Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith over the moon with Hornchurch’s victory over Colchester

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 May 2017

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

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

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Mehad Khan claimed two wickets in four balls to ensure contest at Harrow Lodge Park wouldn’t end a draw

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith was over the moon after watching his team leave it late to beat Colchester in the Essex League Premier Division on Saturday.

After setting the visitors 201 to win, the contest at Harrow Lodge Park looked set to end as a draw.

Colchester’s Jack Hebron (68) and Ollie Bocking (32*) had put on 66 for the ninth wicket, which seemed to have earned the away side a share of the spoils.

But Mehad Khan picked up two wickets in four balls to bowl the visitors out for 150 with only eight balls of the game remaining.

“I think the cup tie against Southgate where we won off the last ball gave us a little bit of extra confidence going into the Colchester match,” said Smith.

“We thought it was going to end up as a draw because we just couldn’t get the final couple of wickets, which is proving to be our Achilles heel at the moment, but we brought Mehad back on and he is a slippery bowler.

“He is proving to be a bit of a golden arm because he tends to pick up a wicket at the right time, so him getting two in four balls was massive and we were over the moon.”

Mehad Khan led the celebrations at the end, but it was Billy Gordon who put the hosts on course for victory.

The talented Hornchurch all-rounder claimed 8-43 from his 21 overs, which initially reduced Colchester to 85-8.

Smith added: “Billy’s figures were unbelievable and he bowled so well and did the same at Shenfield the previous weekend.

“On Saturday the conditions absolutely suited him because there was a little bit in the wicket and he bowls that good medium pace.

“He bowled a good length and Colchester found it hard to cope with, it was just a shame he couldn’t get all 10!”

The winning margin was 50 runs in the end, which was the exact number of runs Jamie Sorrell hit at the top of the order for Hornchurch.

Smith felt the opener’s contribution was vital, but also highlighted the hard work put in by the middle order.

Brian Barnard (28), Gordon (27), Ronnie Saunders (31) and Zeeshan Khan (23*) all stuck around on a tough surface.

“Jamie’s knock was brilliant and he was our leading run scorer last year, but hasn’t played much this season,” said Smith.

“His fifty was immense in the context of the game and with all the other twenties and thirties we got.

“Colchester are a good bowling side, they have three good seamers and a good leg spinner, so that 200 was a brilliant score.

“People forget about the twenties and thirties in low scoring games, but if Jamie doesn’t reach fifty and a few of the other players go for nought that’s the difference between 200 and 150, so all the batsman did brilliantly.”

Hornchurch backed up their first league victory of the campaign with a nine-wicket win at Harlow yesterday in South West Group B of the Essex League T20 Cup.

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