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Hornchurch skipper hails trio

PUBLISHED: 16:38 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:38 09 September 2014

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (left) celebrates another wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (left) celebrates another wicket (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

Smith praise for milestone men

Hornchurch concluded their Essex League Division Two title-winning campaign with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Westcliff in a match full of milestones.

Chamikara Mudalige bagged four wickets from his 16-over spell to end the year with 50 league wickets overall and young Mitchell Gilbert picked up his first wicket for the first team with just his second ball to help dismiss basement boys Westcliff out for 190.

Hornchurch did not hold about in reply either, chasing down their target in just 30 overs, with Jamie Sorrell smashing a maiden first team ton, finishing unbeaten on 100 off 86 balls, after hitting 22 fours.

Captain Roy Smith was chuffed all three players were able to celebrate notable landmarks, saying: “It was superb for Mudalige to get 50. I was really pleased for him because he has worked so hard this season.

“He got the ninth and as soon as he got that I took him off and brought on young Mitchell Gilbert and he took his first wicket. Marc Whitlock took a really good catch for that, the second best of the season after mine earlier in the year!

“Then it only took us 30 overs to chase it down, we were all playing some shots and a few of us got out, but we were comfortable.

“Jamie Sorrell bats very old fashioned, he kicks away a lot and that was his maiden century for the first team.

“He fought very hard for his place because he started the season in the seconds, as we brought a few players across, but he has established himself as first team opener now.”

Victory for Hornchurch took them past the 300-point mark, but for a period it seemed like Westcliff were on the verge of posting a testing total.

Four of their top five got 35 or more, but an inspired bowling change by the captain proved the turning point.

“I think they were looking for some respectability when they were batting,” said Smith.

“We rely on our spin bowlers and it wasn’t spinning so they were looking on for a really good score.

“I thought we needed to change something so I brought myself on for a few lollipops. I gave it some air and they took the carrot.

“I got a couple of wickets, a few full tosses which they went after, and then straight away I took myself off and put Whitlock and Mudalige on and we went through them.”

Smith finished with 2-22 from four overs to help Hornchurch ensure a fitting end to their successful season by earning a 14th win of the campaign.

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