Horsham ‘gave everything they could’ despite falling to a four-wicket home defeat against Cuckfield in a special T20 game on Saturday, according to skipper Michael Thornely.
Rain throughout Sussex plagued many games, with every Premier Division match bar the Lions’ being cancelled, but the umpires and captains agreed that the ground would be fit for a T20.
Lightning quick totals from Craig Gallagher (52 off 44 balls) and Thornely (55* off 43) helped Horsham to 158-4 off their allotted overs.
But Cuckfield found a way to blast 159-6 with three balls to spare to secure a narrow victory.
The Lions remain second-from-bottom and are now 36 points behind place-above Cuckfield.
Thornely said: “It was a big game as far as the league was concerned but there’s not much that we could have done differently.
“The guys gave everything they could. They gave their all for the whole 40 overs and unfortunately we just came out on the wrong side.
“It was such a tight margin for winning and losing. We didn’t make any silly errors, it was just a case of a couple of runs here or there.
“Cuckfield played very well. It just wasn’t mean to be.”
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Tom Haines and Gallagher opened for Horsham and Haines hit 29 from 21 balls before he was caught off Nick Patterson (1-30).
Thornely joined Gallagher at 49-1 and the pair put on 62 before Gallagher was caught by Joe Cambridge, just managing not to carry it over the boundary for six, off Ben Candfield (2-28).
At 111-2 with five overs to go a big score was on the cards but some tight bowling from Candfield, taking a second wicket and affecting a run out kept Horsham to 158-4
Needing eight runs an over, Brad Gayler and Ludlow picked up the task. Gayler hit 28 from 20 balls before he was caught off the bowling of James Brehaut (1-30) with the score 29-1.
Ludlow took revenge on Brehaut as he hit his next over for six fours. Ludlow fell for 29 from just 15 balls leaving Cuckfield 74-2 after seven overs.
With the required rate down to a run-a-ball, Harry Clark came to the crease and hit 32 from 25 balls, to get Cuckfield within spitting distance.
Three wickets for Akshay Ramani (3-27) was not enough as Ben Caidan (six*) and Abi Sakande (four*) saw Cuckfield home with three balls to spare.
The Lions travel to local rivals and league leaders Roffey on Saturday.