The U14 Falcons faced a tough match against Horley in their cup semi-final last week.
Merstham captain Noah Young won the toss and decided to bat, on a scorching hot evening at The Ring.
Young opened the batting with Aditya Chougule and the pair quickly took advantage of an early mishap in the first over, followed by Chougule knocking two consecutive fours at the start of the second.
Tighter bowling and fielding from Horley saw the wickets of both Young and his replacement Matt Retter fall in the third over and Merstham found themselves at 19-2.
Chougule continued to progress, hitting more boundaries and new partner Jude McRobbie contributed with a quick seven before he was bowled with the score at 45.
Matt Retter’s twin, Luca, joined Chougule at the crease and worked well to support the opening batsman who continued to pile on the runs, retiring in the 10th over having reach 40 off 28 balls.
Following the retirement, Merstham lost another quick wicket, now bringing Max Anderson to the crease.
Anderson settled down quickly, hitting boundaries until Horley took two quick wickets in the 15th over, leaving the score at 86-6.
Liam Barry joined Anderson and the pair enjoyed a partnership of 28 runs, the highest of the match, until Barry was out for seven in the 19th.
His wicket was immediately followed by the loss of Theo Elliott, leaving U12s Flynn McRobbie - younger brother of Jude - to carry his bat, as Anderson was bowled for 36 runs with one ball of the 20th over to spare. Merstham were all out for 125.
Horley’s very reachable target of 126 was met head on by Merstham’s opening bowlers, Aditya Chougule and Matt Retter. Retter claimed the wicket of Horley’s opening batsman with the score at one in the second over.
Unfortunately for Merstham, Horley quickly ramped up their run rate with a second wicket partnership of 51 before Noah Young claimed the second wicket. 14 runs later Retter claimed his second wicket of the match, bowling out Horley’s newest batsman.
With the score on 78-3, Horley’s opener retired having reached 40 runs, and Retter seized the opportunity to yet again bowl the new batsman for a duck. Noah Young and Jude McRobbie bowled in tandem to pin back Horley, keeping hopes of a win alive for the home side.
In the 19th over, Horley’s number seven was run out and by the end of the 19th, Horley were on 115-5. Merstham had also been on 115 runs at the same point but had been eight wickets down.
Matt Greaves had the pressure of bowling the final over and the task of restricting the runs. It was a job that he did admirably as Horley were also feeling the pressure, losing another wicket to a run out with the second to last ball.
At the end of the 20 overs, Merstham had restricted Horley to 122 runs. Winning by four runs, Merstham had fought hard and earned their place in the final of the U14 ESCL cup.
U14 Falcons: Max Anderson, Liam Barry, Aditya Chougule, Ben Clements, Theo Elliott (w), Matt Greaves, Luca Retter, Matt Retter, Flynn McRobbie, Jude McRobbie, Noah Young (c).