Gordon hails Hornchurch effort against Wanstead ahead of Hutton trip

Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch against Wanstead

Billy Gordon in batting action for Hornchurch against Wanstead - Credit: TGS Photo

Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon wants to build on a strong performance against Wanstead as his side head to Hutton on Saturday.

Contrasting half-centuries from Paul Murray (55 off 110) and Adeel Malik (75 off 69) led Hornchurch to 247 against the Hamro Foundation Essex League Premier Division leaders last weekend.

Paul Murray hits out for Hornchurch against Wanstead

Paul Murray hits out for Hornchurch against Wanstead - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

And wickets were shared by Hornchurch's four-man bowling attack as the Herons were left hanging on for a draw at 169-9 at Harrow Lodge Park.

"It was a good score to be fair," said Gordon.

"The wicket wasn't the greatest compared to others we've had this season.

"It was a difficult pitch and we thought 247 was a good target and if we could get a couple of their main players out early we'd get a chance.

Ronnie Saunders in batting action for Hornchurch against Wanstead

Ronnie Saunders in batting action for Hornchurch against Wanstead - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

"Everyone chipped in, the bowling got off to a good start and we kept the pressure on.

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"To have a top team like Wanstead hanging on for a draw shows what we can do on our day.

George Hankins hits four runs for Hornchurch against Wanstead

George Hankins hits four runs for Hornchurch against Wanstead - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

"Muzza has been in good form with the bat and gloves and Adeel has been class for the last month so it was good for them to keep going."

Wanstead opener Tom Simmons fell for a first-ball duck, as James Imray held a catch off George Hankins, and Gordon bowled the dangerous Robin Das cheaply, followed by Kishen Velani for a fourth-ball duck to leave the visitors 37-3.

George Hankins (left) and Paul Murray add to the Hornchurch total against Wanstead

George Hankins (left) and Paul Murray add to the Hornchurch total against Wanstead - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Malik and Gordon (3-61) had more success to make it 102-6, but visiting captain Joe Ellis-Grewal dug in with opener Yuvraj Odedra (66) and had support from the lower order.

The last three batters faced a combined total of 89 balls to frustrate the hosts, as Malik finished with 4-41 from his 21-over spell.

Hornchurch batter Paul Murray suffers an injury against Wanstead, as Jonathan Das looks on

Hornchurch batter Paul Murray suffers an injury against Wanstead, as Jonathan Das looks on - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

And the draw left Hornchurch in fifth place, 12 points behind Chelmsford in second, and 60 adrift of Wanstead ahead of this weekend's trip to the Polo Field Ground.

Gordon added: "At 60-5, we knew they bat the whole way down and it would be tough. It's where we're lacking another seamer. We need a bit of extra pace to get the tail out.

"But I couldn't ask for anything more from the boys, they were brilliant. Wanstead blocked and held out, the pitch wasn't doing much.

"Hopefully we can carry on as it's very close from second to eighth. It's a confidence boost and we need to keep going.

"Hutton have had mixed results, they're a weird team, a young side with good players.

"I've not played there since I was younger and I'm looking forward to it, it's a nice ground. Hopefully we can finish as high up the table as possible."