Kent League Match - 100 Overs
High Halstow (20 points) 247-8 dec. (48 overs)
New Ash Green (4 points) 143 all out (40.3 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 104 runs
Choosing to bat first New Ash Green got a good opening spell from Vic Mayers, and a good spell from Lee Saunders who picked up the prize wicket of Ben Philips, but although they picked up eight wickets they couldn't keep the run rate down. Mick Sumner took his first three wickets of the season before High Halstow declared with two overs to spare.
In reply New Ash Green again fell well short, but there were some slightly more promising signs in that a number of people made moderate contributions, something that has often been missing over the last few years. Vaughan John top scored with 30 with Andy Payne and Andy Mayers both also getting into the 20s. Progress of sorts - but it now needs someone to play the big innings and make a big score.
Kent Feeder League (East) Match - 46 Overs per side
Upchurch (20 points) 211 all out (43 overs)
New Ash Green (12 points) 182 all out (45.1 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 29 runs
Having chosen to bat first New Ash Green got off to a good start with Matt Dehaney and Andy Harrington bowling good opening spells. Dehaney struck first with a simple edge behind, before Harrington benefitted from an over aggressive piece of batting and a well judged catch by David Baker. Dehaney immediately chipped in again with a short ball which was fended off and well caught with a salmon-like leap from John Howland, reducing Upchurch to 17-3. After that, though, things didn't go so well, with Paul Barden taking good advantage of the short boundary on the off side, dabbing away anything slightly outside the stumps from Harrington. A change to spin bowling initially slowed things down, and Dehaney took two more wickets to a good low catch behind and a simpler one to John Harley at mid-wicket, enthusiastically greeted by the fielder. Harley then replaced Dehaney, who ended with a well deserved 4-28, and didn't take too long to pick up his own first wicket when Barden skied one to point and was well held by David Howland for 54. At this stage New Ash Green felt they were through the batting, but Craig Bewick had other ideas, swinging the bat cleanly and making a quick 75. The tail was slowly chipped away, and having survived what looked to be a good leg side stumping Bewick drove into the arms of Dehaney soon afterwards. John Harley wrapped up the tail to end with 4-42, leaving the final score on 211.
It was a stiff target, but New Ash Green had the benefit of 3 extra overs and the ball was coming on to the bat quite well. Matthew Quantrill and John Howland seemed to have done the hard work in weathering a testing opening spell from the Bewick brothers, Sam and Craig, before Howland inexpicably missed a full toss. David Howland also got himself in and, with the openers nearing the end of their spells and the change bowling looking far less effective, New Ash Green seemed set to mount a serious challenge when they contrived to throw wickets away in a rush, collapsing from 31-1 to 58-8. Andy Harrington then rolled back the years, timing the ball beautifully, and was kept company by Joe Elisak in a season leading partnership of 49 for the 9th wicket before Elisak was LBW to the returning Craig Bewick. Harrington, however, continued to treat both opening bowlers with contempt, destroying their figures as the most improbable of comebacks began to look more and more plausible. John Harley kept everyone's heart in their mouths with a few wild swipes, but his judgement proved perfect as none hit the stumps. As victory became a realistic prospect the first point of interest was the possibility of Harrington making a maiden century. On 96 he edged one down to third man, but with the crowd on their feet the ball was pulled up a foot inside the line, and two runs were taken. A good shot out to deep extra cover again had the crowd rising, but the batsmen took just a single, leaving Harley with two balls to face. A big swipe and miss had everyone pondering the possible cruelty of Harrington being stranded on 99*, but Harley again survived and a cut away behind point in the next over brought up a well desrved three figures. The partnership also passed the previous club record for the 10th wicket, but it needed to go on to become the first ever century stand for the last wicket for New Ash Green if victory was to be secured, and although it looked attainable with 36 needed off the last six overs the run rate slipped a little, and eventually Harrington was out LBW aiming a big, and slightly tired, swipe across the line. Upchurch came off looking far more relieved than victorious, and New Ash Green at least had the satisfaction of picking up good points against the league leaders.