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Hornchurch captain Gordon pleased to be crowned T20 champions

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 02 July 2018

Hornchurch celebrate their T20 victory (Pic: Jacob Ranson)

Hornchurch celebrate their T20 victory (Pic: Jacob Ranson)

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Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon says it was the best weekend in the club's history as his side were crowned The Dukes T20 Essex League champions.

The Harrow Lodge-based outfit defeated Brentwood in the last four of the competition before seeing off Colchester in the final.

Gordon and his side claimed their first silverware of the season on Sunday by winning the Essex League T20 Cup at Billericay’s Toby Howe ground.

Urchins started the day by defending a score of 152-2 in their semi-final with Brentwood, restricting their rivals to 146 for 5 in reply.

And the Premier Division champions then proved too strong for Colchester in the showpiece event, as they won by 28 runs.

“It was a brilliant day,” Gordon said.

“It’s been probably the best weekend in the club’s history since I’ve been here anyway but it was brilliant.”

Skipper Gordon praised his side’s efforts and everyone who stepped up in the absence of former England spin bowler Monty Panesar and batsmen Roy Smith.

“To be fair having Brentwood in the semi-final, it was always going to be tough, and we obviously had Monty and Roy Smith missing, but the boys that have come in done brilliant.

“To win that semi-final the way we did was fantastic, Ronnie Saunders in the first match was unbelievable, as well as all the boys in the field and bowling.”

In the final Hornchurch won the toss and elected to bat, eventually reaching 151 for 5 in 20 overs to put the pressure on their opponents Colchester with Paul Murray (61) the stand-out performer.

In reply, Colchester only managed 123 all out, with Zeeshan Khan (5-19) taking out the mid and lower order to seal the victory for his side.

“Muzzer was outstanding in the second match and Zeeshan was brilliant and got the fifer.”

Hornchurch also got the better of Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division leaders Wanstead in a low-scoring contest at Overton Drive the day before.

The Herons chose to bat first after winning the toss, but saw Kishen Velani trapped lbw by Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon with only 11 runs on the board.

Aron Nijjar and Bilal Patel (34) put on 60 for the second wicket, before Muhammad Irfan dismissed both in quick succession to make it 82-3.

Irfan trapped Adnan Akram soon after, before Monty Panesar (2-33) got the verdict to dismiss Hassan Chowdhury and Jonathan Das with successive deliveries to make it 102-6.

Home skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal became the next victim of Irfan (4-29), before Marc Whitlock (3-15) mopped up the tail to dismiss Wanstead for 131 in 40 overs.

Ronnie Saunders led the Hornchurch reply, hitting a six and nine fours in his 45 from just 49 balls and dominating stands with Jamie Sorrell and Michael Bones.

But the visitors suffered a wobble as they slipped from 70-1 to 85-6, with Ellis-Grewal (3-31) and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan (3-34) sharing the wickets to fall.

Any Wanstead hopes of going on to claim victory were dashed by an unbroken 50-run stand between Bhajandip Singh Purewal (36 not out) and Zeeshan Khan, who saw Hornchurch to a four-wicket win in the 33rd over.

Wanstead’s lead at the top of the table was cut to nine points as a result of their loss, with Hornchurch 16 points behind in fourth place

“All round yesterday the boys were great, especially Irfan the overseas, I have to give him a special mention for his slow wicket,” Gordon said.

“He was fantastic and the boys chased down 130 on a tough wicket to be fair as it was spinning about three foot.

“I couldn’t ask for anymore from the lads this weekend.”

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