Hornchurch pull clear in run feast

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 July 2015

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith hit a century at Southend (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith hit a century at Southend (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR

Upminster suffer last-ball defeat

Hornchurch moved 37 points clear at the top of Essex League Division One with victory at rivals Southend, in a match that produced 700 runs.

Captain Roy Smith chose to bat first at Southchurch Park after winning the toss but Billy Gordon fell cheaply after hitting two early boundaries.

Ronnie Saunders and Michael Bones followed after making decent starts to leave Hornchurch 62-3, before Smith joined Paul Walter in the middle.

It proved the defining moment of the match as the fourth-wicket pair put on 255, both hitting centuries, to help set a challenging target for the home side.

Tall left-hander Walter hit 10 sixes and nine fours in a destructive innings of 135, from just 93 deliveries, before falling with the score on 317.

Smith was more watchful, but still hit four sixes and 12 fours and was unbeaten on 124, from 122 deliveries, as his side closed on 368-6.

Gordon made up for his disappointment with the bat by removing Southend’s opening pair cheaply to leave the hosts 23-2.

Phil Gray and Oliver Wagstaff put on 118 for the third wicket, but Southend were always behind a challenging run rate and slipped to 161-6 as Mark Whitlock picked up three wickets.

Southend skipper Joe Robbins tried to drag his side back into the contest, smashing six sixes and seven fours on his way to 81 off 52 balls, before he was dismissed by Walter.

That left the home side 89 runs short of their target with only three wickets in hand and they closed on 332-8.

Upminster fell to a last-ball defeat at Hutton, whose last-wicket pair scrambled the winning run.

Captain John Curtis chose to bat at the Polo Field Ground and saw James Evans (44) and Matt Tigg (37) make useful starts.

But Alan Ison fell cheaply and the visitors were indebted to Harry Jenkins (79 not out) and Nick O’Dell (21) as they reached 242-7.

Jenkins hit two sixes and eight fours in his 105-ball knock, but Hutton skipper Hanuma Vihari Gade got his side on track as he dominated a 71-run opening stand with Chris McNally.

Gade eventually fell to Tigg for 74, having hit a six and 11 fours in an 85-ball knock, to leave the home side 149-4, but middle-order contributions from Stuart Feeley, Jaosn Plom and Connor Whetstone kept Hutton on course.

Tigg (3-34), Shafiq Rahman (3-51) and Curtis (2-42) struck with the ball to raise Upminster’s hopes of defending their total, but Joshua Bough and last man Danny Cocklin denied them by scrambling the last three runs needed to seal victory for Hutton.

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