Best-ever season for Athletic says 42-year member Weeks
PUBLISHED: 09:30 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:46 06 September 2019
Hornchurch Athletic completed their 'best-ever season' with three teams promoted in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League - two as title winners - and the other missing out by the narrowest of margins.
The firsts ended their Division One championship campaign with a six-wicket win over Bentley seconds, who were dismissed for 152 as Nathan Duke (3-14) and Joe Turner (3-22) combined.
Sam Samarasekera (52) led the chase and Steve Hammond (35) also chipped in before Ross Raftery sealed victory with a reverse sweep for six to end as the club's leading run scorer.
The seconds, assured of promotion to Division Four, cruised to a 10-wicket win over Rayleigh thirds, who were all out for 143 before Nathan Bastin (59 not out) top scored in reply.
But the already-crowned thirds, with their place in Division Eight already guaranteed, suffered only their second defeat of the season against Navestock seconds.
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Keith Turner (39) led the way with the bat in a below-par 121 in an eight-wicket loss.
The fourths needed to win but also rely on other results to earn promotion to Division Nine and did their bit.
Shaz Rehman (68) and Spencer Duke (58) hit half-centuries as they posted 251-5 against South Woodham thirds, who were then dismissed for 119.
But their maximum point haul was not enough, as rivals Great Waltham also picked up the full amount from their win over Rainham fourths to ensure both finished on 278, with Athletic edged into third place by virtue of having won one game fewer.
Nonetheless, Laurence Weeks - a member for 42 years - called it the club's 'best-ever season' and all can look forward to the 2020 campaign.