Hornsey are promoted
Indian Gymkhana 89 Hornsey 92-4 HORNSEY secured an early promotion as victory sealed a top-two spot with a game to spare, allowing the Crouch End outfit to focus on tying up the Division Three title this coming weekend, writes Ben Pearce. Paul Weekes reco
Indian Gymkhana 89 Hornsey 92-4 HORNSEY secured an early promotion as victory sealed a top-two spot with a game to spare, allowing the Crouch End outfit to focus on tying up the Division Three title this coming weekend, writes Ben Pearce.
Paul Weekes recorded figures of 4-9 and Martin Tucker picked up 3-21 as visiting Hornsey skittled Indian Gymkhana for 89, and Chetan Patel's side took just 29 overs to reach their target at 92-4.
Deepesh Makwana went early on for six but his fellow opener Garfield Struthers enjoyed a 32-run stand with Martin Tucker before Tucker was caught on 19.
Struthers perished on 25 and, with just 29 runs needed for victory and promotion, skipper Patel came to the crease.
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Unfortunately the captain was denied the chance to strike the winning wins as he was bowled for a duck, and instead it was left to Weekes (10 not out) and his brother Sanjay Patel (12no) to knock off the final runs and secure a place in Division Two.
"The celebrations were good. We'd have liked to nail the title on the day as well but the first goal at the start of the season was to win promotion, and we've done that," said skipper Patel.
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"We bought 12 bottles of champagne on the way back to Crouch End and it all went on until about 4am. We stayed at the cricket club for a while and then a few of the boys went on to a nightclub in the West End.
"If we hold the team that we've already got together then we'll be strong next season. The key will be to get a good overseas player and we're already on the case with that.
"As things stand, Paul [Weekes] will be playing for us again next season. He and Sanjay will come in for the second half of the season, when their work commitments at their schools finish.
"It's very important that I thank our sponsors - Greene and Co, the Crouch End estate agents, and Neyas, the Indian restaurant. They've been sponsoring us for three years and two years respectively, and we're really grateful. Hopefully that can continue as we go up into Division Two."
Hornsey, who have played in all three divisions of the Middlesex County League in their history, return to Division Two after a four-year stay in Division Three, having been relegated in 2006.
This season's triumph finally banished the memories of last season's agonising near miss, as the Tivoli Road outfit led Division Three for most of the campaign but were overtaken on the last day by both Harrow Town and Kenton.
Twelve months on, Kenton have already been relegated, having won just two of their 17 matches, and Harrow Town still have work to do on the final day to secure their survival.
It looks like a cautionary tale for the teams who make the jump up to Division Two, but Patel insists he is unconcerned.
"Kenton and Harrow Town pipped us last year but Kenton are coming straight back down and, the way the table's looking, Harrow Town could still be going with them," he said. "Without sounding too arrogant, we're a stronger club than them and it certainly won't happen to us. I'm not worried about that."
Hornsey will taste double delight by winning the Division Three title this Saturday if, as expected, they beat basement boys Barnet Bs at Tivoli Road. Barnet have only won one of their 17 matches this season, losing 10. In fact, Hornsey do not have to win -- they simply need to match Highgate's result against Bessborough.