Hornsey hold their nerve to beat Uxbridge and clinch fourth straight win

Hornsey maintained their charge for promotion from Middlesex County League Division Two with a fourth successive win after they finally broke down Uxbridge’s resistance with just two balls to spare.

The Crouch End club seemed set to lose ground on the league leaders as Uxbridge’s last pair clung on stubbornly for almost six overs, with a mass of fielders surrounding the bat.

But then Ed Wharton plucked a low bat-pad catch out of the air to seal a 46-run victory and keep Hornsey firmly on the tails of top two Eastcote and Shepherd’s Bush – who meet this weekend.

Opening batsman Chetan Patel said: “It’s great to win four on the bounce – unfortunately the teams around us keep winning as well, so it’s tight at the top. But we can only do our part of the deal.

“We’re back on track after losing our way in the middle part of the season and we’ve got Eastcote and Brondesbury, who are just behind us, still to play.

“So it’s in our hands, we’re nicely poised and confidence is high in the dressing-room. We’ve created momentum and we go out expecting to win all of a sudden.

“We’re playing well all round – we bat aggressively and we’ve posted imposing totals, we’ve bowled in partnerships and the guys have caught well too.

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“Every single man was around the bat for the last over – we were desperate to get over the line and deep down I always thought we would do that.”

Hornsey skipper Garfield Struthers lost the toss and his side were inserted, but Patel and James Bull batted well as they forged an opening partnership of 80.

Bull reached 52 and Patel 39, but Sean Solia and Paul Weekes were both dismissed cheaply as wickets started to tumble before debutant Patrick Joseph revitalised the Hornsey innings.

Joseph began steadily and went on to score 52, aided by a quickfire 30 from Wharton – which included a colossal six out of the ground – as the home side totalled 218-6 declared from 50 overs.

Solia (5-37) picked up two early wickets when Uxbridge replied, but the middle order staged a recovery, led by a solid knock of 45 from Tony Stephens.

Solia returned for a second spell and immediately made the breakthrough, trapping Stephens leg before to dent Uxbridge’s hopes of chasing down the target.

However, the tail proved to be obstinate and they almost survived the final over from Weekes – but Wharton’s catch ended the innings for 172 and clinched maximum points for Hornsey.