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Samarasekera expects changes at Athletic

10:00 05 September 2014

Hornchurch Athletic players celebrate a wicket against Brookweald (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch Athletic players celebrate a wicket against Brookweald (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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

Captain frustrated as promotion bid falters on final day

After missing out on promotion to Mid-Essex League Division One, Hornchurch Athletic captain Sam Samaraskera believes changes will occur at the club next season.

Athletic missed out after losing by 95 runs to Brookweald to leave Samarasekera and his players bitterly disappointed.

The skipper believes his side are good enough to go up and will be looking to strengthen in the summer, although he isn’t sure yet if he can continue in his role.

“There might be some changes next season,” said Samarasekera.

“With my work commitments I might not be able to captain. But I will definitely play next season, I’ll just need to sit down and work something out.

“Weaknesses have definitely been shown up this season. I think we are weak in the lower order so we could do with one more batsman in there and one more bowler.”

Samarasekera has seen positives this season but couldn’t hide his disappointment at not achieving a second consecutive promotion.

He added: “We lost three of the four games to the top two, Canvey and Brookweald, so that shows where we have lost out.

“That is massively disappointing because I think we are definitely good enough to go up. There are some positives, though. Tyler Marks has established himself in the first team this season which has been great.

“James Coots has turned into a genuine all-rounder as well. Before he batted at nine and every now and then he would get a few runs, but this season he has done it consistently.”

Athletic were left to rue a wonderful innings from Brookweald batsmen Ashan Yousef, who hit 115 to help his side to a challenging 272-9.

The centurion then opened the bowling and dismissed Addison Davis and Samarasekera cheaply to leave the hosts reeling before they were eventually all out for 177, despite 53 from James Coote.

Samaraskera could only praise Yousef’s innings, labelling it as the best he has said, adding: “I’m bitterly disappointed and to be honest we were beaten by one man.

“The young lad played brilliantly. I’ve 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.”

Athletic’s seconds lost by eight wickets against Aythorpe Roding, after Neil Roe (54) and Dave Hemmings (50) top scored in a total of 192-7.

The thirds were awarded victory as Navestock Ardleigh Green could not field a side, but the fourths went down by 71 runs at South Woodham Ferrers, despite a half century from English (63).

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