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Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith wanted more from final match, but has enjoyed captaining Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 September 2017

Roy Smith in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

Roy Smith in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Contest at Harrow Lodge Park between hosts and already relegated Upminster ended up being ruined by the wet weather

Roy Smith was disappointed Hornchurch were unable to finish with a win at home to Upminster during the last match of the 2017 Essex League Premier Division season on Saturday.

The hosts were on 128-5 from 31.4 overs when the match came to an early conclusion due to the poor weather in Havering.

It meant Smith’s last game as Hornchurch skipper ended as a stalemate, which saw his team drop to fifth in the table with Shenfield winning at Ilford.

He said: “It was a shame to finish like that. We tried our best to get some type of game going without it being a farce, but we had to settle for six points in the end.”

Once the heavens opened, it was always going to be difficult for Hornchurch and local rivals Upminster to force a result.

Smith added: “Unfortunately the rain beat us. The ground was fairly wet and we seemed to get a massive downpour in the afternoon, which obviously must have missed a lot of other places.

“It just made the rest of the square saturated and we couldn’t get the full game in, which was a shame.”

When play was underway, Hornchurch changed it up with bowlers Mehad Khan and Chamikara Mudalige opening the batting.

Khan went on to score 30 off 61 balls, including three fours and one six, while spinner Mudalige hit 32 in quick time.

“They both did very well,” said Smith. “They played some good shots at the start, which got their confidence up and then they started to play properly in tricky conditions, so it was good to see.”

After Khan and Mudalige were dismissed, Michael Bones scored 32, but Upminster fought back with Alan Ison taking 3-3 from his four overs.

The rain meant no real battle between the two old foes could take place and it brought the 2017 season to a close in disappointing fashion.

With the poor weather forcing the game to be a draw, it also meant Smith’s time as captain of Hornchurch finished on Saturday.

He revealed last week that he would be stepping down after four successful years in the post at Harrow Lodge Park.

After leading the club from Division Two into the Premier, he can reflect on many high points during his leadership.

“It has been a privilege to captain Hornchurch and I have always liked a challenge, but I was confident we could do well,” said Smith.

“Things were looking good at the halfway stage last season when we beat Wanstead in June and we were sitting top.

“Unfortunately a couple of injuries and the loss of Paul Walter to Essex contributed to us falling away and finishing in fourth, so that was probably one of the highlights for me.

“It showed what could have been maybe, but overall it has been really good times over at Hornchurch.”

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