In the Hylands

Hornchurch Athletic's home ground

Hornchurch Athletic's home ground - Credit: Archant

Hornchurch Athletic’s Nathaniel Bastin is writing a regular blog during the 2015 season

Given the beating sunshine, many expected batting totals to rise with the mercury; however, as the teams reunited for race night in the evening, it became apparent that this had not been the case. Paul Crane’s insight seemed to encapsulate the mood – ‘everyone was just too hot.’

The firsts bowled out Rayleigh Fairview for an ostensibly substandard 189 but fell ten runs short in reply after Ross Raftery’s ill-timed dismissal on 78 cued the end of a manageable chase. The group still remain contenders for promotion in a league where no team appears capable of dominating.

After being belted for six last week to lose the match, Stuart Whitaker redeemed himself by taking the final wicket to leave the scores exactly level in the second team fixture. Upon doing so, he collected his hat from umpire and offered his hand in appreciation of a splendid day’s play. Oh no, sorry, I mean he ran insanely towards midwicket, yelling profanities at local spectators like a man in need of an exorcism. One dreads to think what he’d have done if Athletic had lost!

As the #spellerout campaign continues to gather momentum, it was left to Neil Roe to captain the third team while Mark enjoyed some welcome time away from the spotlight. Unfortunately, he was powerless to prevent the line-up falling just five runs short of their target against another side also flirting dangerously with relegation. The question is now who will be expelled first, Greece or the threes?

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The fourths continue to be inspired as they secured yet another convincing victory. Their achievements are all the more impressive given how high they rank in the midseason sportsmanship table, a remarkable fourth. Pleasing to see that nice guys don’t always finish last, but at which point does friendliness begin to become a little weird?

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