Cricket: Hornchurch claim historic Essex League title
PUBLISHED: 17:40 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 01 September 2018
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Hornchurch beat nearest rivals Wanstead by seven wickets at Harrow Lodge Park to claim their first-ever Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division title in style.
Billy Gordon’s men began the day with a 14-point lead at the top of the table and saw former England Test spinner Monty Panesar shine with the ball to pick up seven wickets.
Half-centuries from Michael Bones and Jamie Sorrell then saw Hornchurch to their target and allowed them to celebrate.
Herons captain Joe Ellis-Grewal chose to bat after winning the toss, but opposite number Gordon bowled Kishen Velani with only five runs on the board.
Arfan Akram (22) also fell to Gordon with the total on 47, before Robin Das was bowled by Panesar.
Aron Nijjar became the third victim of Gordon, who took 3-42 from his 21 overs, after hitting eight fours in his 37, and Feroze Khushi fell to Panesar to leave Wanstead 94-5.
Panesar then ran through the lower order, dismissing Adnan Akram and Ellis-Grewal (27) in quick succession, then claiming Mohammed Fayyaz Khan and Zain Shahzad in short time.
Jonathan Das (20) was the last Wanstead batsman to fall as they were all out for 159 and Panesar finished with superb figures of 7-54 from 20 overs.
Ronnie Saunders hit five fours in a quickfire 25 from 21 balls before falling to the left-arm spin of Ellis-Grewal, who also trapped Gordon lbw cheaply soon after to leave the hosts 40-2.
But Sorrell and Bones combined forces for the third wicket, with a superb partnership of 103.
Bones fell with the finish line in sight, bowled by Jahansher Akbar having hit two sixes and seven fours in his 61 off 79 balls.
But Sorrell finished unbeaten on 50, having hit eight fours in his 91-ball innings, as Hornchurch sealed victory in the 34th over.