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Cricket: Cup cheer for treble-chasing Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 07:01 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:01 28 August 2018

Hornchurch celebrate winning the Essex League Cup against Belhus (pic Hornchurch CC)

Hornchurch celebrate winning the Essex League Cup against Belhus (pic Hornchurch CC)

Archant

Hornchurch completed an Essex League cup double with success over Belhus at Garon Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

Having already won the Essex League T20 competition earlier this season, Billy Gordon’s Premier Division title hopefuls made 261-9 from their 50 overs against Division One Belhus.

Hornchurch won the toss and chose to bat and the decision appeared to be justified as their openers Paul Murray and man of the match Ronnie Saunders put on 84 for the first wicket.

Saunders plundered 55 from only 34 deliveries and struck nine fours and two sixes, until he went for one big hit too many, being caught by Danny Norris as the ball rained down from the heavens.

Murray was more circumspect, reaching a patient 36 from 71 balls, until he too was caught, becoming the first of two boundary catches by Osborne.

Belhus fought back well as Daniel Dreher and Joe Joyce picked up three wickets apiece, the most economical being the former who conceded just 28 runs from his allotted 10 overs.

And the Thurrock team began well in reply, with captain Danny Joyce hitting 37, before wickets began to fall at regular intervals as former England test star Monty Panesar turned the screw.

The experienced international bagged the middle order wickets of Osborne, Martin Guilbert and Dreher as the North Stifford-based team slithered to an 89-run defeat.

Michael Fogg contributed 34 from the middle order while Norris, batting at number 10, struck two sixes in a solo effort to finish undefeated on 16 from just nine balls.

Belhus may have lost at the final hurdle, but deserve great credit for reaching the showpiece final for a second successive year and putting up a spirited performance against the leaders of the current Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division, who will look to complete a treble when they take on nearest rivals Wanstead at Harrow Lodge Park on Saturday.

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