Gordon relived after Hornchurch survive ‘typical’ collapse to win

PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 July 2019

Ronnie Saunders of Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Ronnie Saunders of Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The 2018 champions remain in the title mix after a narrow victory over Chingford

Hornchurch almost suffered a potentially pivotal loss in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division on Saturday, but managed to come through in the end at home to Chingford to remain in the running to retain their championship crown.

The Harrow Lodge Park club were 199-4 and then 217-5 chasing 263 for victory, but a flurry of wickets made things interesting.

It was eventually left to Zeeshan Khan to get Hornchurch over the line with 15 not out alongside last man Marc Whitlock.

Gordon's champions got home with six ball to spare and are now 33 points off current pace-setters Brentwood.

"It was such a flat track Saturday and we lost the toss on that cold, cold weather," he said, sarcastically with the temperature in the thirties across England.

"Obviously it was difficult, we took two early wickets, which was good, but then a couple of their guys batted well.

"Andrew MacGregor (92) and Peter McDermott (77) both batted really well and I think McDermott only gave away one chance, so it was about trying to keep them down to as low as possible.

"I thought 260 was gettable on the wicket because it was very flat and we started off well, but in typical Hornchurch fashion we had a collapse and made hard work of it. The main thing was we got over the line."

Captain Gordon finished with figures of 2-43 off his allotted 10 overs while the likes of Merv Westfield (1-48), Jas Bassan (1-50) and Gayan Sirisoma (1-36) chipped in with wickets to restrict Chingford to 262-5.

It looked below par when Ronnie Saunders and the skipper were going well, but once the former got out for 67, it sparked the first collapse.

Gordon was bowled for 39 and Kieran Scarlioli lasted seven balls and yet this brought Michael Bones and Westfield together.

Former Essex staffer Westfield hit a speedy 37, including three fours and one six, but when he was out lbw, Hornchurch were struggling again.

Bassan, Sirisoma and Mehad Khan came and went without lasting too long and when Bones was stumped for 48, the 2018 title winners still need 21 more runs.

Fortunately for Hornchurch Zeeshan Khan remained cool and saw them home with 15 off 19 balls with Whitlock scoring three runs from only two deliveries.

"It has been difficult for 'Bonesy' really because he has struggled with the bat and he knows it as well," Gordon added.

"He has been saying to himself about staying in and grinding his way back into form and on Saturday he got us into a position to win the game and batted really well.

"We got over the line with Zeeshan coming in at the end and doing well, so that will be good for his confidence."

The Premier Division holders sit in third position on 121 points and still a way off the leaders Brentwood, but crucially they remain in the race to finish at the summit.

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