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Hornchurch’s cup hopes end at Colchester

PUBLISHED: 14:30 07 May 2017

Hornchurch's new South African signing Brian Barnard with captain Roy Smith

Hornchurch's new South African signing Brian Barnard with captain Roy Smith

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Final-over defeat for Smith’s men

Hornchurch's Taqi AbbasHornchurch's Taqi Abbas

Hornchurch were edged out of the Essex League Cup by Colchester after a hard-fought contest at picturesque Castle Park.

Roy Smith chose to bat first after winning the toss and saw Michael Bones and the returning Ronnie Saunders make a steady start in the face of accurate new-ball spells.

But Bones then top-edged to square leg and Billy Gordon, after a century against Old Southendians a week earlier, edged to slip for a fourth-ball duck to leave Hornchurch 27-2 in the seventh over.

Saunders was then bowled off his pads and Zeeshan Khan was trapped lbw six bals later as the visitors slumped to 42-4.

But Smith joined new South African signing Brian Barnard in a 10-over stand that produced 80 runs and got the innings back on track.

Barnard fell for 61 off just 49 balls, having his five sixes and three fours, and was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Taqi Abbas and Marc Whitlock.

Smith fell three runs short of his half-century, having his six fours in a 57-ball knock, and Mehad Khan departed to a second-ball duck to leave Hornchurch 178-9.

But Chamikara Mudalige had good support from last man Joe Defreitas as the pair put on 40 for the final wicket in 10 overs to set a more challenging target.

Mudalige was eventually dismissed for 39 and Hornchurch struck in the fourth over of Colchester’s reply as Mehad Khan had Omar Ahmed caught by Abbas.

Greg DeSilva and Jake Hebron put on 82 for the home side’s second wicket, before Abbas had DeSilva stumped by Bones for a 51-ball 50.

And four more wickets fell in quick succession, with Abbas claiming two of them and Whitlock also having success, as Colchester slipped to 133-6.

A 65-run stand for the seventh wicket got Colchester back on course, but Khan then returned to claim his second scalp.

Ollie Lovejoy kept his composure for the home side, though, to see them to the finish line with four balls to spare to end Hornchurch’s hopes of repeating their 2015 success, ahead of their Premier Division opener against Shenfield next weekend.

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