Kent League Match - 100 Overs
New Ash Green (1 point) 98 all out (47.3 overs)
Addington (16 points) 99-3 (27.1 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 7 wickets
In the absence of anyone else James Hewitt won the toss and elected to bat first, possibly a doubtful decision tactically as New Ash Green would have benefitted from Addington getting maximum points and avoiding relegation, though in the end the 16 points were enough. Matt Scanlan and Ian Martin gave them another steady start, and Dan Walton and Vic Mayers gave further support, but having reached 67-2 New Ash Green's tail fell away badly and they ended up being all out for 98, though nearly using all their overs in doing so.
Andy Cox and Paul Sumner bowled tidy opening spells, Cox getting an an early wicket, and James Hewitt was also economical, but Patrick Gada and Ben Buet (who had already shared most of the New Ash Green wickets between them) saw Addington home with some comfort. A difficult end to a difficult season, and New Ash Green's first XI will probably have another season of struggle ahead as they try to rebuild, but the spirit has remained good from the bulk of the players throughout and despite the poor results the outlook for the future remains reasonably positive.
Kent Feeder League (East) Match - 40 Overs per side
New Ash Green (20 points) 200-3 (46 overs)
Hartley (8 points) 180 all out (45.2 overs)
New Ash Green won by 20 runs
What a difference a week makes again. Once again coming off the back of a heavy defeat by the same opposition the previous week New Ash Green this time were not significantly stronger than they had been the previous week, though a late change of teams due to travel problems did give them Andy Harrington in his final game before emigrating to Cyprus. Hartley also had some personnel changes, and althoughg they had lost their overseas player, Chouhan, they had gained two players who have mainly plyed their trade in the second XI recently, opening bowler James Nash and batsman Justin Crouch, and one of their leading regular batsmen Kevin McClean. Hartley won the toss and chose to put New Ash Green in on a worn end of season pitch, and when Nash opened with pace and accuracy it looked like it might be a short match. With Glenn Gibbons also bowling accurately at the other end it was a slow start for New Ash Green, only 4 leg byes lifting the rate above 1 an over in the 5th over. Joe Elisak eventually lost patience at the end of the 7th over, swinging at Nash and lifting a gentle catch to mid-off, but Matthew Quantrill and Matt Dehaney continued with patience, taking the score to 14-1 after 11, but Dehaney launched a couple of big shots to hit Gibbons out of the attack. Both batsmen then started to pick up runs off Nash as well, and Louis Cooper, though steady was not threatening. Giles Carter, who has been economical all season, was also unable to apply the brakes, and at the drinks break the score had advanced to 75. However Dehaney was out playing across the line in the first over after the break as Hartley captain Rick Burrows brought himself into the attack and was immediately successful. David Baker looked positive in batting and running, but was out missing a full toss and being LBW for 6, leaving the score on 90-3. However Andy Harrington kept Quantrill company and with good positive running (one or two slight potential mishaps aside) and steady batting they kept the scoreboard ticking over off all the bowlers. Nash was brought back early to try and make the breakthrough, but failed to do so, and both Carter and Burrows, while never taken to pieces, were unable to contain the batsmen. The hundred partnership came up in the 45th over and Quantrill brought up the century he has found so elusive this season in the last before Harrington finished off in style with a big shot over the top for four to leave the final score on exactly 200-3, Quantrill 102* and Harrington 42*.
The wicket had been variable throughout and 200 looked a good score, though New Ash Green were still wary of the potential in Hartley's batting line up which looked stronger than the side which had made nearly as much the previous week. A steady start was needed, and after Matt Dehaney had declined to open the bowling it was provided by Harrington, who varied his pace and found plenty of swing to frustrate the batsmen. He started with a remarkable six consecutive maidens, with one wicket coming when McLean tried to force him away and was superbly caught by a diving David Baker. Richard Crouch could not get Harrington away, and although Rick Burrows picked up some fours from John Harley the advent of Keith Bushell slowed him down as well. Crouch finally managed to get hold of a few of Harrington's deliveries and started to lift the run rate again, but having got used to Harrington's away swing he then changed ends and was bamboozled by Bushell's inswing. This brought Justin Crouch to the wicket, a second and even first team regular in recent years, but playing only his second game of the season. He looked rusty initially and was lucky to survive his first couple of balls, but when he did hit his shots he hit them very well, taking 26 runs from 8 balls over two overs from Bushell. In the meantime Harrington was tying down Burrows at the other end and eventually trapped him LBW with one that shot somewhat. Harrington finsihed off with a beautiful inswinging ball to remove the left-handed Young for a duck and finish with 3-18 in 12 overs including a remarkable 9 maidens. Dan Lewsey replaced him and started equally steadily before Justin Crouch also started to get hold of him. While Louis Cooper and young Jake Hutson were unable to score quickly before being removed by Bushell, Crouch was threatening to win the game by himself even with the fielders set back. He was helped by being dropped 5 times, a couple of them fairly simple chances, but eventually was removed chasing a wide one from John Harley and finding another another brilliant diving catch, this time by Dan Lewsey at short third man, ending an innings of 60 from just 48 balls. At this stage Hartley still needed 65 from just 7 overs, but New Ash Green were all too aware from the previous week of the hitting power of Giles Carter, and weren't taking anything for granted. Carter did indeed make sure John Harley's last three overs went for 27, but with the advantage of the long uphill legside boundary at his end Dan Lewsey was less expensive, and eventually with 22 needed from the final over Carter lifted a huge skyer which was fittingly caught by Andy Harrington to end the game.
A good finish to the season for the second team, who currently lie second in the table. With three games still to be played though they are likely to be overtaken by Upchurch III who have a game left against bottom side Hunton II who appear to be in something of a meltdown, and possibly by Hartley who have the harder task of beating league champions Nonington if they are to finish above New Ash Green. Nonetheless they have won more than they lost and beaten every side in the division at least once apart from the champions. Statistically they dominate the division as well, with the leading runscorer and catcher (Quantrill), the top two in the batting averages (Ian Martin and Andy Harrington), the second and thrid leading wicket takers (Harley and Bushell), the best bowling average (Quantrill(!!)) and the best bowling economy rate (Olly Cooper!), with others (Lee Saunders, Paul Sumner and Matt Dehaney in particular) deserving honourable mentions. On the whole a season of solid progress, and one to be proud of. Some of the more successful players this year will undoubtedly be making more appearances in the first XI next season, but with more promising young players hopefully waiting to develop themselves there is no reason why next season should not also be a successful one.
Medway Sunday League Match - 40 Overs per side
Gravesend 219-4 (40 overs)
New Ash Green 117-8 (40 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 102 runs
A respectable performance against a strong side saw four main bowlers all bowl steady spells without spectacular success or failure. There were two wickets and a catch for debutant Rushabh Shah, and a wicket each for the Poole brothers, and no one batsman was able to build a big score, but several contributions took the final total to 219-4
An unusual opening partnership of Toby Hawkins and John Harley proved fairly unsuccessful, but the second debutant Avinash Kadam made 20 and Dan Leswey batted through the majority of the innings for 42. After Kadam he had little support, though James Porter made a career high 14, until Kieran Poole made 12 not out in an unbeaten 9th wicket stand of 35 which ensured that the Sunday team once again batted out their overs - progress of a sort!