Kent Regional League Match - 46 overs per side
Wilmington (20 pts) 181 all out (45.4 overs)
New Ash Green (5 pts) 58 all out (26.4 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 123 runs
You’d think it was Wilmington, with only 9 men, for whom everything went wrong, but from the moment Dan Lewsey had to drop out early in the morning it just didn’t seem to happen for New Ash Green. Micky Sumner was stand in tosser, with both sides having an umpire, and on a very green surface he lost the toss. However after some time thinking about it Wilmington decided to bat first. It looked an odd decision when Mick Sumner’s first over produced variable bounce including one that kept low to bowl Satty Singh first ball. Sumner then got one to swing back in in his second over to have the other opener, down in the NAG book as the unregistered C Beard, but now on PlayCricket as D. Squires, LBW also for a duck. However the ball did come on to the bat meaning that it was possible to play shots when the bounce didn’t interfere, and Wilmington skipper Gavin Nicholson went for his shots. He had some luck, with shots not completely under control just managing to evade fielders, and a crucial partnership of 79 for the third wicket turned the match. Sumner ended up with his most expensive spell of the season, and although Vic Mayers was tight at the other end it was only at the end of his spell that he got a wicket, one batted up into the covers. Sumner eventually got Nicholson, bowling him in his final over, but the rest of the Wilmington side worked to make the most of the base they had been given, mixing obdurate defence, the occasional attacking shot and the odd bit of luck. Ian Mellor got one wicket, Paul Sumner was tidy but had no luck, and at the end Joe Elisak had two caught and David Baker picked up a second league wicket for the season when the innings ended with a stumping in the final over.
181 was far more than New Ash Green would have wanted to be chasing, but the ball was coming onto the bat and they knew Wilmington didn’t have great depth of bowling. However it just didn’t happen for any of the batsmen. Glen Freeman drove one to cover in the second over, and after Matthew Quantrill and Ian Mellor had looked steady and in control for 4 overs the innings fell apart in a single dramatic over from Inderpreet Pal. Quantrill top edged a pull at a short ball, two balls later Mellor did something similar and the next ball Mick Sumner was bowled round his legs. Karl Bartlett and David Baker were both bowled, and Dean Freeman was probably the unluckiest of all, timing a drive superbly only to see the bowler stick out a hand and have the ball stick right in the middle of it. James Gegg and Paul Sumner played the best partnership of the innings, seeing off the opening bowlers and keeping New Ash Green’s hopes of at least getting a respectable total alive. However the relief of getting the change bowlers on perhaps went to their heads as they were both bowled in the first three overs, and Joe Elisak ensured the league season ended on a low note being stumped second ball having a wild swing. A very downbeat ending to the league season, but with 3rd place in the league already a certainty there was little left to play for and if the gloss was slightly taken off by the worst result of the season it shouldn’t be forgotten that overall this has been a very good season for the first team and there is plenty to build on for next year.
Kent Regional League Match - 40 overs per side
OD CUACO (20 pts) 130-6 (40 overs)
New Ash Green (9 pts) 94 all out (38 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 36 runs
New Ash Green 2nd XI were unable to challenge Sidcup 4th XI for fourth place on Saturday thanks to a 36-run home defeat by OD CUACO 4th XI.
Despite a late surge from No. 9 Adam Reeves with 22*, NAG were unable to chase down a modest 131.
Having a default toss and fielding first with 10, NAG made the breakthrough when Ollie Cooper bowled Taylor Emblen after an opening stand of 21 with Graham Johnson.
Johnson, the senior member of the top 5, continued to attack with No. 3 Scott Williams as the pair put on 53 until Johnson was bowled by NAG skipper Kieran Poole.
Poole then bowled Thomas Boyden for a duck two runs later. Reeves, playing his first league game of the season, bowled well at the other end and was rewarded when Williams, who made 31, edged behind to Dave Harley to make it 91-4.
Liam Osbourne and Ben Stuart then took the score to 130 after 39.4 overs before Cooper bowled Osbourne for 14. Then with the last ball of the season, a suicidal run was called and Ashley Woodward via Dave Harley ran out Stuart for 15.
The side sit on a team hat-trick until next season.
130 was a gettable target in easy conditions but NAG, without a recognised batsman, made hard work of it. The opening pair of Bushe and Cooper found it difficult to score and with only one boundary, Cooper attempted to smash through point off Martin Couch but found Stuart’s hands.
Seven runs later, Bushe was run out by Owen at fine-leg to make it 22-2.
Ryan Harley and Michael Gallagher then put on a slow 28 and knowing they had to increase the run rate after drinks, were both caught for 17 and 12 respectively.
Edward Quantrill came and went for 2 and when Poole only lasted 3 balls and Dave Harley was stumped for 1, too much was left to Woodward and Reeves. However, the pair put on an aggressive 33 before Woodward lofted one straight to Johnson.
Tim Cooper was then bowled leaving Reeves not out and NAG with a timid 94.
Of course, the success of a season cannot be measured by one game, and so with 5 wins earning a 5th place finish, NAG 2nd XI have exceeded modest expectations.
Friendly Match - "Proper Cricket"
Old Dartechs 171 all out (43.5 overs)
New Ash Green 175-4 (36.4 overs)
New Ash Green won by 6 wickets
The final home game of the season took place under disappointingly grey skies, but the rain stayed away to allow another excellent Sunday game to take place between two well balanced sides, both containing a mixture of ages and abilities. A little bit of extra spice was added when it turned out that Old Dartech's acting captain, Sam Field, was an old classmate of David Baker and Joe Elisak, something that led to a few words being exchanged in a (probably) friendly spirit during the game. New Ash Green won the toss, and fancying their batting line up to chase runs and avoid the stalemate of Bank Holiday Monday they put Old Dartechs in. An opening bowling combination of left arm bowlers Kieran Poole and Edward Quantrill shouldn't have been too taxing for a Dartford first team batsman, but Field was soon on the way back, poking at Quantrill and seeing Poole cling on to the catch at short extra cover. Despite not being at his most consistent Quantrill had another in his second over, McArdle swinging, missing, and seeing the ball ricochet from his foot to off stump. There was almost a third immediately, when Cooper was beaten in the flight by his second ball, but survived when the ball hit the batsman's mark and nipped sideways away from middle stump to just miss the leg stump. Dartechs managed a bit of a repair job, though Cooper had some close calls on stumping appeals, before Quantrill picked up his third wicket when Priddy couldn't resist his favourite scoop round the corner and flicked the ball straight to Vic Mayers, who having been placed for the shot almost didn't have to move – a big last minute dive forward excepted. Quantrill almost had a fourth when he induced Charlie Perfitt to loft a drive straight in the air, but the chance was spilt and Quantrill ended up with 3-31. He was replaced by younger brother Felix, a last minute stand in, who got a surprising amount of inswing, causing the batsmen to have to play him with caution, and in partnership with Matt Bushe the brakes were put on Dartechs. They picked up a wicket each, Bushe getting Cooper LBW, a decision the umpire took his time over, much to the batsman's dismay, while Quantrill had Perfitt well caught on the boundary by Joe Elisak when the batsman tried to escape the shackles. Quantrill was forced off by age regulations after taking a very creditable 1-14 in 4 overs, while Bushe completed a good nine over spell, taking 1-35 and being unlucky not to get another when Wacker was dropped second ball driving loosely. Wacker then led the lower order in making sure a challenging target was posted, living up to his name in hitting loose balls with power. Joe Elisak and David Baker finished off the bowling, Baker keeping things fairly tidy with his in-duckers, picking up one wicket to a good catch by Dillon Pike scrambling to catch a top edge, while Elisak was more expensive but picked up wickets as a consequence, bowling James Denman, getting Martin Smith caught at point by Baker and eventually ending Wacker's innings just after he had reached his half century when he drove to Karl Bartlett at mid off. Elisak completed the innings with a caught and bowled in the 44th over, New Ash Green maintaining their impressive over rate from the bank holiday game.
Tea was slightly prolonged by the celebration of Matthew Quantrill's 1000th game for New Ash Green, which this was, meaning there were extra cakes and a bottle of champagne to go round (about a thimbleful each, but enough to get some of the opposition a bit giggly in the field – or perhaps that was the salmon rolls or magnificent selection of cakes.) Eventually Matthew Quantrill and Karl Bartlett set out in pursuit of 171 against the whippy pace of Perfitt and the slower swing of Pete Smith. 171 looked a fair distance away as they struggled to get off the mark. Only extras got the scoreboard moving for the first 29 balls, before Quantrill finally put away a full toss from Perfitt for four and the runs started to flow. Quantrill benefitted from the opposition having supporters with them when he pulled a short ball to the square boundary, where it looked for all the world as if it had just dropped inside the boundary, but the supporters who were on the line insisted it was a six, to the fielding side's chagrin. From then on Quantrill scored steadily, and Bartlett also picked up runs, though initially struggling for fluency. They had a moment or two of good fortune around the 12 over mark, but soon put that behind them. By the start of the twenty overs the target had been reduced to 108 more, which with ten wickets in hand looked very gettable, even though New Ash Green were going to receive seven less overs than they had bowled. The opening pair kept the runs ticking over at the right rate, and Quantrill reached his fifty, at which point Bartlett suddenly started timing the ball, and having been about 20 runs behind raced to his own fifty almost before Quantrill had another run, to bring up the first century opening partnership of the season. Overheard conversation suggests that the description of what happened next is eagerly awaited, so for the cynics it should be noted that at this point Bartlett deliberately and callously ran out his opening partner in order to steal the glory for himself….or alternatively knowing New Ash Green needed to stay positive and stay on top of the run rate he misjudged how close a good fielder was to the ball, called a quick single and left Quantrill a few feet short when the fielder was able to return the ball to the bowler accurately enough. Either way the stand was ended at 112, which did at least breathe some life into a game that had looked to be heading towards an early finish. James Gegg, next man in, is a good man to steady the ship, as he had proved the previous day at Wilmington, but not experienced at keeping the runs ticking over, and even with Bartlett still striking the ball well the run rate remained challenging. When Bartlett was caught at mid on the over after Gegg had played out a maiden the pressure was still on, and although Joe Elisak went out positively all the batsmen were struggling to get Cooper away. Elisak was caught swinging at the other end, before Gegg himself fell, bowled by Cooper. However with this bringing together David Baker and Vic Mayers New Ash Green had little to fear from a required rate still hovering around 5 or 6 an over. The pair pushed 1s and 2s to leave 7 needed from Cooper's final over, then following a wide Mayers hit two 2s and a single, bringing the scores level and Baker swung the next ball for a one bounce four to the mid-wicket boundary to bring up a good six wicket win with two balls to spare. It was a fitting finish to a good old fashioned game between two well balanced sides, and with the superb tea and the majority of both sides spending at least a short time at the pub afterwards it had enough echoes of games of 30 years ago to be a fitting 1000th game for the winning skipper, and a very good way to finish the home season for the club.