Poor batting cost us, says Smith

Hornchurch's captain Roy Smith (right) fist pumps with Billy Gordon (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Hornchurch's captain Roy Smith (right) fist pumps with Billy Gordon (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Hornchurch captain reflects on below par performance with the bat after they lost to Hadleigh last weekend

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith was disappointed with his team after watching them suffer a five-wicket defeat to Hadleigh & Thundersley on Saturday, despite making an excellent start.

Billy Gordon and Chris Sains had a partnership of 74 for the first wicket and the Essex League Division One leaders appeared on course for a big score at that stage.

The hosts fought back in the field, though, with their skipper Adam Soilleux taking five catches as Hornchurch were bowled out for 231 with three overs remaining.

It was a below par effort and Smith wasn’t pleased with the way the middle and lower order batted, a part from Michael Bones who stuck around to top scored with 54 not out.

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“We got off to a flyer and we were playing champagne cricket, it was just the application from everyone else that let us down and the poor shot selection,” said Smith.

“I was thinking we could get 350 today and all of a sudden we lost a couple of wickets and from six onwards I think our top score was seven.

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“No disrespect to Hadleigh, they haven’t got the best bowling attack in the league and the ball wasn’t doing a sausage all day so no complaints from our point of view, it was just poor shot selection.”

A positive for Hornchurch was the top three finding some form after encountering a difficult couple of weeks.

Gordon and Sains both hit 52 to get back into good nick with the bat, but Hadleigh’s captain overshadowed them both.

Soilleux finished on 92 not out to earn victory for the home side with just 10 balls remaining despite the best efforts of Paul Walter (2-30) and Taqi Abbas (2-57).

Smith added: “The fifties for Billy and Chris were pleasing, we just ideally needed one of them to go on, but they batted well. It was just the rest of us that didn’t play very good shots.

“It did get tight in the end, but our bowling unit wasn’t up to scratch. We weren’t at our best with the ball.

“Hadleigh’s captain ‘Soli’ is a very good player and played a good innings for them, probably the best he will play all season and he managed to get them over the line.”

But despite defeat, Hornchurch are 31 points ahead of their nearest title challengers Southend-on-Sea with just six matches left this season.

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