Hornsey forced to wait for promotion party
HORNSEY tripped on a hurdle as they strain towards the finish line, but the north Londoners still have three more chances to seal their promotion to Division Two – the first coming this weekend. Chetan Patel s side top the table and...
HORNSEY tripped on a hurdle as they strain towards the finish line, but the north Londoners still have three more chances to seal their promotion to Division Two - the first coming this weekend.
Chetan Patel's side top the table and, with the top two sides going up, have a 19-point cushion over third-placed Kenton with three games remaining.
Hornsey host Ickenham on Saturday, and will seal their passage to the second tier of the Middlesex County League if they better Kenton's result away against fourth-placed Barnes.
Kenton's victory over Highgate last weekend meant that Hornsey could not be promoted whatever they did against Bessborough, but their failure to beat the division's eighth-ranked side still felt like a slip-up.
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"We were disappointed in our batting performance, to not get over 200 in 50 overs," said Ian Gregory, "and defending 191 we needed to make early breakthroughs, which unfortunately did not happen.
"It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right for us, but we still got four points and are still top of the league."
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Hornsey skipper Chetan Patel won the toss and elected to bat on a good wicket, while Bessborough opted to open with two spinners.
With the wicket turning from the first ball, Hornsey found scoring difficult and the visitors' openers could only make 20 before Alex Scrini (12) was back in the pavilion, after being caught in the slips
Deepesh Makwana and Wes Koskela took the score to 51, but suddenly Hornsey were 61-4 as Makwana (13) was immediately joined in the pavilion by Sanjay Patel (1), who lasted just one delivery after running himself out.
Chetan Patel (6) fell to a dubious catch behind soon after, but Koskela went on to share a 25-run fifth-wicket stand with Garfield Struthers before Koskela (44) fell to a lofted shot to mid off.
Garfield Struthers and Paul Plumbly put on a quick 20 but Plumbly then had to retire hurt with a twisted knee at 102-5, and Martin Tucker (5) quickly hit one back to the bowler.
When Struthers (42) was trapped lbw, Ian Gregory (10) and Joel Gregory (1) soon followed, leaving Hornsey on 164-9, but Plumbly returned with a runner, taking his team-mates to a declaration at 191 from 53 overs.
The early breakthrough failed to materialise after tea and, when Bessborough reached 80 without loss after 13 overs, the league leaders were worried.
A change of bowling proved fruitful as Oli Yew (1-41) dismissed Wayne Whitson (55) but the second wicket didn't come for another 30 runs and, although three wickets fell for just six runs as Ian Gregory (3-37) found his range, the home side still looked well placed.
With 22 overs left, Bessborough needed 68 for the win and 47 for the winning draw, but they surprisingly chose to block out and stuck out, sticking with their tactic even when they required just 11 runs off three overs, and with three wickets in hand.
Martin Tucker (3-45) bowled Phil Bush with the final ball of the 46th over, but Hornsey couldn't take the last two wickets from the final over.