Must-win game coming up for Hornchurch and Chelmsford
PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 July 2019
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The two recent title winners know only a victory on Saturday will realistically keep them in the hunt for the championship this year
Hornchurch visit Chelmsford on Saturday in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division with both sides aware it's a must-win fixture.
Billy Gordon's men are third in the table with 162 points - four ahead of this weekend's hosts, but still a way off Brentwood in first and Wanstead in second.
Therefore Hornchurch and Chelmsford know only a victory on Saturday will keep them in the hunt for the title they won in 2018 and 2017 respectively.
Mehad Khan picked up five wickets and the captain a further three to dismiss the then champions for 172 in pursuit of 248 for victory last June.
Gordon said: "That was the first time I had ever won at Chelmsford, so hopefully that can be the start of good times at Chelmer Park.
"It will be an important game and they are a good side, so we know it will be tough and we will have to be at our best to beat them on Saturday."
The most recent encounter at Harrow Lodge Park on May 25 saw Chelmsford triumph by six wickets when chasing.
Hornchurch mustered just 201 runs with Merv Westfield top scoring with 53, but Gordon felt their fielding proved the most costly on the day.
Jack Sterland, Chelmsford's captain, made 93, but offered a chance early on which was not taken and Aaron Beard, who scored an unbeaten 60 was also put down.
"We dropped like five catches in that game at the start of the season and they were important because the batsmen went on to get scores," Gordon said.
"I do think we would have won had we held onto those chances, so hopefully we can continue to perform with the ball like we have been.
"Then if we can bat better and take care of a wicket more we will put on a decent total, but it's never normally high-scoring.
"It can be a tough wicket, but if we can put Chelmsford under enough pressure, with our bowling attack hopefully we can grab another win."
Hornchurch produced two fine displays in the field last weekend to clinch crucial wins in the league and cup.
Buckhurst Hill were dismissed for 97 on Saturday, chasing 162 for victory, with Marc Whitlock taking 3-23.
A day later Billericay were all out for 186 in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and an unbeaten 74 by number five Westfield saw Hornchurch home.