Hornchurch on a high
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Smith’s men seal promotion and title
Hornchurch clinched a return to Essex League Division One with victory at Horndon.
Spinner Chamikara Mudalige shone with the ball once again, claiming 5-74 as the home side were dismissed for 194 after winning the toss and choosing to bat.
And Paul Murray’s century steered Hornchurch to a six-wicket success which took them 77 points clear of third-placed Belhus with only two matches remaining.
And Orsett’s failure to beat Westcliff leaves them 58 points adrift in second place, ensuring Roy Smith’s men go up as champions.
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Meanwhile, at the other end of the table Gidea Park & Romford lie just nine points above the relegation zone after drawing with fellow strugglers West Essex.
Nigel Fretwell (4-80) and Josh Turner (3-40) combined with the ball as West were dismissed for 230, after their last-wicket pair put on a vital 80 runs.
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Park had contributions from Sam Hewitt (46), Chris McKie (26), Alan Croft (24) and Matt Tarr (22) but had to settle for a draw at 155-7.
Upminster’s relegation from the Premier Division was confirmed after a seven-wicket defeat at Wanstead.
Billy Gordon (73) top scored as Upminster made 202-9 and John Curtis (2-53) nabbed a brace in Wanstead’s reply, including a first-ball dismissal of Essex youngster Kishen Velani, as the home side eased to their target with 11 overs to spare.
Harold Wood were well beaten by table-topping Chingford, who scored 249 after winning the toss and then skittled the home side for just 81 inside 20 overs.
Ardleigh Green’s Division One fate was sealed with defeat at Hadleigh, where they were dismissed for just 129.
Paul Hurworth (43) and Choudhry Mahboob (36) top scored for Green, with Inam Rehman (3-42), captain Chris Cook (2-8), Sajid Younis (2-39) and James Duhig all having success with the ball as the home side lost eight wickets chasing their small target.
An 11th defeat in 16 matches left Green’s basement boys 45 points adrift at the bottom of the table heading into the final fortnight of the 2014 campaign.