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Hornchurch Athletic hopes hit

08:30 03 September 2014

Hornchurch Athletic's Sam Samarasekera celebrates the fall of a Brookweald wicket at Hylands Park (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Hornchurch Athletic's Sam Samarasekera celebrates the fall of a Brookweald wicket at Hylands Park (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Samarasekera reflects on failed promotion bid

Hornchurch Athletic captain Sam Samaraskera was bitterly disappointed to miss out on promotion to Mid-Essex League Division One, but admitted his side were beaten by Brookweald’s Ashan Yousef.

Yousef smashed 115 in his side’s total of 272-9 and Athletic could only muster 177 in reply after losing a host of early wickets to the centurion.

Samaraskera rated the Brookweald batsman’s innings as the best he has seen and could only hold his hands up and admit his team had been beaten by a breathtaking knock.

“I am bitterly disappointed and to be honest we were beaten by one man,” said the disappointed Athletic captain.

“The young lad played brilliantly. I have watched a lot of club cricket but I think that is the best innings I’ve seen, especially in terms of the way he paced it.

“Wherever I put the fielders he would hit it away from them and I didn’t think that we bowled too badly. Nobody bowled really poorly, but he just allowed other people to get to 30.”

Paul Humphries (3-56) was the pick of the Athletic bowlers and Samarasekera felt his side had a chance of chasing down 273, but knew they had to start well.

Unfortunately Yousef (2-55) picked up two early wickets, including the captain, and despite a half century from James Coote (53), Athletic went down by 95 runs.

Samaraskera was left rueing the talents of Yousef, adding: “It was a fantastic innings and then he comes out and he bowled really well.

“We had some bad luck too. Ross (Raftery) has been brilliant all season, but he left a straight one and I had one that hit my hip, then bum, and bounced up.

“That is what happens with momentum I suppose, it goes like that. The off-spinner Kabir Rashid (4-27) bowled really well as well to be fair.

“We bat long, though, and I genuinely thought we had half a chance if we got off to a good start because me and Ross have been in good form. But losing the early wickets killed us.”

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