Cricket: Hornchurch open up gap at top of Premier Division
PUBLISHED: 12:17 19 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:17 19 August 2018
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Hornchurch moved 14 points clear at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division table with a comfortable victory over 2017 champions Chelmsford.
Captain Billy Gordon and Muhammad Irfan took three wickets apiece as the visitors were dismissed for 130 in 34 overs at Harrow Lodge Park, before Ronnie Saunders hit an unbeaten 71 to seal an eight-wicket win.
Nearest rivals Wanstead, meanwhile, claimed only eight points from their match at Brentwood as they lost by five wickets, leaving Gordon’s men dreaming of the title with only three matches to go.
Gordon put Chelmsford into bat and claimed the early scalp of Dan Hagen, before Mehad Khan removed Robert Hayto and Saunders ran out Nick Prowtinng to make it 13-3.
Khan (2-22) struck again with the total on 26 and Gordon (3-50) picked up further wickets either side of Irfan’s first success to leave Chelmsford 52-7.
Irfan claimed the eighth wicket after only four more runs had been added to the total, before Sean Suullivan and Mark Drain combined in a 36-run stand for the ninth wicket.
Monty Panesar ended their defiance, with Drain left unbeaten on 41 after adding another 38 with last man Tom Halsey, before Irfan (3-34) wrapped up the innings.
Hornchurch lost Jamie Sorrell cheaply in reply, but Irfan hit three fours in a quick 10-ball 18.
Gordon then joined Saunders at the crease and they put on an unbroken 92 for the third wicket, with the skipper hitting a six and five fours in his unbeaten 30 from 40 balls.
Saunders struck two sixes and 11 fours in his 71 from just 54 deliveries as Hornchurch claimed their 11th win in 15 outings this summer.