Horsham hold nerve to lift Cup
Horsham were crowned Cockspur Cup champions for 2005 after a thrilling last-ball victory over Barnt Green at Lord’s.
The Sussex side posted 220 for nine in a match reduced to 40 overs by the weather, and then restricted their midlands opponents to 217 for eight after they failed to get the nine runs needed off the final over, and four off the last ball.
The game was delayed due to a deluge of overnight rain, but still provided a magnificent specatacle for the recreational club game in general.
Barnt Green were only able to manage a single off the final delivery from Horsham skipper Luke Marshall, who secured the National Knockout for his club for the first time.
Horsham’s innings was built around 64 from Howard Kasey and 50 from fellow opener Craig Gallagher, who put on 93 for the first wicket, with Sussex’s Chris Nash making 58 at number three.
But with former England spinner Richard Illingworth (3-27) and his son Miles taking four wickets between them, Horsham were denied the huge total that looked likely when they sat at 199 for three, a lower-order collapse threatening to derail their early good work.
Matthew Dallaway powered Barnt Green towards their target with 64, putting on 69 for the first wicket with Hall (36).
But although James Samworth came in at number six and fired a rapid 60, he was denied the necessary support to keep the midlanders up with the run-rate.
When seven remained to be got from four balls, left-hander Simon Frogatt venured to clear the short boundary with a big heave, missed and was lbw to 24-year-old Marshall.
Off the next ball Gareth Williams was run out attempting a risky single. Samworth got two from the penultimate ball, but a four off the last delivery eluded him.
Marshall, understandably overcome by events, paid tribute to his young side, averaging only 24: "Chris Nash has been the star of the comepetition for us because he has scored a load of runs, and Mark Nash has performed well with the ball - but is in the field where we have really shone."
Marshall has led his side from the front all season and his brave bowling at the death as well as masterminding their tactical assault on this year's Cockspur Cup has earned him another accolade.
He has been named as this month's Wisden Cricketer Club Cricketer of the Month, sponsored by Cockspur Rum.
Leading them in their march to Lord's started in May when Horsham beat Dulwich in the group stages. Victories against East Molesey and Beckenham saw them top the group to set up a regional final agaianst Walton-on-Thames.
After cruising to victory by eight wickets they went on to beat highly-fancied Tedddington in the sixth round and Sunbury in the quarter-finals, then defeating Havant in the semis to book their passage to the final.
Horsham became the second Sussex side to lift the trophy after Eastbourne's triumph in 1997.
As well as picking up the £6,000 winners cheque Marshall will lead his side out on an all-expenses paid trip to Barbados for the 28th annual Rumsey Pro am this November with a host of ex-Test cricketers including Nick Knight, Robert Croft, Phil De Frietas, Steven Rhodes, Darren Gough and Mark Ramprakash.
Marshall wins a cerificate, a bottle of Cockspur Rum and a Woodworm bat as his prize for being this month's Cockspur Club Cricketer of the Month. He will also be a guest of honour at this year's Club Cricket Confernce Annual Luncheon held at the Cafe Royal on Monday November 28 where the Cockspur Club Cricketer of the Year wil be announced.
Cockspur Cup Final:
Horsham 220-9 (40 overs): HJ Kasey 64, CI Gallagher 50, CD Nash 58, R Illingworth 3-27, RJ Hall 2-28
Barnt Green 217-8 (40 overs): MJ Dallaway 64, RJ Hall 36, JP Samworth 60, C Nash 2-38, CJP Baker 2-35
Horsham won by 3 runs