Former Middlesex man’s eight-wicket haul earns Hornsey vital win over promotion rivals Shepherd’s Bush
Hornsey (10pts) 180-7 Shepherd’s Bush (0) 150
Veteran all-rounder Paul Weekes spun Hornsey right back into the Middlesex County League Division Two promotion race with a devastating spell of bowling to blow away rivals Shepherd’s Bush.
The former Middlesex man, now 46, initially shone with the bat as he dug his side out of trouble with an unbeaten 84 that enabled them to register a competitive total of 180-7 declared at Bromyard Avenue.
But second-placed Bush seemed on course to chase that down as they reached 60 without loss in reply – until Weekes demolished their batting order with figures of 8-28.
That represented the second best return in the entire league all season and Hornsey’s 30-run victory – their third in a row – propelled them to within just seven points of a promotion spot.
Hornsey captain Garfield Struthers won the toss and opted to take first knock, with 16-year-old George Croton promoted to open alongside the experienced Chetan Patel.
Will Speer (1-28) made the breakthrough for Bush, dismissing Croton for six, while Patel (14) fell to Ed Price (1-15) to leave the visitors at an unsure 30-2.
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Sean Solia reached 13 before he was trapped leg before by James Kidson (1-79) and that sparked a middle-order slump as Tom Felton (4-52) got rid of both Struthers (2) and Jack Goldberg for a duck.
When Jack Bruce (8) became Felton’s third victim, Hornsey were in the mire at 86-6, but Weekes found a firm ally in Steve Atkinson (29), who helped him to add 62 for the seventh wicket.
Although Atkinson was eventually bowled by Felton, Ed Wharton (6 not out) stuck around while Weekes dominated the strike, hitting five sixes in a knock that hauled Hornsey to 180-7 after 53 overs.
Solia, Bruce and Wharton all toiled without reward when Bush began their reply as openers Jack Brydon (26) and Andrew Wilson (34) kept the scoreboard ticking over.
But the entry of Weekes into the attack turned the game as he had Brydon caught by Solia and Goldberg then pulled off a stumping off Atkinson to end Wilson’s stay at the crease soon afterwards.
Atkinson (2-24) then removed Ian Massey (5) and the Bush collapse started to gather pace when Pritesh Vaghela fell to Weekes without scoring at 72-4.
Felton (8) and Dan Davis (12) were the next of the veteran’s victims as Bush slid to 94-6, but Miles Illingworth (7) and Kidson (25) threatened a recovery as they added 29.
However, Weekes put paid to those hopes as he bowled Illingworth, took a return catch to remove Speer (0) and then dismissed Charles Farquhar (6) and Kidson, both courtesy of catches by Martin Tucker, as Bush were bowled out for 150 at the start of the 40th over.