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Hornchurch Athletic set for a ‘title decider’

Harry Gilham of Hornchurch Athletic celebrates taking a Rainham wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Harry Gilham of Hornchurch Athletic celebrates taking a Rainham wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Friday, August 1, 2014
3:30 PM

Skipper Samarasekera hopes to complete a win double

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Hornchurch Athletic captain Sam Samarasekera feels the outcome of their top-of-the-table clash at home to Canvey Island tomorrow (Saturday) will be 
the title decider.

The top two go up from the Mid-Essex League Division Two, but skipper Samarasekera has his eyes firmly fixed on top spot.

“We beat them in the reverse fixture earlier in the season so we’ll be hoping to secure the double,” said Samarasekera.

“We’ll be strong on Saturday, but I think whoever wins the match wins the title.

“The top two do go up from the division, but you always want to be the champions.”

Samarasekera led from the front in last weekend’s 49-run victory over Little Waltham, notching 122 with the bat as his side posted 276-7.

He was joined in the act once again by Ross Raftery (42), while there was also an unbeaten 49 from Paul Humphries.

However, the skipper almost thought he had made a mistake when winning the toss and choosing to bat first.

“It was tough to start with on a damp wicket,” he added.

“It was damper than I thought and when it was nipping around in the first few overs I thought I had called it wrong.

“But it’s nice as a skipper to lead from the front and get a big hundred, while Ross kept up his good form, and it was nice for Paul to make a contribution.

“He has been struggling with injury a little bit of late, but it was a good 49.

“He had a few chances late on to get to the half century, but he just couldn’t get one away.” 
Little Waltham’s batsmen went out all guns blazing in reply, scoring at almost 10 runs an over early on.

But James Coote’s second spell reaped the rewards as he ended with figures of 4-38, while all-rounder Humphries (4-34) had a day to remember with a fine haul of his own.

“They came out and had a real go,” added Samarasekera.

“They were about 70-0 off six or seven overs, but James came back well in his second spell and Paul rounded off a good day.”

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