Hornchurch firmly focused on tough derby with Ilford

Hornchurch players celebrate picking up wicket (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch players celebrate picking up wicket (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo). - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Billy Gordon’s men visit Valentines Park on Saturday before taking on Belhus in the League Cup final on Monday

Hornchurch have some massive games coming up, but captain Billy Gordon insists the team will continue to focus on the immediate task ahead.

The Essex League Premier Division leaders head to Ilford on Saturday eager to extend their 14-point lead at the summit.

After visiting Valentines Park, Hornchurch will face Belhus on Bank Holiday Monday in the final of the League Cup looking to clinch more silverware.

Gordon’s team will also take on Premier Division title rivals Wanstead on September 1, but first things first is Saturday’s fixture at Ilford.

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“Valentines Park is a tough place to go to and we don’t tend to do well over there normally,” said Hornchurch’s captain.

“But I am hoping, given the confidence we have and the way we are playing, we can go over there and perform to our best.

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“Hopefully we can do that and it keeps pressure on Wanstead going into the last two games.”

Last weekend, the Herons lost at Brentwood to lose ground in the title race while Hornchurch cruised past 2017 champions Chelmsford by eight wickets.

After dismissing the visitors for 130, with Gordon (3-50) and Muhammad Irfan (3-34) doing most of the damage, opener Ronnie Saunders smashed 71 to see the leaders over the line.

But the Hornchurch captain added: “Wanstead losing doesn’t really change much. The gap is still one result either way.

“If we lose this weekend and they win, I think they would probably go top, so it is all still to play for.

“Hopefully we can win on Saturday and then beat them in our next league game and that will be enough for us.”

The victory over Chelmsford wasn’t Hornchurch’s only win of the weekend as they secured success in a thrilling League Cup semi-final with Brentwood.

After calling correctly at the toss and deciding to bat first at Harrow Lodge Park, Gordon saw his team dismissed for 107.

The skipper top scored with 23 and the next best score was 18 by Michael Bones, but Hornchurch produced an astonishing display in the field.

Mehad Khan (2-17) did early damage as Gordon (2-23) and Marc Whitlock (1-6) chipped in.

Michael Bones took six catches and a stumping but overseas Irfan (5-40) was the hero in his final appearance to book Hornchurch a spot in Monday’s final at Garon Park.

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