Horsham complete Portman U15 finalists

Ecb U15 National Club Championship

Horsham’s U15s completed a great week for the Sussex club as they came through the Regional Finals of the Portman Building Society U15 National Club Championship on their home patch to complete the line-up for the National Finals later this month.

With the club’s senior side having reached the Lord’s final of the Cockspur Cup at the weekend, Horsham’s rising stars had the chance to make it a memorable few days – and didn’t let the side down as they booked their place in the National Finals quartet at Bournemouth Sports Club on August 17.

They will now take on Swardeston from Norfolk, Heaton Mersey from Manchester and hosts Bournemouth for a crack at the national title.

Horsham faced Mildenhall in their semi-final, and were led from the top of the order by opener Andrew Hornely, who cracked 66, with support from Tom Carrington-Smith (35) as the hosts posted a daunting 165 for seven from their 20 overs.

That always looked a tall order for their Suffolk opponents, who were unable to keep up with the run-rate and lost regular wickets. Opener Chris Baugh made 33, but no other Mildenhall batsman was able to pick up the baton faced with some tight bowling from Jonathan Whiting (2-9), Max Coleman (2-18) and James Forbes-King (2-8) – and their innings ended on 94 for nine.

Uxbridge must have been happy with their 136 for six against Bexley in the other semi-final, Taj making 44, while Doherty took 4-33 from his four overs.

However, they were overwhelmed by the Kent side’s reply, as openers Bell (35 not out) and Moore (102 not out) powered them to 140 without loss with over four overs to spare.

The final proved a tighter affair, with Horsham put in to bat and making 119 for six, Coleman (30), Joe Clark (27) and Matt Bassett (23) all getting in but unable to tear into the Bexley attack in the same fashion as against Mildenhall earlier.

But the Horsham bowlers completed the job, with Philip Roper the star with 4-11 from four overs, as they restricted Bexley to 78 for eight; only Jack Bell (23) getting past the 20 mark.

Uxbridge took the third-place play-off, making 156 all out, and then restricting Mildenhall to 117 for six.

Chris Nash, captain of Horsham U15 when they played in the National Final in 1997, and now in the 2nd X1 at Sussex CCC, assisted with the prize presentations.

National Finals day line-up:

Swardeston v Bournemouth
Heaton Mersey v Horsham