Hornchurch captain wants big finish
15:30 05 September 2014
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Smith: We cannot let standards slip
Hornchurch captain Roy Smith has challenged his side to not let standards slip against Essex League Division Two basement boys Westcliff in their final match of the season tomorrow (Saturday).
Champions Hornchurch are aiming to end their successful year with another win and then get over to watch Belhus take on Orsett, with the winner likely to go up to Division One alongside Smith’s men.
“We have got a big season next year so people are still playing for their places,” said Smith, as he warned his team against complacency.
“We definitely want to end the season with a win. Hopefully we can get a nice early finish so we can go over to Belhus.
“We have to keep our standards high against Westcliff. If we lost, it wouldn’t be a disaster but, well we aren’t going to lose, we are going to win so it doesn’t matter.”
The Hornchurch captain admitted standards did slip last weekend when they drew their first game of the season with Orsett, as the visitors failed to chase 221.
Smith’s team accumulated 220-8, with Ronnie Saunders (40), Jamie Sorrell (38) and Chris Haylett (37) top scoring.
Surprisingly, though, their opponents didn’t push too hard in the chase and finished on 210-7.
Smith was puzzled by Orsett’s approach, but did admit his champions let their standards drop in their penultimate match.
He added: “I didn’t think it would end a draw, but we didn’t score as many as I would have liked.
“The wicket was a bit sticky and they bowled well on it. I thought they might have won it, but they started to stutter a bit which was surprising.
“The problem for us is once you have won the league it is easy to let standards slip.
“Our talk beforehand was to keep the standards up, but it is hard to be 100 per cent when your job is already done.
“It has been a hard season and we didn’t play as well as we could, but we still gave Orsett a decent game.”
Orsett won the second-team meeting, after George Clark (56) top scored in Hornchurch’s 158.
Dean Skipper (5-59) bowled a marathon spell in reply, but could not prevent a three-wicket loss.
Robin Sen (53) and Lowell Mason (48) led the thirds to 236-8 against Hutton, who were then dismissed for 155 as Alex Brown (2-11), Sam Childs (2-33) and Mo Khan (2-34) nabbed braces.
Alan Foxton (4-65) was the pick of the fourths bowling as West Essex thirds made 203-9, with Tafeeq (71) hitting three sixes and eight fours to top score in Hornchurch’s four-wicket win.
Sam Cross hit a six and 10 fours but fell three runs short of a century as the fifths made 241-4 against Wickford.
Cross put on 122 with Kevin Emery (53) before Danny Imray (5-39) and David Kiff (4-35) combined with the ball to claim a 108-run victory.