Horsham breeze to victory against Cuckfield to stay in Nomads’ slipstream

Leading Premier League bowler Michael Munday's 6-20 on Saturday took him to 31 wickets for the season
Leading Premier League bowler Michael Munday's 6-20 on Saturday took him to 31 wickets for the season

On a blustery day at Cricketfield Road Horsham blew over Cuckfield to keep on the coattails of league leaders Preston Nomads.

The Premier League’s leading wicket-taker Michael Munday took another six - taking his tally for the season to 31 already - and his skill, combined with some poor shot selection saw a weakened Cuckfield bowled out for just 127.

In decidedly uninviting cricketing conditions Horsham were soon wrapped up warm having wrapped up their reply inside 29 overs - John Burroughs and Sam Attfield with an accomplished 61 stand to see the hosts to a third straight win.

Horsham stay 34 points behind Nomads after the champions also took maximum points in an impressive win over East Grinstead.

Skipper Gallagher said: “It was very convincing, a great team performance where the bowlers did the hard work and the batsmen completed the job, very satisfying.”

Gallagher admitted he was a little unsure whether to bat or bowl having won the toss in damp and overcast conditions, but swayed by his troops he stuck Cuckfield in and the decision was soon justified. Horsham’s overseas Will Williams, just back from injury, trapped James Thorpe LBW early and fellow opening bowler Stuart Whittingham found Joe Ludlow’s stumps with a thumping yorker.

Tom Cummins and Ollie Altendorf put on a stand of 48, Altendorf with some nice drives especially. But he went for a Cuckfield top score of 29, edging to Munday in the gully, giving young Jamie Thornley a first league wicket.

A fabulous running catch from Burroughs on the boundary then accounted for Cummins for 26 and from there the pack toppled. Munday caught and bowled Dom Sear for a duck and Keshav Maharaj was caught by John Barron trying to go over the top, leaving the visitors on 93-6.

So began the lesson in how not to play leg spinner Michael Monday. Bowling straight into a huge gale his flighted deliveries dropped out of the air sharper than a Kamikaze crash landing and lured both James Robinson (17) and Kurtis Browning into rush-of-blood swings. The result? Both missed, one bowled, one LBW.

In between those Williams had returned to the attack and got one to nip away from off stump to find the thinest of edges from Nick Patterson for Sam Bell to pouch behind.

And Munday completed his latest haul of 6-20 when Joe Cambridge top edged going for a big pull for Barron to take his second running catch.

Gallagher’s side haven’t been totally convincing chasing down modest totals this season, but gunning for 128 for victory James Johnson and Ben Shoare survived a good early run-out chance to put on 30 for the first wicket.

Both looked tidy, JJ with a some nice front-foot drives to the rope, before Shoare was given leg before trying to sweep. Cuckfield didn’t take long to introduce the left arm spin of Maharaj, who claimed two LBWs, Johnson the next ball after pulling for six and then Williams for 10.

Attfield joined Burroughs though and the pair put on a nerveless stand, Burroughs having to work a little harder for his unbeaten 41 with the outfield slow while Attfield continued his good form with the bat with 34 not out from 32 balls as Horsham claimed victory by seven wickets.