Hornchurch hopes hit by dramatic defeat in Essex League Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 09:38 31 July 2016 | UPDATED: 08:42 01 August 2016

Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Late collapse is costly against Chingford

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch saw their Essex League Premier Division title hopes hit as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against bottom club Chingford.

Chasing 297 at Harrow Lodge Park, the home side looked to have put themselves into a strong position as Billy Gordon and captain Roy Smith shared a big stand to reduce the target to 27 off 25 balls, with seven wickets in hand.

But Hornchurch collapsed to lose five wickets in quick time and eventually suffered an 11-run defeat that saw them left 42 points behind long-time leaders Wanstead, with resurgent Brentwood now snapping at their heels in third place.

Chingford chose to bat after winning the toss and it proved a wise move as their openers put on 177 for the first wicket.

Mubasher Hassan reached 103 off 97 balls, hitting five sixes and nine fours, before he was eventually stumped by Michael Bones off the bowling of Marc Whitlock in the 33rd over.

But Ben MacGregor added another 107 for the second wicket with Pete McDermott, who scored a run-a-ball 49 before also falling to Whitlock.

MacGregor eventually reached 136 off 155 balls, with two sixes and 12 fours, and was caught by Rashidi Boucher off Whitlock (3-48) from the final delivery of the innings as Chingford closed on 296-3.

Boucher dominated a 49-run opening stand in reply with Jamie Sorrell, who fell for just eight, but was out soon after for 40 from just 20 balls, having hit two sixes and six fours.

Bones struck seven boundaries in his 40 off 38 balls, dominating a 49-run stand with Gordon as Hornchurch reached 140-3 at drinks.

And captain Smith helped maintain momentum with Gordon, as both hit half-centuries to keep bringing the target down.

The fourth-wicket pair had put on 172 before Gordon finally succumbed to MacGregor for 75, having hit five fours in his 108-ball innings.

That left Hornchurch needing 27 from the last 25 balls of the match, with Smith unbeaten on 84 and joined by Essex staffer Paul Walter.

But Smith was dismissed after adding just one more run to his score, having hit two sixes and seven fours in a 95-ball innings, and Mo Shah and Richard Burd followed in quick succession to make it 281-7.

Marc Whitlcok was then run out to leave all eyes on tall left-hander Walter as Hornchurch were left needing 15 runs from the last over.

But Hassan kept his nerve to restrict them to just three singles as Hornchurch let slip with five matches remaining.

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