Roy Smith hopes weather stays good for Hornchurch Cricket Club’s visit of Shenfield in Essex League Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 May 2016

Hornchurch's Roy Smith and Shenfield's Arshad Ali share a joke during last season's meeting between the two sides (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch's Roy Smith and Shenfield's Arshad Ali share a joke during last season's meeting between the two sides (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

Harrow Lodge Park club had two 15-year-old’s involved last weekend, but Chamikara Mudalige will return on Saturday

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith is excited to entertain his former club Shenfield in the Essex League Premier Division this weekend.

A century from the skipper at Colchester & East Essex helped the Harrow Lodge Park outfit secure an 84-run victory at Castle Park last Saturday.

Only two matches have been played in the league so far this season, but Hornchurch are sitting in third place and looking in a healthy position having won their opening fixtures.

They won Division One last season, with Shenfield runners-up, and Smith is looking forward to doing battle with them again. He said: “Tom Moore started with them as well, he was a colt there. I was at the club for about three years.

“I’ve still got a lot of good friends so it will be nice to play them and it will be a really good match. Our first clash with them at home last year was a bit of a stalemate.

“We got around 280 and they didn’t go for it, they ended up around 150-6 so it was a bit of a boring draw, but I noticed they got a really good result last weekend, beating Chelmsford, so they’ll be full of confidence and it will be one of our more difficult games this season.”

What might play a part, however, is the weather with rain forecasted for much of Saturday.

Smith hopes that proves to be wrong and is pleased to welcome experienced spinner Chamikara Mudalige back to the league team.

The Sri Lankan was suspended from the first two Premier fixtures of the campaign, but can play again now.

“Let’s hope the weather forecast people get it wrong, they normally do,” said Smith. “We have ‘Chami’ back this weekend, he has been suspended, but him returning will make us even stronger because we had two 15-years-olds play last Saturday.

“Ed Smith was involved again and Lewis Byford, a young all-rounder, helped us out at short notice against Colchester. Lewis is a good little fielder. From what I understand, he can play a bit as well and comes from a sporting family.

“His Grandad is Charlie Byford. He played for Mountnessing Football Club and was a cricketer for a few clubs like Noak Hill. Lewis helped us out on Saturday.

“Ed got another wicket and it was Joe Austin, which was a big one to get. It is good to give the youngsters a chance.”

Hornchurch found themselves in a tricky situation at Castle Park despite initially rebuilding from a poor start with the bat.

Colchester reduced them to 60-3, before Jamie Sorrell (61) and Michael Bones (27) put on 53 for the fourth wicket.

Both departed in fairly quick succession, though, with Mohib Shah going for a duck to leave Hornchurch’s skipper alongside Moore at the crease on 139-6.

The pair batted brilliantly to ensure they got their team up to a big score and put on over a hundred for the seventh wicket.

Moore eventually finished on 52 not out and captain Smith made 106 off 119 balls. It was the first century scored by a Hornchurch batsman this season and they declared on 277-6.

Essex’s Moore shone with the ball as well and picked up 3-41 with Paul Walter (2-29), Billy Gordon (2-28) and Shah (2-46) all playing their part too.

Hornchurch’s captain said: “I think Colchester had about eight overs left when we bowled them out for 193. At the time it didn’t seem like there was too long to go.

“Billy came back and got a few wickets before Mohib finished it off and it was a really good win.”

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