Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith seeks a successful weekend with Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 July 2017

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith in discussion with Marc Whitlock during their derby match at Upminster (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith in discussion with Marc Whitlock during their derby match at Upminster (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Shenfield visit Harrow Lodge Park on Saturday before Smith’s team take part in Essex T20 Cup finals day

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith is excited about the battles coming up this weekend in two different competitions.

The Harrow Lodge Park club play host to Shenfield tomorrow (Saturday) in the Essex League Premier Division.

After that encounter between fourth and fifth in the division, Hornchurch compete in finals day of the Essex T20 Cup.

Smith’s men will face Upminster in the semi-final at Billericay (11am start) on Sunday and will hope to make it through to the final, set to be played later in the afternoon.

“It is going to be a great day and I am sure there will be plenty of support,” said the Hornchurch skipper.

“Upminster will bring a big crowd and it is 50-50 I think, so anyone can win and it is all about what happens on the day.

“The team which plays better will progress, so we are looking forward to it and hopefully we can do well.”

Hornchurch reached T20 finals day in 2015 and were edged out by Chelmsford in a close semi-final contest.

Smith is keen for his squad to learn from that and believes they have ahead of the big event on Sunday.

If Hornchurch can beat local rivals Upminster, they’ll face Wanstead or Brentwood in the final.

When Smith’s team reached finals day in 2015, they beat the Herons by four wickets in the quarter-finals of the T20 Cup at Overton Drive to get there.

He added: “Two years ago was a big learning curve for us. We lost narrowly to a very good Chelmsford side, but had we got our tactics better we might have won and reached the final.

“We beat Wanstead that year at their place, so if we can get past Upminster and face them then we won’t fear them. It should be a really good day and our lads are ready and up for the challenge.”

First is a Premier Division clash at home to Shenfield and Hornchurch are expecting a tough match.

Despite beating local rivals Upminster last weekend, Smith knows his team will have to be on top of their game again on Saturday, especially if they are to cope with talented Hampshire bowler Matt Salisbury.

Salisbury scored an unbeaten 58 and took 2-43 to help his Shenfield beat Ilford last weekend in a high-scoring match.

The former Essex staffer also impressed against Hornchurch on the opening day of the season, taking 5-68 off 16 overs.

Smith said: “Salisbury makes a difference and is a quality bowler and plays first-class cricket for Hampshire.

“We have faced him before, although to be fair he did blow us away in the first match of the season.

“He bowled superbly in bowler-friendly conditions, so our wicket will be flatter and hopefully we can handle him.

“We have done so before in the past, so the challenge for us is to try and do it again on Saturday.”

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