Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith hails Hornchurch after beating old foes Upminster
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 July 2017
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Marc Whitlock and Zeeshan Khan caught the eye with the ball before Brian Barnard smashed quick-fire 66 in reply
Roy Smith heaped praise on his Hornchurch team after taking bragging rights over local rivals Upminster in the Essex League Premier Division on Saturday.
The Harrow Lodge Park outfit won by seven wickets against their old foes after dismissing the hosts for 156.
Marc Whitlock (3-31) and Zeeshan Khan (4-41) did most of the damage for the away side before they eased to victory with more than 16 overs remaining.
“It was always going to be a tough game, but we played superbly on the day,” said Hornchurch captain Smith.
“The bowlers bowled well as a team and never let Upminster settle and the slow bowlers did brilliantly.
“Marc and Zeeshan have been bowling well for a while now and the nice weather we have had has dried the wickets out, which has suited them.
“We sussed the conditions quite early on Saturday and got the slow bowlers on and it worked well.”
After bowling Upminster all out in the 43rd over, Brian Barnard and Billy Gordon put on 96 for the third wicket.
South African Barnard smashed a quick-fire 66 which included 10 fours in addition to a brace of sixes.
Hornchurch’s skipper was pleased to see the overseas batter past fifty and is delighted to see him finding his feet.
“Brian has been doing alright, but everyone goes through bad runs and I just said to him form is temporary and class is permanent,” said Smith.
“He is a classy player and hit a gutsy 40 against Brentwood and got some big Sunday runs recently, so with the fifty last weekend he looks to be finding form.”
Gordon played far more patiently than Barnard and hit a watchful 36 off 67 balls at Upminster Park.
He was joined by captain Smith at the end, who crunched an unbeaten 38 to get their team over the line with seven wickets in hand.
“Billy played brilliantly. He did the anchor role with Brian batting so well and read the situation well,” said Smith.
“It was unfortunate Brian got out, but it was nice for me to come in and hit some boundaries at the end.”
The victory keeps Hornchurch fourth in the table and level on points with fifth-placed Shenfield ahead of hosting their rivals on Saturday.
After losing by 111 runs at Courage Playing Fields on the opening day of the season, Smith would like to gain some revenge this weekend.
He added: “Saturday is going to be tough, but we are at home, so I am hoping that gives us the edge.
“You can never take Shenfield lightly because they have some good players, but so do we and we are playing well. It is a challenge for us, but one we are relishing.”