Gordon hoping Hornchurch's batsmen click for big weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:49 08 August 2019
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The Harrow Lodge Park club travel to Billericay on Saturday and then go to Colchester a day later
Hornchurch have another packed weekend and Billy Gordon knows the batsmen at the club must be on top form if they are to remain in the race for a league and cup double.
The 2018 treble winners are still in the mix to retain the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division title they won last September, but must keep up the pace with top two Wanstead and Brentwood on Saturday.
Gordon will take his champions to Billericay looking to back up the win they secured against Ilford last time out, although it's not the biggest tie they will play this weekend.
In the semi-finals of the League Cup on Sunday, Hornchurch will do battle with Colchester at Castle Park to decide who reaches the final and there will be no room for error on that big occasion.
Captain Gordon added: "Hopefully the batsmen can have a really good weekend, especially with Colchester coming up on Sunday.
"The bowlers have been good all season, it's the batting where we need to improve, but we'd like to see it click in these two games and hopefully we can get to another final."
Given Colchester are now playing in Division One, Hornchurch will be favourites to progress and stay on course to retain the cup they won last year on the way to an historic treble.
Before this, an arguably tougher contest lies in wait at Billiercay, who possess a number of strong players with bat and ball.
Paul Walter, once of Hornchurch, has four half-centuries in just nine innings for the Blunts Wall Road club while Andy Smith and Darren Ironside have 44 wickets between them in the Premier Division.
"Billericay is a lovely track, it's a batting wicket over there normally and hopefully that is the case on Saturday," Gordon said.
"They are a good side, we always have tough matches with them and we'll have to be at our very best to beat them.
"We know they can cause an upset on their day and need to be switched on and hopefully we are and we get a win to stay in touch with the two at the top of the table."
The format will change from 50-over games to timed cricket after Saturday and Gordon will hope his team are not far off the leaders going into the final month.
Wanstead are top on 221 points, 10 ahead of Brentwood with Hornchurch third on 188 and the Harrow Lodge Park outfit were visited by England and Essex legend Graham Gooch last Friday, who officially opened the new refurbished clubhouse.
Lots of work has taken place at Hornchurch over the last few months and the end result was presented to members and supporters at the weekend.
To join in the celebrations was Gooch, who was a big hit on the night and talked about his batting heroics for club and country across three different decades.
Hornchurch captain Gordon said: "It went well, Graham came down and did a speech and a question and answer session for everyone.
"It was brilliant and great to have him officially open the clubhouse after it had been refurbished. He was a really nice bloke."
After meeting cricketing royalty, Gordon watched his team secure a vital victory in the Premier Division on Saturday.
Gayan Sirisoma starred at Harrow Lodge Park against Ilford, taking 6-28 to dismiss the visitors for 160 with 11.1 overs remaining.
Captain Gordon added: "It was a really good wicket actually, but the scorecard doesn't show it.
"We lost the toss, wanted to bat, but we bowled well. There was nothing in it for the seamers, but I was hoping the spinners could do the job and Gayan bowled unbelievable.
"He was unplayable, so that helped us bowl them out for a decent score, one we felt we could chase down."
Gordon led the fight with the bat and top scored for the home side with a patient 35, but he was out lbw before the victory target was reached.
It was left to Jas Bassan and Zeeshan Khan and they got Hornchurch home with time to spare by four wickets as both finished on 16 not out in a comfortable victory.
"We batted alright, we started strongly, but a little bit of complacency crept in and it looked closer than it was," Gordon added.
"We should have got home two or three down, but we still got the 20 points in the end which is the main thing."