Kent League Match - 100 Overs
New Ash Green (12 points) 221-8 dec. (50 overs)
Old Elthmians (7 points) 218-6 (50 overs)
New Ash Green winning draw
Having won the toss and taken the brave decision to bat first New Ash Green suffered the early loss of last week's top scorer Matt Scanlan for a duck. Andy Cox, back opening for the first time this year helped Marc Klus to add 30 before falling for 13, and Dan Walton stayed while another 37 were added, though only scoring 4 himself. Andy Mayers with 5 and Olly Harding for a duck didn't last long, but Old Elthamians are Andy Stuart's favourite side, and he stayed to the end. Klus eventually went for 82, but Vic Mayers made his first score of the season, 30, in adding 57 for the seventh wicket and Stuart stayed to the end for 55 not out, a more than respectable 221-8 being the final score.
Micky Sumner made an early breakthrough, and although no more wickets fell for some time the scoring rate was slow. Paul Sumner bowled a very economical spell, conceding just 26 runs in 11 overs, but it was a run out which brought the next wicket and Andy Cox who took the third. Under pressure Old Elthamians increased the scoring rate, and although they lost a couple of wickets they kept in the hunt. In a tense finish there was a moment of controversy when a huge skyer was caught by Micky Sumner just inside the boundary, but in taking the catch his legs slid over the line after he had caught the ball. The umpire ruled this to be a four, to the dismay of Old Elthamians who felt it should have been a six, and it kept the pressure on them. Eventually 3 were needed from the final ball, but the batsman couldn't get a bat on it, being struck on the leg and laid out, leading to his partner being run out as he had charged through expecting everything to be run, the final result being a winning draw for New Ash Green, and a third successive match when they have been very much in the game.
Kent Feeder League (East) Match - 46 Overs per side
Hunton (9 points) 157 all out (33.4 overs)
New Ash Green (20 points) 160-6 (44.4 overs)
New Ash Green won by 4 wickets
With both teams somewhat weaker than in their first encounter three weeks previously there was some indecision on what to do, but New Ash Green chose to follow their most successful formula this season and bowl first on winning the toss. Hunton put most of their batting eggs in one basket with Dave Niblett and Ian Goodyer opening the batting and setting about the bowling with gusto. On a crumbling wicket anything short tended to pop up, and apparently used to this both batsmen were ready to attack such balls. Matt Dehaney suffered, conceding three fours in his first four balls, and 6 in his first two overs. At the end of three overs Hunton were 32-0, but Lee Saunders began to put the brakes on with a maiden and one of his best spells of the season, though he wasn't rewarded with a wicket. Dehaney meanwhile got things back in some sort of control and made the breakthrough when he got one to pop and lift at Goodyer, who lobbed it gently in the air. Shaw followed almost immediately, bowled by Dehaney. Changes at both ends saw Keith Bushell and John Harley taking up the bowling duties, and from now on, the odd occasional blow aside, it was Niblett v the bowlers, with Dave Niblett calming down slightly from his initial aggression, but still trying to score as quickly as he could before running out of partners. Brave efforts from a couple of youngsters gave him time to launch a couple more big sixes and end up on 89* before his last partner was removed with the total on 157, Harley ending up the prime wicket taker with 4-38 while Keith Bushell took 3-53.
On the crumbling wicket and a little short of their ideal batting line up 157 looked a potentially testing target for New Ash Green. Hunton's bowling attack had been pretty toothless at the Manor Field three weeks previously, but Richard Shaw, opening the bowling, was more of a handful on his home ground, managing to get several balls to pop and rear at the batsmen. It was, though, a full pitched one which did for John Howland who lost sight of it and was bowled. Matt Bushe did fall for the popping ball, being gently caught and bowled, but Matt Dehaney, after a slightly nervous start batted well, while Matthew Quantrill saw off Shaw and set himself to play a long anchor role, picking off the odd loose ball but mostly settling for sound defence. With Shaw out of the way only Robert Niblett posed any sort of problems, being accurate but not dangerous until Dehaney managed to get his foot movement wrong and be bowled for 30. He was replaced by Lee Saunders who worried his team by threading an aerial shot through the fielders for four almost immediately, but settling down to play an excellent innings. He picked off anything short and with Quantrill continuing steadily 74 were added for the fourth wicket bringing victory into sight. Saunders greeted the return of Shaw, for Hunton's last throw of the dice, by pulling him over mid wicket for four. Quantrill completed his first league fifty of a frustrating season for him, and Saunders appeared within reach of a maiden 50 when he swung carelessly at a straight ball from Richard Line, failed to allow for the low bounce and was bowled for 48. David Baker survived another ball popping from Shaw, the fielder slipping when he should have had plenty of time to step across and take the catch, and responded by pulling Shaw powerfully for 4. However he too was careless against Line, swinging at another that didn't bounce and also being bowled. Kieran Poole received a full toss first ball which he pulled confidently for four, leaving two needed to win, at which point frustration returned for Quantrill as he was bowled round his legs for 58. Andy Oliver, in his first men's game of the season, showed no nerves, cutting his first ball from Shaw past point for four to secure a slightly nervy 4 wicket win and temporarily (until Nonington finished their game!) put New Ash Green on top of the league.
Earlswood Strollers 194-9 dec. (37.3 overs)
New Ash Green 141-6 (36 overs)
The usual start at one end for New Ash Green with John Harley bowling an economical spell, though without success. The other end was a touch more unusual with David Baker following his debut bowling spell by being promoted to open and striking early with a little in ducker. He troubled the batsmen a few more times, but was also inconsistent, and the bad balls were punished. He was initially replaced by Lee Saunders, who experimented with spin and took a wicket in his first over with a full toss which the batsman pulled to David Harley at fine leg. In the next over, however, Saunders trod on the ball while fielding and twisted his ankle, having to rest for some time and ending his bowling for the day. He was replaced by Andy Harrington who bowled a steady spell of medium pace, picking up 3-40 in ten overs, while at the other end Joe Elisak took 1-59. With half an hour or so to go before tea the opening bowlers returned and David Baker swept through the tail single handedly, two more bowled and one caught and bowled, a declaration at the fall of the ninth wicket depriving him of the chance of taking a five wicket haul.
In reply New Ash Green started brightly with Ian Martin quick to latch on to some poor bowling in the first couple of overs. The bowling became a little steadier but 49 were added in good time for the first wicket before Martin pulled across the line at a straight full toss and looked fairly plum in front for 25. Andy Harrington, with his maiden century behind him in his only previous innings of the season, carried on in fine form and was offered good support by John Harding. Earlswood had perhaps been giving some of their lesser bowlers a go and had to turn to their prime bowlers as the 2nd wicket pair put New Ash Green in a very strong position, but just as they looked on top Harrington was bowled for 40 and shortly afterwards Harding was caught for 30. Lacking the firepower to chase the runs it was now a matter of whether New Ash Green could survive as the same bowler, Giles, worked his way through the middle order with Chris Sooknanan stumped, Phil Markham hitting his own wicket and Dave Harley bowled for a combined total of 1. However Matt Bushe continued to perfect his stonewall role with 3 not out and Lee Saunders gave a little respect back with a couple of late blows as the game petered out into a draw to complete a second successive undefeated weekend for New Ash Green and remarkably give John Harley his fifth successive game without batting, something that would have seemed unthinkable in New Ash Green sides for the last couple of years.