Smith sights on Hornchurch targets

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Captain wants strike bowler for 2015

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith knows what type of player he needs to add next season, having ended the Essex League Division Two season last weekend.

Champions Hornchurch sealed a 14th win of the campaign after beating Westcliff by seven wickets and Smith wants to add a top quality fast bowler to the ranks ahead of a return to Division One next year.

“Hopefully we will add a couple of new players,” said Smith. “I don’t think it is a secret that we could do with a couple of fast bowlers.

“If we had a genuine quality opening bowler this year, we would’ve won every single game. That was the only shortage in our armoury.”

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Smith is more than happy to continue as skipper next season, should the club committee wish to keep him on.

He was also very modest about his own achievements with the bat, ending with an impressive 906 runs at an average of 82.36.

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Ronnie Saunders (657 at 38.64), Paul Murray (561 at 37.4), Chris Sains (556 at 50.54) and Chris Haylett (390 at 35.45) made up the rest of the top five and Smith is sure they will make up the bulk of the batting line-up next season.

“If they want me, I am happy to continue,” he added. “I try not to talk about myself, but if I had come in a bit earlier I would probably have got over 1,000 runs.

“I have been going in at four and five, but I am just happy that the team has been doing well because that is the most important thing for me.

“Young Chris Haylett has done really well. He finished with nearly 400 and a good average.

“Chris is only 20, a bit older than Ronnie Saunders, another who has done really well.

“Sainsy can’t have batted more than 12 times, but when he comes in he hits the ball so hard and far.

“Paul has been brilliant as well because keeping wicket and opening the batting isn’t easy. He must have the most catches and stumpings in the league.

“We will definitely be the bulk of the batting next season, we have an excellent batting line up but if they want to progress they’ll continue working hard over the winter and come back next season even better.”

Chammy Mudalige passed 50 wickets for the season against Westcliff, while Mitch Gilbert claimed his first senior scalp thanks to a “catch of the season” contender from Marc Whitlock at slip.

And Jamie Sorrell’s unbeaten century – his maiden ton – steered Hornchurch to their target without alarm.

Simon Rowe fell two runs short of a hundred as the thirds made 219-8 against Southend, before Luke Williams (5-62) and Barry Bones (4-38) combined with the ball in a 31-run victory.

Aquib Khan (6-62) shone as the fourths beat Hadleigh by five wickets, while the champion fifths skittled Old Southendians for just 41 after making 201-7.

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