Roy Smith challenges Hornchurch Cricket Club to get back on track in Essex League Premier Division after setback despite Tom Moore’s heroics

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 July 2016

Hornchurch's Tom Moore (left) looks on with team mate Marc Whitlock. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch's Tom Moore (left) looks on with team mate Marc Whitlock. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

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Tom Moore’s partnership with last man Marc Whitlock nearly got the 2015 Division One champions another win on Saturday

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith hasn’t given up hope of winning the Essex League Premier Division title yet, but he knows it will be tough.

The Harrow Lodge Park club lost by 23 runs at local rivals Shenfield last weekend and will hope to get back to winning ways on Saturday.

Chingford visit the 2015 Division One Champions and Smith is certain of a tricky encounter despite the visitors struggling this year.

Hornchurch lost the previous meeting between the two teams when Chingford chased down 248 despite being reduced to 137-8.

“I definitely expect there to be some more twists and turns there is a lot of points and cricket still to be played,” said Smith.

“Hopefully it will go down to the wire and we can put as much pressure as possible on Wanstead.

“After Chingford beat us at their place earlier in the season, they must be thinking about getting 20 points again and why shouldn’t they?

“We will be ready and hopefully can win the game, get revenge and go on a good run of form.”

Hornchurch’s captain admitted last week the most consistent team in the league will win the title.

Where as Smith’s men were all out for 245 at Shenfield on Saturday trying to chase down 268, Wanstead beat South Woodford comfortably.

The Herons have a 27-point lead at the top now and the Hornchurch captain praised his rivals.

Smith added: “We have drifted off a little from Wanstead, but we’ll take each game as it comes and try to win as many as we can.

“I think it will be tough to catch them now and I did say the team that is most consistent out of everyone will win it this year.

“There are a lot of good clubs in the division and Wanstead are proving to be the most consistent at the moment.”

Hornchurch were involved in a tense clash at Shenfield last week and nearly managed to get over the line thanks to Tom Moore.

Mo Shah (3-59) shone with the ball and Moore, Paul Walter and Marc Whitlock nabbed braces to dismiss the hosts for 268.

After making a decent start, Smith needed to rebuild the innings with Billy Gordon and the pair got their team on top.

Hornchurch’s skipper was run out for 35, however, and number three Gordon departed for 63.

An excellent innings of 69 from Moore at number eight nearly got the visitors home, but he got out and Whitlock was left unbeaten on 17.

Smith added: “Tom has been really good for us, he always gives 100 per cent and takes his batting seriously.

“He is always saying can he bat a bit higher and I have to say not today, but he should be up the order more.

“A few others need to start knuckling down now and produce the goods because they owe us some runs.”

The Harrow Lodge captain continued: “Tom has batted quite well a few times this season when required and he batted really well on Saturday.

“He was striking it well and looking a class act to be quite honest, but unfortunately got caught on the boundary.

“For a neutral it was a great game to watch because we looked dead and buried and then began to come back. I think Shenfield were getting a little bit nervy and it looked like we might win it at one stage, but we just fell 23 runs short.”

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