Hornchurch prepare to face basement boys Ilford with a strong performance required

PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 August 2019

Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon in the field (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon in the field (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The Harrow Lodge Park club saw Saturday’s game called off, but did play some cricket on Sunday

Hornchurch will entertain Ilford on Saturday in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division still in the title race.

Last weekend, Billy Gordon's side and almost everyone else locally saw the wet weather ruin cricket across the county.

The 2018 treble winners were set to do battle with Chelmsford, who are fourth and a spot below them, but the rain prevented play at Chelmer Park.

It means with six fixtures left in the Premier Division, four clubs are realistically still in the hunt for the championship even if the favourites appear current leaders Brentwood and Wanstead.

Hornchurch will hope a win over Ilford can see them eat away at the 37-point gap between themselves in third and top spot.

With matches to come away to Brentwood and against Wanstead at Harrow Lodge Park, Gordon also knows building momentum now could result in another title triumph for the club.

Although they didn't play any cricket at Chelmsford, on Sunday Hornchurch did get a game underway, but it didn't go how they would have liked.

The Harrow Lodge Park club visited Acton in the quarter-finals of the Bertie Joel Trophy and suffered a disappointing defeat by a 178-run margin.

Jermaine Shillingford, a recent recruit, impressed with the ball for Hornchurch and claimed 6-37 on his first-team debut.

It saw Acton all out for 231, but the away side's innings lasted just 21.3 overs with Jas Bassan top scoring with 10 off 29 balls.

Hornchurch were dismissed for 53 and will need to perform much better against Ilford on Saturday, but Shillingford was at least one positive last weekend.

The former Frinton-on-Sea and Hainault bowler has settled into life at Harrow Lodge Park well, taking 2-42 on his club debut for the second team on July 20.

Gordon said: "I remember him playing for Hainault years ago when they were in the Premier and really good.

"He is a really good addition to the side, he is not allowed to play for the first team in the league this season, but he will make the twos much stronger and they are in the running for the title.

"We're hopeful he can help them out and he is a good lad as well, so a good addition all-round."

Hornchurch are set to welcome Essex and England's legendary batsman Graham Gooch to the club tomorrow (Friday) to officially open the new clubhouse.

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