Smith’s search for much safer hands

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 June 2015

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (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

Hornchurch face Harlow tomorrow before Premier Division outfit Chelmsford on Sunday

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith has warned his side to improve in the field ahead of their Essex League Division Two clash with Harlow tomorrow (Saturday).

Their promotion charge continued with another win last weekend, this time over Orsett, and Smith expects more success tomorrow (Saturday).

But he insists his fielders need to remain switched on at all times at Harrow Lodge.

“Harlow are a dangerous side,” he said. “They have some good players and they are quick scoring as well. That is their strength, their batting.

“I do know quite a bit about them and have played against them a lot of times.

“If we can keep their top batsmen quiet we will be okay. We definitely need to improve in the field to do that. We can’t switch off, we need to focus for every ball because everybody can drop catches.”

Hornchurch are also set to entertain Premier Division leaders Chelmsford in the Dukes League Cup on Sunday.

“They are top of the Premier League so that should be a walk in the park!” joked Smith.

“I was at Ardleigh Green last Sunday for a barbeque so I enjoyed seeing some old friends, but it will be back to business for me this weekend.”

Tomorrow’s meeting with Harlow marks the start of the 50-over matches, after five timed games to open the season.

Hornchurch’s six-wicket win against Orsett last weekend ensured they go into the new phase sitting second in the table with confidence high.

Smith added: “We couldn’t have asked for much better. Four wins and then a winning draw from the first five matches.

“I would have snatched your hand off for that at the start of the season, so I see it as our league to lose now. We suit this format of the game.”

Hornchurch got that fourth league success of the year following a fine team display at School Lane.

Smith put the hosts into bat and saw his men restrict them to 212-9 as Max Osborne bowled 15 overs to take 3-48.

Although Billy Gordon was wicketless in 18 overs, his hard graft helped spinners Mark Whitlock (1-21), Chamikara Mudalige (1-46) and Taqi Abbas (1-23) claim scalps.

Hornchurch also produced three run outs thanks to good work from Mudalige, Abbas and Smith, but they dropped catches in the field.

Opener Jamie Sorrell led the way in reply and top scored with 77 before Gordon (41) and Ronnie Saunders enjoyed a good partnership, with the latter finishing unbeaten on 63 to see his team home.

It was a case of third time lucky for Hornchurch’s skipper, who was delighted with the win.

Smith added: “On paper it looked a comfortable victory, but Orsett is never an easy place to go.

“They always play well at home and this is the first time in three attempts that I’ve won there. We lost last year when we got promoted and I lost there with Ardleigh Green too.”

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