Essex League Premier Division: Captain Roy Smith wants Hornchurch to be kings of the Castle

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 May 2017

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith issues instructions in the field (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith issues instructions in the field (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Harrow Lodge Park club travel to Colchester for second round Essex League Cup clash with divisional rivals

Roy Smith is excited to see how Hornchurch cope at Colchester in the second round of the Essex League Cup tomorrow (Saturday).

The Harrow Lodge Park club have seen the likes of Paul Walter and Tom Moore depart during the winter, which has resulted in a new-look team being put together for 2017.

Unrelated duo Zeeshan Khan and Mehad Khan have joined Hornchurch, while their overseas player is South African batsman Brian Barnard.

Smith admits it will take time for the team to gel, but is optimistic about enjoying more success at Castle Park.

He said: “We have got a newish side with four or five different players this year, so it isn’t ideal, but that’s the way it is.

“It will take a little while for everyone to gel together, but when we do we are looking good.

“Colchester will be tough on Saturday, but we won at their ground at the start of last year, so that gives us confidence.

“It is a lovely ground and a good wicket, but we can’t take anything for granted because they are a good side, so it will be a decent test to see where we are right now.”

The early season form of Zeeshan Khan has pleased the Hornchurch captain and he was in the runs again last Saturday during their Essex League Cup first-round tie at home to Old Southendian.

Billy Gordon struck 124 from 111 balls, but was well supported by Essex Development cricketer Zeeshan Khan, as he hit 64, before getting out at the end of the innings.

Smith smashed 85 off 48 balls to help Hornchurch post 349-5 from their 50 overs, before the visitors were dismissed for 79.

“I had a little knock against Bexley (April 23) and I was in for about 30 minutes, but it was a slow wicket and I couldn’t get anything really and then I didn’t expect to get in on Saturday,” said Smith.

“To be honest I started slowly, but it was good to get a few ahead of the league season starting.”

Mehad Khan (3-19) and Chamikara Mudalige (3-11) did most of the damage for Hornchurch with the ball on Saturday, as Old Southendian never looked like chasing 350.

After struggling with injury last season, Smith hopes Mudalige can stay fit throughout the campaign.

He added: “I think ‘Chami’ is managing his back, but he has looked top class so far after looking good in the nets.

“Last season he struggled with his back and shoulder and couldn’t really bowl a single ball properly.

“But so far he has looked really dangerous and hopefully he can remain injury free because he is a class act.”

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