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Cricket: Hornchurch maintain lead at top

PUBLISHED: 19:53 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:53 25 August 2018

Ronnie Saunders in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ronnie Saunders in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Hornchurch maintained their 14-point lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division table with victory over Ilford at Valentines Park.

Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Ronnie Saunders dominated a 92-run opening stand with Jamie Sorrell (18) and went on to hit 102 off just 72 balls, including five sixes and 13 fours.

Michael Bones fell cheaply, but captain Billy Gordon put on 98 with Roy Smith, who struck three sixes and six fours in his 57 offf 41 deliveries.

And Gordon finished unbeaten on 100, from 116 balls, having hit three sixes and eight fours as the visitors declared on 323-5 in the 53rd over.

Gordon then dismissed Akash Raji for a fourth-back duck and saw Mehad Khan bowl Mohammed Ahktar to leave the hosts 8-2.

Khan also claimed the wickets of Saf Imtiaz and Gagan Bhogal to make it 50-4, before Marc Whitlock got in on the act to end the innings of Harsh Kumar (30) with the total on 91.

Monty Panesar then had Essex staffer Shane Snater stumped by Bones, after he had hit a six and three fours in his 28 off 33 balls, and followed up by dismissing Aditya Nair soon after.

Akhil Anil (20) and Kalpesh Chandracant also fell to Panesar (4-67) before Haaris Ayub was dismissed one run short of a half-century by Khan (4-57) after hitting seven boundaries as Hornchurch completed a 141-run win to take another step towards the title with two games remaining.

Nearest rivals Wanstead visit Harrow Lodge next weekend in a potential decider.

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