On a warm sunny mid-September day Hornchurch completed their successful season with a resounding victory over Walton-on-Thames, in the final of The Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy, at the splendid setting of Camberley CC.
Hornchurch had already won the Essex League, the T20 area final, and were runners-up in the Essex Dukes Cup.
Walton captain Dan Roberts won the toss and elected to bowl. That decision was immediately not helped by a series of wides from his opening seamers. That and numerous off-line deliveries allowed the Hornchurch opening batters, Paul Murray and Jalpesh Vijay, to score freely and heavily. A missed-timed shot from Vijay saw him caught at mid-off after 6 overs with the score at 54. A 9 run an over opening partnership. With injuries to his shoulder and ankle bandaged-up, Lesbourne Edwards entered at no. 3, and he and Murray put on a 95 run partnership before Murray was surprisingly out in the 25th over for 74 from 94 balls ; 9 x 4’s, 1 x 6. A century missed’ ?. Like-wise, Edwards was surprisingly out 7 overs later for 61 in 75 balls ; 6 x 4’s. 1 x 6.
The difficulties for Walton did not stop with the top 3 batsmen now out after 32 overs ; 191 runs. Although Roberts rotated his bowlers, nothing worked as no. 6, Adeel Malik blasted away, and with George Hankins, put on 108 in 11 overs. Malik fell at 299, with 61 from 41 balls ; 6 x 4’s, 3 x 6’s. Hankins was 43* from 44 balls when the innings closed on 319. A huge total which maybe a record score in a final of our competitions ?
Always ‘up-against-it’, Walton needed a good start. Unfortunately, Roberts was bowled by Arthur George for just 6 in the 5th over. For a brief time with opener Yusuf Hafiz leading the way, promising 2nd and 3rd wicket partnerships kept Walton at near 6 runs an over. The introduction of Adeel Malik and Marc Whitlock slowed that down, and after Hafiz was 5th out at 164 ; 81 in 77 balls ; 11 x 4’s, they had done the damage, and insured no other Walton batter, apart from keeper James Madoc-Jones with 39, troubled the scorers. Whitlock finished with 3 for 37 from his 9 overs. Walton all out for 213 in 36.3 overs.
On top of his 61 runs, Malik took 4 wickets for 35 from 8 overs, and was deservedly judged by the umpires for the Man-of-the-Match award.
So another new name appears on the Bertie Joel Cup