, and, Horley were falling behind the run rate, needing 50 off their last six overs.
Despite vociferous encouragement, once Anthony Puttick was out for 42, and Jordan Robins for 29 – both dismissed by Nizamdeen - there was little further hope for the Surrey side, Tom Endacott (3-17) and Smith (2-21) running through the middle and lower order to give Slinfold a relatively comfortable 23 run win – scorecard link https://slinfold.play-cricket.com/website/results/4950089.
Smith told the County Times: “We were at least 20 runs short half way through our innings, but we found that it was easier to score from the town end and were happy between the innings. Our ground fielding was fine, and, although we shelled a couple of catches, we defended well.”
Sussex Slam organiser Matt Camp and long-serving Horsham stalwart, David Horsman, praised the club’s groundsmen Richard Marshall and Laurence Gosling for overcoming the very demanding conditions to ensure play, and commended the players for giving spectators an enjoyable game to watch, before concluding with a tribute to match umpires Bob Daisley and Richard Lewin.
Slinfold’s Mirfield success gains them entry to the Sussex Slam Finals Day, switched from Hove to Horsham - on Bank Holiday Monday.