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Hornchurch ‘have to respect rivals’

Hornchurch players celebrate a wicket against Gidea Park & Romford during their last meeting in 2013 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Hornchurch players celebrate a wicket against Gidea Park & Romford during their last meeting in 2013 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Friday, May 23, 2014
5:00 PM

Captain Smith has derby warning

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Everything may have gone to plan so far this seasoon for new Hornchurch skipper Roy Smith, but he admits his side cannot underestimate local rivals Gidea Park & Romford when the two do battle at Harrow Lodge Park tomorrow (Saturday).

Hornchurch have won their first two Essex League Division Two fixtures this summer, beating Fives & Heronians by six wickets last weekend.

But although they will go into tomorrow’s contest as favourites, with their local rivals currently bottom of the table, Smith knows there is no room for complacency from his side.

“They are going through a bit of a transitional stage, but it’s a local derby and we’ve still go to turn up and do our job,” he said.

“If we can stick to what we have been doing so far then hopefully we can come away with the win. I always back myself to do the job and I do think this squad should be capable of promotion.

“It’s going well so far, but it is still early in the season and we need to keep on improving.”

Smith was impressed with his side’s performance against Fives, in particular in the field.

At one stage Fives were cruising on 155-1, but a fine spell of spin bowling from Chamika Mudalige (4-83) and Marc Whitlock (4-73) on a flat surface saw the home side tumbled all out for 239.

Smith added: “I wouldn’t say I was worried, but teams have had to chase over 300 there before, so I was pleased to be only chasing 240 for victory.

“We got their Aussie Mick Perry out for 98 and the bowlers were fantastic from that point on. It wasn’t turning at all so Chamika and Marc did a great job with the ball.”

Hornchurch chased the total down for the loss of four wickets inside 39 overs, with Ronnie Saunders (75) and Smith (69 not out) the main contributors.

“It was a decent wicket and we did well with the bat, but Ronnie should have gone on to get a hundred,” said Smith.

“He has the potential and is only 21, but it is only early in the season and hopefully the next time an opportunity comes around he can pick up the century.”

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