Park pull clear of danger

Russ Collard of Gidea Park & Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Russ Collard of Gidea Park & Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Veteran Collard shines with ball

Gidea Park & Romford pulled clear of the relegation places in Essex League Division Two with a five-wicket win over Horndon at Gallows Corner.

Captain Russ Collard put the visitors into bat after winning the toss and it proved a good move as Charlie Haddon and Adam McKie struck with the new ball to reduce them to 14-2.

Joe Gordon (3-31) and Collard then got in on the act to leave Horndon 78-6, with Collard adding two more wickets in two balls before Shawn Findlay picked up the ninth wicket.

Long-serving Collard wrapped up the Horndon innings on 109 in the 40th over, finishing with 4-19, before George Rogers led the Park chase.

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Rogers lost Findlay and Chris Collier cheaply, but hit two sixes and seven fours in his 44 from just 32 balls before becoming the third Park batsman to fall with the score on 69.

Sam Hewitt lasted only three balls, failing to score, and Matthew Tarr followed for just a single as Park slipped to 81-5.

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But Kasi Hoq (26 not out) and captain Collard saw them over the line without further alarm, sealing victory in only the 20th over as they moved 58 points clear of Stanford at the halfway point of the season.

Neighbours Ardleigh Green remain rooted to the foot of the table, 12 points adrfit, after suffering their seventh defeat in nine outings.

Hosts Wickford posted a challenging 268-8, thanks to contributions from most of their top seven.

Ayaz Younis (3-34) was the pick of the Green attack, before Chris Cook and Paul Hurworth (33) put on 51 for the first wicket in reply.

Joel Barnet made a quick 30 off 24 balls, while Cook moved to 61 with a six and eight fours.

Cook’s exit left Green 143-3, but Alex Cason (24) and Chris Haylett (25) made starts to help reduce the target to 75.

Younis was out after hitting his own wicket, though, and Dave Rai was left stranded on 25 as the tail fell away and Green suffered a 24-run defeat.

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