Kent League Match - 100 Overs
New Ash Green (6 points) 211 all out (46.4 overs)
Old Elthamians (16 points) 212-5 (31.3 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 5 wickets
After heavy overnight rain this was a bad toss to lose and New Ash Green struggled early on. Some improvement on last season's collapses in that more people fought their way to double figures, and Simon Duke again batted well in making 52 in the middle order. When he was out it looked like another low total was on the cards, but the tail fought their way to 150-9 before Andy Stuart, ably supported by Matt Bushe, cut loose in a remarkable last wicket stand of 61. This so frustrated the opposition skipper Ken Vowles that he resorted to sledging and then to hurling the ball at Stuart, donating him 4 overthrows to the delight of the onlookers. Eventually, having taken 20 from Vowles' last over, Stuart was out for 61 ending the stand just a couple of good blows short of a club record for the last wicket.
The wind had dried up the pitch and there was much less in it for the bowlers by now, with the Old Elthamians batsmen carrying on much as Stuart had left off. There were three wickets for Cox and two for Stuart, and an exemplary display of fielding including a maginificent catch from Vaughan John, but nothing could stem the flow of runs and Old Elthamians got home comfortable with over 20 overs to spare.
Kent Feeder League (East) Match - 46 Overs per side
Sherwood (7 points) 122 all out (45.1 overs)
New Ash Green (20 points) 125-5 (42.1 overs)
New Ash Green won by 5 wickets
As in the first team game this was a bad toss to lose, but surprisingly Sherwood chose to bat first. With the wet weather overnight the wicket was never going to be easy, but it was blameless when the first ball of the match, a relatively innocuous one from Graeme Poole, was gloved to the keeper. Sherwood didn't look comfortable, but seemed steady enough until Anthony Marriott strangely left one only just outside off stump from John Harley and was bowled as it came back a fraction down the hill. With Harley taking two more and Lee Saunders picking up two wickets in his first three overs Sherwood were reduced to 50-6. Paul Sumner, playing his first game in nearly 2 years was on the spot immediately with a maiden, but Paul Hammond and Mark Fewtrell steadied the ship for Sherwood, taking advantage of a number of fielding errors to put on 39 for the 7th wicket. Keith Bushell was extraordinarily unlucky, with two drops off his bowling, several more going close to fielders and one clear snick behind being held but not only not given but given as a wide as well. Eventually after Sumner had removed Fewtrell he got a deserved wicket by bowling Hammond. The tail fought gamely but the last wicket finally fell in the last over, giving John Harley figures of 4-18 in 10.1 overs.
There was still enough life in the wicket for the odd ball to cause trouble, but apart from one or two balls from young James Courtney Sherwood's bowlers mostly failed to get the most from it. Matthew Quantrill and Ian Martin were mostly untroubled with enough loose bowling for them not to need to take any risks in chasing a moderate target. Martin was badly missed at square leg but they seemed to be in no trouble at all until, with 63 on the board, Quantrill got one from leg spinner Ian Courtney that shot along the ground and had him LBW for 38. John Howland kept Martin company for some time before being bowled, but with the game seemingly in the bag New Ash Green managed to make hard work of getting over the finish line, losing three more wickets and having Martin dropped again as the scoring rate slowed to a crawl. Eventually Lee Saunders finished it off with a fine swat over mid-wicket for 4, leaving Martin 62* and securing a valuable maximum point 5 wicket win.
Cancelled - rain
Something of a saga in arranging the fixture, with Andy Stuart's Football XI, the original opposition, all choosing to watch football instead of playing cricket, then Egerton, picked up through the bureau, looking at the weather forecast and deciding they didn't fancy travelling! Rainham II were the second bureau opposition, but eventually the rain proved Egerton's pessimists correct.