Smith: Ronnie is on fire

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 June 2015 | UPDATED: 15:27 09 June 2015

Ronnie Saunders has been in fine form for Hornchurch this season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ronnie Saunders has been in fine form for Hornchurch this season (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 skipper praises in-form batsmen after another half century

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith heaped more praise on Ronnie Saunders and admitted the batsmen is on fire after he guided the club to a fourth win of the season in the Essex League Division One.

Saunders finished 63 not out against Orsett off 49 balls, smashing seven fours and two sixes, to earn his team a six-wicket win at School Lane.

Smith put the hosts into bat and watched his bowlers restrict them to 212-9 from 52 overs and Hornchurch chased it down inside 42 overs.

Jamie Sorrell top scored with 77 but Saunders led the team home for the second consecutive weekend with another not out score.

He has now hit four half centuries this season, double the amount he registered last year, and has a healthy average of 45.50 from 10 innings in all competitions.

“Ronnie is on fire at the moment. He is well up for it and he wants to win the league, like all of the players at the club,” said Smith.

“I think he has improved since last year and sometimes it is about stepping up another gear, some people haven’t got the ability to do that, but he certainly has.

“Ronnie has another gear as well that will be required if we achieve our aim to earn promotion to the Premier League for next season.”

Smith went on to hail the efforts of Sorrell and Billy Gordon, who hit 41 to continue his strong start to the season.

He added: “Jamie gives us that bit of stability at the top of the order and he batted superbly.

“We always say don’t leave it to the next guy and Ronnie and Billy did really well together.”

Hornchurch’s bowlers also did a fine job of keeping the Orsett batsman in check throughout their innings.

Max Osborne and Gordon got through 33 overs between them with the former taking 3-48 from his 15 overs.

Although Gordon bowled 18 wicketless overs, Smith praised the tight line he hit with accuracy throughout and paid tribute to the pair.

Three run-outs as well as wickets for Chamikara Mudalige, Taqi Abbas and Marc Whitlock ensured Orsett only scored 212, which was never going to be enough.

Smith added: “Our bowlers bowled terrifically well with good, tight lines and they applied the pressure. A couple of catches went down and that allowed their guy to go on and get a big score so that needs to be addressed.

“There was a little bit in the wicket and Max saw that and his eyes lit up. Billy bowled a good length too.

“We kept attacking fields but we dropped a few catches so Billy could have ended up with five wickets really.

“I have to give praise to the opening bowlers, they applied the pressure and kept it tight which forced the batsman to play shots when the slower bowlers come on.”

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