Kent Regional League Match - 46 overs per side
Old Gravesendians (20 pts) 202-5 (46 overs)
New Ash Green (3 pts) 117 all out (34.2 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 85 runs
With Old Gravesendian's ground being used for another event the match was, conveniently for NAG, switched to Southfleet, where the square has been relaid and is much improved but the outfield left much to be desired. Despite missing some key bowlers Andy Mayers had little hesitation in using the advantage of having an umpire to insert Old G's. Vic Mayers, standing in as strike bowler, opened with another magnificent spell, bowling through his 12 overs for 17 runs, but with little luck in terms of wicket taking. Dan Lewsey was a little erratic on his first game back from injury, but soon settled down into a good rhythm, and the batsmen struggled to score runs. As so often they looked to attack Lewsey, and he took advantage with a slower ball that was hit gently to James Gegg at square leg. However the next pair batted with determination, and although the scoring rate was slow the wickets failed to come, and by 20 overs Old G's had reached 53-1. From there they started to up the scoring rate, particularly against the change bowlers, Paul Sumner and Joe Elisak. Simran Mahon escaped one stumping chance both because Matthew Quantrill failed to gather the ball cleanly and also because he still hit the stumps quite hard and failed to dislodge the bails. However Quantrill made no mistake a few balls later, gather the ball and giving the stumps a good whack to remove the dangerous Mahon just as he seemed to be getting going. Marc Coates looked to pose little threat and was soon well held by Andy Mayers at slip off Sumner, but the next pair started to blossom as wickets in hand gave them the freedom to attack. Opener Kevin Wood had looked to be struggling to get the ball off the square for most of the innings, but suddenly started launching huge shots, taking 18 from the first four balls of a Sumner over before skying a full toss and being caught by Joe Elisak. There was a moment's controversy as debate ensued about shoulder and waist height no balls, and whether or not Paul Sumner was a fast bowler, but eventually the batsman left the field and the game continued. Kulasingam fell to Andy Mayers soon after, but the next pair kept the runs ticking over at a reasonable rate right to the end and the 200 was brought up in the final over.
After an excellent tea New Ash Green faced the difficult task of chasing over 200, but the wicket was still good for batting even if the outfield was slow in places. Initially mAtthew Quantrill and Glen Freeman looked solid enough, but the opening bowler, Mark Wood, was a reasonable pace and put the ball in the right place most of the time, giving little away. Although the other opener was a bit more erratic New Ash Green were unable to take advantage as they lost a series of wickets at the other end as batsmen failed to get in line to Wood and were bowled. Add to this the loss of Andy Mayers to Kidd, the other opener, given out when he swung at a near yorker length ball and there was a sound as bat ground and ball were all in close proximity, and New Ash Green were in real difficulty at 57-5. To make matters worse Dean Freeman and fallen on his shoulder while fielding and was in considerable discomfort and struggling to hold a bat at all. However with the assistance of ice and pain killers he came out to bat at number 7 and made a brave stab at an innings until he was stumped over balancing slightly as he played forward. Vic Mayers then joined Matthew Quantrill, and with the opening bowlers finished and the replacement spinners looking fairly unthreatening there was still hope, particularly after Quantrill punched a straight six cleanly back down the ground. Having reached 44, though, he made the mistake of playing an attacking stroke without full commitment and was caught, to his great frustration as he and Mayers should have been able to get at least close to the target against those bowlers. Mayers proved this by playing an attacking innings, including one big six himself, though he was badly dropped at gully after slicing another attempted drive in the air. He was well supported by James Gegg in a partnership of 31 for the 8th wicket before Gegg was bowled for 8, the third highest score. Paul Sumner played one powerful pull for 4 before making the same mistake as Mayers in trying to repeat the stroke but not finding a fielder who was obliging enough to drop him, and Dan Lewsey failed to open his account for the season, leaving Vic Mayers high and dry on 29 not out. A thoroughly disappointing day with a few too many careless mistakes in the field and in batting leading to the season's heaviest defeat, but hopefully one the side can bounce back from.
Kent Regional League Match - 40 overs per side
NatWest (20 pts) 222 all out (39.2 overs)
New Ash Green (5 pts) 64 all out (34.2 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 158 runs
New Ash Green 2nd XI tasted defeat for the first time since early June on Saturday against Natwest 2nd XI.
After a trio of victories, NAG allowed Natwest to post over 200 for a second time this season - the first in May included hundreds for openers Kieran Gibbons and Rob Dolby - and lost by 158 runs.
Helped by short bowling from skipper Kieran Poole, the openers whipped away several early boundaries. From the other end Ryan Harley was impressive, and after two poor overs, Poole was replaced by Matt Bushe who proved a lot tighter.
Harley made the first breakthrough at 62-1 when Gibbons was out-thought and bowled for 22. Three runs later, Bushe got No. 3 Matt Lynch LBW. Ashley Woodward then bowled Dolby and Michael Pett and claimed Paul Ryder LBW.
Natwest bounced back through No. 5 Charlie Hookway who struck 58 before being bowled by Martin Ives at 174 for 6.
NAGís fielding display was timid and included 34 extras. However, for the seventh-wicket fine work by Dave Harley allowed Ives at the non-strikerís end to run out Natwest skipper Martin Pett.
Guarev Chawla counterattacked for 32 but was caught at mid-off by John Howland. Ives then took Dave de Soyza and Andrew Hind, the latter falling in the final over caught by Jasper Holliday, leaving him and Woodward with three wickets apiece.
With 223 to chase and maximum bowling points ensured, NAG could only make 64. The top three (Karl Bartlett, John Harding and Ives) went for 12 to Chawla, and only Ryan Harley offered real resistance with 21. Woodward made 10 supported shortly by Michael Gallagher with four.
Howland got a duck and Dave Harley attacked for seven but was stumped by Martin Pett, and Matt Bushe went to a Hind slower ball. Poole made 12* until Holliday was bowled for one as they were all out in 34.2 overs.
This was a dominant performance by league high-flyers Natwest who look good to challenge for promotion.