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Hornchurch pick up where they left off last year

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 May 2019

Mehad Khan of Hornchurch during Ilford CC vs Hornchurch CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cup Cricket at Valentines Park on 27th April 2019

Mehad Khan of Hornchurch during Ilford CC vs Hornchurch CC, Shepherd Neame Essex League Cup Cricket at Valentines Park on 27th April 2019

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Billy Gordon is confident winter recruits will help last season's treble winners have another 'great side'

Hornchurch travel to Goresbrook in the second round of the Essex League Cup this weekend looking to defend their crown.

Billy Gordon's team enjoyed a remarkable 2018 – winning the Essex League Premier Division, League Cup and T20 Cup titles.

It was an unprecedented year of success for the Harrow Lodge Park outfit and, worryingly for their rivals, they show no signs of slowing down this season.

Last weekend, Gordon took his team to Ilford in the first round of the League Cup and saw his side run out winners by five wickets.

Hornchurch handed debuts to Mervyn Westfield, Jas Bassan and Gayan Sirisoma, as they also started a new era without Roy Smith or Chris Sains in the team.

Gordon said: “Roy is a top, top bloke so he will be sorely missed as will 'Sainsy' but we have to try and move on as best we can with the new players we have.

“People like Merv and we have a young lad from Bexley too, a left-arm spinner called Jas.

“He has played second-team cricket for Kent and hopefully will be a really good asset as well and we have a good overseas in Gayan, so on paper we should have a great side again.”

Hornchurch had captain Gordon to thank for the victory at Valentines Park after he scored a superb 116 off 115 balls.

Gordon was well supported by Paul Murray (54), before Westfield (27) and Bassan (21 not out) helped the away side over the line chasing a target of 266.

Ilford had scored to 265-4 after a century from Nigel Jacobs, as Mehad Khan (2-58) and Sirisoma (1-37) impressed with the ball.

And the holders will now visit league new boys Goresbrook.

After defeating Premier Division rivals Ilford, Hornchurch were back in action on Sunday at home to Dartford in the ECB National Club Championship.

It was far from straightforward for Gordon's men and they had to hold their nerve at Harrow Lodge Park to progress.

Dartford were put in first after the hosts won the toss and could only muster 196 before they were dismissed with two balls left.

Ronnie Saunders impressed and claimed 4-35 from seven overs while Gordon picked up 3-39 and Khan, Bassan and Sirisoma all nabbed scalps.

Hornchurch found the going tough and were 157-6, but the captain stood firm with an unbeaten 39 to earn a two-wicket win and set up a second-round home with Upminster on May 12.

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