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Essex League Premier Division: Hornchurch wasted winning position at Shenfield admits captain Roy Smith

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 May 2017

Roy Smith of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Roy Smith of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Harrow Lodge Park club lost league opener, but bounced back following day to see off Southgate in National Cup

Billy Gordon is congratulated by Hornchurch team-mates after taking the wicket of Shenfield captain Jack Kliber (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Billy Gordon is congratulated by Hornchurch team-mates after taking the wicket of Shenfield captain Jack Kliber (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Roy Smith felt Hornchurch didn’t make the most of a strong position during their Essex League Premier Division opener at Shenfield on Saturday.

The hosts were struggling on 107-7 after being made to bat first, but Tom Ballington helped them reach 248 with a fine 79.

Hornchurch never got going in reply and were dismissed for 137 in the 34th over to suffer a disappointing defeat.

“We won the toss and stuck them in because the wicket had been uncovered and there was a little bit of drizzle in the morning,” said captain Smith.

“Billy Gordon bowled superbly and we got to lunch and they were 107-7 and we were thinking we are going to win.

“I think you have to give them credit because they dug in and Ballington batted extremely well for his 79.

Tom Ballington in batting action for Shenfield (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Tom Ballington in batting action for Shenfield (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“We were lacking a little bit of firepower because we needed somebody to blow the tail away.”

Gordon claimed 4-75 from his 21 overs on Saturday while Taqi Abbas impressed with 2-62 from 20 overs.

But the rest of Hornchurch’s bowlers didn’t enjoy too much success, as Shenfield stuck to their task and set them 249 to win.

The visitors struggled from the start of their chase with nobody managing to score more than Brian Barnard’s 19.

Ronnie Saunders dug in for a 59-ball 14, but when he went the writing was on the wall for Hornchurch at Courage Playing Fields.

Matt Salisbury (5-68) and Arshad Ali (4-39) did most of the damage with Jack Plom also impressing.

Smith said: “They bowled really well and have two of the best seam bowlers in the league in Salisbury and Plom. We lost silly wickets at silly time.

“Ronnie batted really well and is back with us this season and has done well in the games he has played.

“He got out to an attacking shot after doing all the hard work, which was a shame, but he did dig in.”

After Saturday’s loss, Hornchurch bounced back the following day to progress in the National Cup.

Smith played against Southgate, but Gordon captained the side and won the toss and elected to field.

The north London club were dismissed for 177 in the 41st over with Mehad Khan (4-27), Zeeshan Khan (3-24) and Abbas (3-31) taking the wickets.

Hornchurch struggled in reply, however, with only one batsman reaching fifty, as the captain Gordon led from the front.

Gordon was dismissed for 62 and the tail had to wag to get the hosts over the line and they just about managed it.

Abbas struck 32 off 27 balls while Mehad Khan swatted 17 runs off nine balls to help Hornchurch win at the death.

“It was a brilliant game and you are not usually involved in too many that go down to the last ball,” said Smith.

“As an onlooker it was exciting to watch and the boys down the order did extremely well and got us over the line.”

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