1st XI Report
With three games to go at the time of writing the 1st XI remain in contention for a top-four finish in KCVL Div 1, and Champions League qualification.
Results have been variable since the last newsletter: a very narrow defeat at Four Elms, with our target of 186 (Harry Fitz 62 and an unbeaten last-wicket partnership of 40 by Harry Dunmall and Charlie Barkan) overhauled with just three balls to spare, and then a heavier defeat Meopham where we let the home side get too many (243) and then failed to chase very well, notwithstanding Tom Hinton’s rearguard 64*. More recently we were below par against Shipbourne, failing to defend 167 (Mark Utting starred with 69 and two wickets which were worthy of Ian Botham at his laziest).
However sandwiched in between, in the height of this hottest of summers, were two fine victories of very different complexion. A total of 261 was too much for Horsmonden, characterised by a 134 run partnership between Ben Spokes and Muddy Waters, followed by David Booth biffing six sixes in his 68* (he also followed up with 6 for 22).
And the pick of the matches was on a hot and heated afternoon at Penshurst Park, where a fine bowling performance restricted the home side to 146. But at 127-9 all seemed lost . Apparently the discussion between numbers 10 and 11 (Messrs Dunmall and Waterman) amounted to ‘we can do this in ones’, but the message clearly didn’t quite reach Louis’ fast twitch muscles as he belted Semmens for two fours in the final over, leaving Harry to nick one past the keeper (where else?) to see the boys home.
All good experience for those tricky European fixtures next year…
2nd XI Report
T’was early July, the sun was out and seriously warm with zero breeze. Eynsford have a pleasant ground near the river and a nice flat deck on which to bat – what could possibly go wrong?
1. England was playing a World Cup football quarterfinal starting at 15.00
2. Our hosts were quite miffed that we hadn’t agreed to start the game soon after breakfast with two hours (plus extra time?) for the tea break
3. We fielded first and soon noticed the worrying proximity of the river to the side of the square on which we were playing. In addition, two of their younger players were sent from the pavilion in flip-flops and swimming trunks armed with a long pole with a net!
4. It soon became clear that the outfield had the same coefficient of friction as the putting greens in the US Open golf. A gentle nudge was enough to race to the boundary.
So how did our heroes fair?
Eynsford scored just less than 400 in the three and a half hours it took to complete 40 overs, what with fishing for the ball, drying the ball and then having it swiftly returned to the river – time dragged slowly in the field. Jo P, as is now usual, was the pick of the bowlers going for less than 6 an over.
Once swede got our innings off to a brisk start we started with some fancy footwork down the wicket from FB (45 including 8 fours in 11 overs) but tailed off until a last wicket partnership between JP, with 40*, and Captain Coffin, who led from the rear, with a gay 29 before running himself out.
The loss by 211 runs was as comprehensive as it sounds – oh well at least England won the football!
After Cudham Wyse conceded, we played Pembury, losing the toss on a very warm day we were (as expected) sent into the field. Owen F bowling well and ended with 1-58 from his 8 overs. Ben R lost his radar shortly after pulling a muscle – a shame as he has bowled well this year. Three further overs from Philip Harrison without success and the other wickets shared between Woody (2-57), MFlem (3-44) and Nick Fowler (3-54). The latter also getting a run-out. Good accurate bowling had six bowled and the other 3 being caught behind by Bomber!
After a good tea, we started our pursuit of the 275. The opposition quickly halted a reasonable start from MFlem, Iqbal and Siraj with the total at 57. A partnership of 94 then followed between Bomber (46) and Nick Fowler (57) before the former was run out not going for the second despite him saying we should do so!! We were always slightly behind the rate and despite entertaining knocks from Philip and Ed Elliot, we ended on 198 for 7.
July ended with a violent thunderstorm, but we still managed a sunny (but very windy) day at the lovely West Farleigh. The short downhill boundary looked a challenge to defend so we won the toss and batted first. We opened with James Flemington and Iqbal, but the former went quickly to a ball that showed how challenging the slow bounce would be. Bomber didn’t last long to a straight ball and we then relied on Jo P and Iqbal to bat sensibly and get us back on track. Iqbal played a sensible 52 before being bowled and Nick Fowler got a straight ball that jumped. Jo batted on to build a solid 23 off 38 balls – just what was needed to provide some stability batting with Ben Harrison. When we lost one Owen (Fowler) they were replaced with another Owain (Lloyd James) to build a fantastic 7th wicket partnership of 134 with Ben, both batting sensibly the only mistake being Ben run out on 91. Owain was not out at the end on 47 and we closed on 246 for 9.
We opened the bowling with Owen F (1-18) and Jo (0-29) both off five overs which kept them shackled down. OLJ continued tightly (9 overs, 1-30) and Happy who bowled his first 7 at 1-40. Ed Elliot bowled 3 tight overs for just 18 and Hugh H sadly struggled to find his length. Both JFlem and Owen Fowler bowled tight spells, just when they were really going for the finishing line. They ended up needing five to win from the final over and Ben bowled very well and played within the spirit of the game when bowling at the opposition’s 10-year-old. It was therefore only right that the game ended a tie and honours shared. Our ground fielding was generally very good with Hugh, Ed, Owen and Jo all working hard to keep the runs down on the longest boundary. Unfortunately, our catching was suspect and had we held more, the result may have been different. Finally, Tristan Price kept well on a difficult pitch and also completed the scorebook more completely and neatly than anyone else this year!