Gordon lauds rival Ironside's century as 'one of the best'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 September 2018

Darren Ironside in batting action for Billericay (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Darren Ironside in batting action for Billericay (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch ended a historic campaign with a three-wicket defeat to Billericay last weekend

Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon paid tribute to Darren Ironside after the Billericay batsmen scored a sensational 169 not out to hand the Essex League Premier Division champions a final day defeat.

The Harrow Lodge Park outfit, who clinched the treble a week earlier with a win over Wanstead, looked on course for victory at Toby Howe.

Batting first, they scored 292-4 from 64 overs before declaring with Michael Bones hitting an unbeaten 103 and Roy Smith with him at the end of 73.

When Billericay were reduced to 16-3 and then 84-6, it seemed too many to chase, but Ironside produced a masterful innings and hit the highest score in the Premier Division this season to get his side over the line with three wickets in hand.

Captain Gordon honestly admitted: “It was a nice flat deck and the geezer batted superbly.

“It was one of the best knocks I have seen this season to be honest, so we can’t argue against the result.

“They chased down a decent score and it is what it is, but we need to look at ourselves and what we achieved this year and it has been a brilliant season.”

Ironside’s century put a slight damper on Bones scoring his first hundred in four years for the club.

The wicket-keeper has been one of Hornchurch’s leading batsmen this season, but had to wait until Saturday to reach three figures again.

He hit 103 not out off 110 balls after putting on 151 for the fifth wicket with former captain Smith, who hit third fifty of the year.

In reply, Gordon (2-42) and Mehad Khan (1-61) immediately had Billericay on the back foot, but Ironside found a partner in teenager Nathan Khelawon, who hit a fine 31 off 74 balls.

Once he departed, number nine Ross Poulton went to town and smashed a rapid 57 to help change the course of the match and with Ironside going strong at the other end, the hosts secured a memorable victory with very little time left.

Gordon concluded: “It was fantastic for ‘Bonesy’ to get a hundred and it was a great knock, but a shame one of their batsmen got 169 not out!

“It overshadowed it a touch, but it was a superb innings and Roy also batted well for us and it was just a shame to finish a brilliant year with a defeat.”

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