Belhus v Horndon on the Hill – National Village Cup.
Belhus 323-6 40 overs
Horndon on the Hill 326-2 36.2 overs
HORNDON travelled to Belhus on Sunday for the second round of the National Village Cup. Horndon won the toss and put Belhus into bat on a very good looking pitch. Belhus took advantage of the batting conditions and brothers Danny and Joe Joyce raced to 158 at 20 overs. A much needed wicket from Horndon skipper Jeff West Jnr finally came and Danny Joyce fell for a fine 64. Joe Joyce punished the Horndon bowling and pushed on past his 100 making an excellent 133 before being caught off the bowling of Steve Edwards. Strong hitting from the Belhus middle order, Danny Norris in particular, took them to a huge total of 323-6 off their 40 overs. Steve Edwards picked up 4 wickets for Horndon and was backed up with some tight bowling from NVC debutant Dan Stone.
With Horndon staring at an embarrassing defeat before their innings had even started, Belhus took to the field full of confidence. Despite the huge task ahead Horndon’s openers Jack Walsh and Tom Stone got off to a flying start, taking the visitors to a quick fire 84 off 10 overs. Both openers played with aggression and the Belhus bowlers began to struggle as Horndon picked up the pace to 186 for no loss at drinks. The impossible run chase was now on. Walsh made his 100 in the 24th over with Stone catching up just an over later taking Horndon to 223 in just 25 overs. One of Horndon’s finest ever opening partnerships of 237 finally came to an end in the 27th over as Walsh (102), was caught off the bowling of Billy Winter. With the run rate still up at 7 an over, Horndon skipper Jeff West Jnr promoted himself up the order to try and kill the game off, fortunately the decision paid off. West and Stone put on a further 68 runs in just 7 overs with a fine display of hitting, before the grand innings of 138 from Tom Stone came to an end by a stumping from Danny Joyce. With the finishing line in sight and 18 runs needed off 6 overs the experienced Martin Sayers joined West at the crease. Horndon were victorious just 2 overs later, Sayers (9*) bludgeoned a huge 6 to seal it and a skippers innings of 42* off just 22 balls from Jeff West Snr meant Horndon had chased down the huge total of 323 in just 36 overs with the loss of only 2 wickets. Quite an amazing game played in brilliant spirit by both sides. Horndon travel to Great Waltham in two weeks’ time for the Regional Semi-finals.