Hornsey denied second win of the season by Acton’s stubborn tail

Stubborn resistance from the Acton tail denied Hornsey their second win of the season as they had to settle for a four-point draw in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Hornsey’s bowlers reduced the home side to 139-7 as they chased a target of 230, but eighth-wicket pair Tom Forsdike and Alexander Fell thwarted them with an unbroken stand of 33.

Earlier, the visitors had seized control of the contest thanks to a century from new skipper Garfield Struthers and a late onslaught by Ed Wharton, who hammered an unbeaten 53 from just 23 balls.

Struthers won the toss and opted to bat first, with Sean Solia (28) getting his side off to a strong start despite the loss of Will Notley, who was leg before to Fell for two.

Solia and Struthers steered Hornsey to 55-1 before Forsdike (5-69) struck twice in quick succession, bowling Solia and dispatching Jack Goldberg lbw for just a single.

The middle order threatened to crumble as Chetan Patel (2) fell to John Reeve and Fell bowled James Fleming (8) to leave Hornsey wobbling at 95-5.

But Steve Atkinson (18) provided his captain with support, sharing a stand of 56 before he gave Forsdike a return catch, while Martin Tucker became the Acton bowler’s fourth victim after making a brisk 10.

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However, Wharton set about the home bowling with relish, hitting four fours and four sixes en route to his half-century, while Struthers reached three figures exactly before falling to Forsdike.

Wharton’s savage knock enabled the skipper to declare soon afterwards, at the end of the 50th over – and Acton then began disastrously as they set off in pursuit of the target.

Opener Guy Brothwood was run out first ball by Kenny Tuitt, but James Hunt (19) and Hannadige Soysa (79) appeared to get their side back on track with a partnership of 52.

A good spell from Hornsey seamer Martin Tucker (3-24) blunted their progress, though, as he trapped Hunt leg before and then dismissed Yasir Mehmood (2) and Steve Rae (1) to leave the home side on 66-4.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, with Tuitt (1-12) taking the catch to remove Danyal Ahmed (11) off the bowling of Solia (1-44) and then removing Acton captain Alex Brennan (12).

And it looked as if Hornsey’s triumph was inevitable when Notley (1-10) finally got rid of Soysa – but Forsdike (25 not out) and Fell (7no) had other ideas as they steered their side to safety at 172-7.

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