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Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League – week 18 review

Sunday 6th September 2015

With Hartley crowned Champions last weekend, all eyes on Saturday were focussed on the battle for survival at the bottom of the table, writes Errol Valentine.

Both Sandwich and Bromley will have been on tenterhooks till late in the day as both their matches went to the wire and ended in the last over.

Sadly for Sandwich, the champagne corks would be popping at Bromley, for although Bromley lost narrowly to Sevenoaks Vine, a narrow defeat also for Sandwich at home to Folkestone sends the East Kent side down to Division 1 in 2016.

It could hardly have been a tenser afternoon for both of them and both games followed a remarkably similar pattern. Both battling sides lost the toss and were invited to bat.

Both posted modest totals and both fought to the bitter end to defend them but neither succeeded.

Sandwich had to win to earn enough points to catch Bromley should Bromley lose.

The Sandwich innings began steadily and at 91-2 close to the half ways stage when the dismissal of Robert Goatham for 33 triggered a middle order collapse and Sandwich were now suddenly floundering at 101-7.

Matters were not a lot better when the scoreboard reached 138-9 but a spirited unbroken last wicket partnership of 32 between Craig Spanton, 22, and 10 by Matthew van Poppel took Sandwich to 170-9 at the close.

Notable bowling performances came from Jan Gray 4-16 and Thomas Jones 3-23. James Lilley was to prove the thorn in the side of Sandwich as he outshone all the batmen on the day with 85.

He received support from Himanshu Waingankar, 44, in the mid innings. Lilley took the total to 156-5 and the Folkestone lower order managed the reminder to win by 3 wickets with just four deliveries remaining. The fate of Sandwich was thus sealed irrespective of the outcome at Sevenoaks Vine.

The match at Sevenoaks Vine was similarly close and highly competitive. Shavawn Cunningham with 58 apart, a number of the Bromley batsmen were unable to build a significant innings having got themself established.

Karl Pearson took a valuable 4-27. Bromley managed to reach 215-9 and were left wondering at tea whether they had done enough and whether Sandwich could bowl Folkestone out for less than 170.

The Vine did not find run scoring easy but opener Oilver Durell held their innings together with an invaluable 73 as they rather meandered their way to 190-8 falling behind the run rate still leaving 26 from less than three overs.

The game was right in the balance. It was Tom Coldman who made the difference striking 22 from 12 deliveries that saw the Vine home with just two balls to spare.

Bromley, who along with Sevenoaks Vine are the only two Clubs never to have played outside the top Kent League Division since 1971 just managed to cling on to this impressive record.

The only other game to start was at Manor Way, Bexley where the visitors Tunbridge Wells left with the spoils. In a match reduced to 40 overs a side due to wet conditions, Tunbridge Wells elected to bat.

Thanks to an excellent third wicket partnership of 119 between skipper and man of the match Alexander Williams, 74 and Keeper Robert Sehmi 51, the away side were able to post a competitive 204-8 from their reduced allotment of overs.

The Bexley response was below par, as Matthew Stiddard apart with 45, wickets fell regularly at the other end with Alexander Williams 4-28 and David Smith 3-22 doing much of the damage. Bexley will have been disappointed to be bowled out for 151. Both Clubs end up mid table in 2015.

The games at Beckenham against Blackheath and Lordswood versus Hartley were both called off without a ball being bowled with conditions to wet to begin.

The clashes between the top four in Division 1 saw Dartford victorious away at the Mote to clinch the Division 1 title and gain promotion to the Premier Division and Tenterden winners away to Whitstable to give them runners up spot and promotion for the very first time to the top level of the Kent Cricket League.

With Hartley crowned Champions last weekend, all eyes on Saturday were focussed on the battle for survival at the bottom of the table.

Both Sandwich and Bromley will have been on tenterhooks till late in the day as both their matches went to the wire and ended in the last over.

Sadly for Sandwich, the champagne corks would be popping at Bromley, for although Bromley lost narrowly to Sevenoaks Vine, a narrow defeat also for Sandwich at home to Folkestone sends the East Kent side down to Division 1 in 2016.

It could hardly have been a tenser afternoon for both of them and both games followed a remarkably similar pattern. Both battling sides lost the toss and were invited to bat. Both posted modest totals and both fought to the bitter end to defend them but neither succeeded.

Sandwich had to win to earn enough points to catch Bromley should Bromley lose. The Sandwich innings began steadily and at 91-2 close to the half ways stage when the dismissal of Robert Goatham for 33 triggered a middle order collapse and Sandwich were now suddenly floundering at 101-7.

Matters were not a lot better when the scoreboard reached 138-9 but a spirited unbroken last wicket partnership of 32 between Craig Spanton, 22, and 10 by Matthew van Poppel took Sandwich to 170-9 at the close.

Notable bowling performances came from Jan Gray 4-16 and Thomas Jones 3-23. James Lilley was to prove the thorn in the side of Sandwich as he outshone all the batmen on the day with 85.

He received support from Himanshu Waingankar, 44, in the mid innings. Lilley took the total to 156-5 and the Folkestone lower order managed the reminder to win by 3 wickets with just four deliveries remaining. The fate of Sandwich was thus sealed irrespective of the outcome at Sevenoaks Vine.

The match at Sevenoaks Vine was similarly close and highly competitive. Shavawn Cunningham with 58 apart, a number of the Bromley batsmen were unable to build a significant innings having got themself established.

Karl Pearson took a valuable 4-27. Bromley managed to reach 215-9 and were left wondering at tea whether they had done enough and whether Sandwich could bowl Folkestone out for less than 170.

The Vine did not find run scoring easy but opener Oilver Durell held their innings together with an invaluable 73 as they rather meandered their way to 190-8 falling behind the run rate still leaving 26 from less than three overs.

The game was right in the balance. It was Tom Coldman who made the difference striking 22 from 12 deliveries that saw the Vine home with just two balls to spare.

Bromley, who along with Sevenoaks Vine are the only two Clubs never to have played outside the top Kent League Division since 1971 just managed to cling on to this impressive record.

The only other game to start was at Manor Way, Bexley where the visitors Tunbridge Wells left with the spoils. In a match reduced to 40 overs a side due to wet conditions, Tunbridge Wells elected to bat.

Thanks to an excellent third wicket partnership of 119 between skipper and man of the match Alexander Williams, 74 and 'keeper Robert Sehmi 51, the away side were able to post a competitive 204-8 from their reduced allotment of overs.

The Bexley response was below par, as Matthew Stiddard apart with 45, wickets fell regularly at the other end with Williams taking 4-28 and David Smith 3-22 doing much of the damage. Bexley will have been disappointed to be bowled out for 151. Both clubs end up mid table in 2015.

The games at Beckenham against Blackheath and Lordswood versus Hartley were both called off without a ball being bowled with conditions to wet to begin.

The clashes between the top four in Division 1 saw Dartford victorious away at the Mote to clinch the Division 1 title and gain promotion to the Premier Division and Tenterden winners away to Whitstable to give them runners up spot and promotion for the very first time to the top level of the Kent Cricket League.

WEEK 18 RESULTS – 5 SEPTEMBER 2015

Beckenham v Blackheath match abandoned

Bexley 151-10 lost to Tunbridge Wells 204-8 by 53 runs

Lordswood v Hartley match abandoned

Sandwich Town 170-9 lost to Folkestone 172-7 by 3 wickets

Sevenoaks Vine 218-8 beat Bromley 215-9 by 2 wickets