Over 70s win National Title: Kent Seniors 2022 Season Report

Monday 3rd October 2022

Over 70s win National Title: Kent Seniors 2022 Season Report

By Howard Smith

Well, who would have thought that at the beginning of the year that Kent Seniors would win three trophies and play in four semi-finals, reaching two finals.

We played in excess of 100 matches, with 117 players being involved in at least one match or more and to prove you don’t have to slog we amassed 18 centuries in the ‘proper’ manner.

Of course the weather played its part this year with few cancellations and fewer rearrangements. We continued to recruit during the season and were able to field seven Teams, four at 60+ level and three at 70+ level which was a  first for us. Every match had at least eleven players and was staffed by an umpire and scorer all from Kent. An excellent achievement and thanks to all our officials.

We played at home grounds all around the county; every one of them offering fine facilities and hospitality. Sadly with the history of Covid the traditional cricket teas weren’t always available, but hopefully the future may change that.

Our Captains are extremely competitive and selection mirrored their views. However 117 people played, which shows that there is a chance for everyone.

I am not a great believer in stats as I never feature but I show below the results of our seven Teams;

  • First Team:
    • Finished top in their Group, for the second year running played Essex in the semi-final and lost in the last over with 2 balls remaining and relinquished their title having won it last year.
  • Second Team:
    • Also top in their group and also reached their semi-final away to Lancashire where they wanted one off the last ball to win which they didn’t achieve. The scores were tied but they failed to go through to the final on more wickets lost.
  • Third Team:
    • Won their Group (having won this Competition for the last three years) won their semi-final by one wicket and played Wales in the final. For the first time their batting collapsed and lost by 6 wickets having won their Competition 5 times in the last 7 years.
  • Fourth Team:
    • With three matches left the Fourth Team had won their League and finished their season unbeaten with a tie in the last match. The Fourth Team also had won this Competition 3 times in the last 4 years
  • 70+ First Team:
    • Just scraped into the play-offs and progressed to the final playing Suffolk on a lovely ground in Essex. A good batting display and a better bowling display saw them come out winners by 38 runs.
  • 70+ Second Team:
    • Our final success of 2022 was with the 70+ Second Team winning their Division having finished fourth the year before.
  • 70+ Third Team:
    • In some ways another wonderful success with the Team completing their whole League season and playing 12 competitive matches and finishing mid-table.

The National Championship in which we compete also play other Countries in Over 60 and Over 70 Test matches.

Over the years we’ve had many of the Kent group represent their country and this year is no different.

The 60 squad go to Barbados in January and we are represented by John Butterworth, Jim Phillips and Rupert Staple.

The 70 squad go to Australia in February and we are represented by Chris Swadkin who goes as Captain and Derek Towe.

We wish them all well.

We also have 6 Indoor Net sessions in March/April which is ideal for new members to come along, show their skills and meet new chums.

We are continually on the lookout to recruit new players as the older of our members drop off their perch. So if you’ve reached a mature age please be assured that if you join our group you’ll be made extremely welcome!

Our excellent Website gives all the details you require:

More Information

Seniors’ cricket in Kent continues to thrive and a highly successful season for all our four 60+ teams and three 70+ teams culminated in the Over 70s team becoming National Champions for the second time with their victory over Suffolk at Hutton CC.

Kent Over 70s (188-6) beat Suffolk (150-7) by 38 runs.

After a 12-match Group phase, Kent qualified in eighth place for the knockout rounds and reached the final with a win away to top seed Wales and then a victory against 2021 champions Surrey in the semi-final.

In the final, Kent were inserted after losing the toss and openers Andrew Dixon and Brian Lomax made a steady start on what proved to be a slow, unpredictable pitch.

Dixon was first to go caught behind for 15 and Lomax departed for 19 at 56/2.

Derek Towe joined Chris Swadkin at this point and they began a partnership of 72 which began to put us in the driving seat.

Although Towe departed for 35, Swadkin carried on, with support from Bob Phillips and Trevor Back, until he was stumped in the closing overs for 67.  The Kent innings closed on 188/6 – a competitive total but not decisive.

Suffolk’s innings never really got going against Kent’s accurate bowling. Towe took 2 wickets with the new ball and then Colin Breed (2-17 from 9 overs) and Peter Thompson (1-27 from his 9) in tandem strangled the Suffolk reply.

At 94/7 with only 11 overs remaining the game was as good as won and although Suffolk’s eigth wicket partnership restored some pride it only delayed the inevitable.

A great end to skipper Keith Millen’s first season in charge.

View full scorecard

By Chris Swadkin