friendly club cricket

First XI - In Brief

Leybourne v New Ash Green - On a ‘low & slow’ looking pitch New Ash Green won the toss and inserted Leybourne. N Delaffon(3-12) and J Elisak(2-20) were the leading performances amid a solid bowling attack picking up the full 10 wickets, leaving Leybourne with the task of defending 111.

New Ash Green had the luxury of a strong batting line up and despite the conditions managed to knock off the runs within 35 overs for a 4 wicket win. Main contributors were debutant G Wale opening his New Ash Green career with 38, M Scanlan with a solid 23 and N Delaffon confirming his all-rounder status with 19*.

Second XI - In Brief

New Ash Green v Sidcup IV - Losing the toss and inserted, New Ash Green managed to bat out most of the overs, but struggled for runs making 58 all out. M Bushe (13) and E Quantrill (11) top scorers, returnee M James showing promise finishing on 6*.

In the field after tea, bowling was tidy, but the low target proved undefendable, albeit they managed to draw the match out to the 24th over. The sole wicket went to S Freeman from an excellent catch by S Funnell.

As so often, the bald result figures belie some promising indicators for the coming season.

Sunday XI - In Brief

New Ash Green v NAG Pavilion - Friendly T20 match in the sunshine, definitely played in the spirit. Report to follow.

Leybourne v New Ash Green

Kent Regional League Match - 40 Overs. Leybourne (9pts) 111 all out (33.3 overs); NAG&HCC (20pts) 112-6 (34.3 overs); New Ash Green won by 4 wickets.

With the previous weekend's game against Gore Court washed out, New Ash Green were desperate to get their League campaign underway against Leybourne. The two sides have endured an intense rivalry over the last few seasons with some close games, a fair amount of controversy and the odd bizarre incident (such as a motorway footbridge coming down leaving New Ash Green having to start a game with 6 players a couple of years back) creating an interesting backdrop. New Ash Green travelled with one of their strongest sides for some time, Noel Delaffon, last season's leading run scorer only able to secure a batting spot at 7, but with Leybourne having two of the division’s top 6 run scorers from the previous season this was never going to be an easy task.

Skipper James Nash picked up an early boost by winning his first toss of the season and had no hesitation in electing to bowl on what looked to be a very low and slow deck. Mick Sumner and Ian Mellor opened the bowling as usual and the home side were soon struggling to score at any sort of rate. With pressure mounting on the batsman to lift the run rate, they started to get a few balls away. However, a couple of more expensive overs were rapidly rewarded as first Mellor, in the 10th and then Sumner in the following over (they do say one brings two), each despatched an opener back to the shed with the score 36-2. These brought N Faulkes to the crease along with J Rose, scorer of over 500 runs last season, and the home side started to settle, picking off the odd boundary between the dots. As the score ticked through 50, Sumner began to struggle with a knee injury. Unable to continue he was replaced by Joe Elisak, back from a four year hiatus in Magaluf, and his spin immediately began to cause problems on the slow wicket. Some comical running and accurate bowling from Elisak (2-20) had the home side back in trouble at 80-6 in the 21st over. Delaffon, replacing Mellor at the end of his spell, soon reminded that he was not in side just for his batting. A superb spell of 3-12 helping to mop up the Leybourne tail for a below par 111, none of the last eight batsman managing double figures.

Tea was taken with New Ash Green in good spirits, safe in the knowledge their batting line up was the strongest they had be able to field in years. Unfortunately this was knocked first ball of the New Ash Green reply, Peter Webb being bowled by a horrible half track delivery that failed to bounce on the still very slow pitch. Number 3 Matt Scanlan, and debutant Gary Wale, set about building an innings and it was not until the partnership passed 50 that the next wicket fell. Scanlan, trying to increase the scoring rate, caught in the deep for 23. Wale was continuing his excellent first knock, although fatigue was beginning to play its part in the heat and the 12 years without cricket were beginning to take their toll. Unfortunately for Wale he was losing partners on a regular basis at the other end, the far too familiar collapse seeing the scorecard go from 53-1 to 64-5. New Ash Green were in danger of throwing away all their hard work. Luckily the luxury of having Delaffon at 7 paid off as he came to the crease and put on 29 with the ever more tired Wale. Wale finally ran out of steam, dismissed LBW for a well crafted and hard working 38, which left Delaffon and Chris Hoddinott to knock off the last of the runs (finishing on 16* & 8* respectfully) and secure another memorable victory at the home of Leybourne.

Scorecard at Play-Cricket Our playcricket pages also provides team & league statistics.

Current League Table See how we are doing so far this season.

Club Stats snapshot after this weekend's matches. | Current Club Stats Page

New Ash Green 2nd XI v Sidcup IV

Kent Regional League Match - 40 Overs. New Ash Green (1pt) 58 all out (38.1 overs); Sidcup IV (20pts) 59-1 (24 overs); New Ash Green lost by 9 wickets.

After a positive week for selection, with both teams turning out a full eleven, umpire and scorer, a clear blue sky greeted the players as they made their way to the ground.

Following on from where he left off last year, skipper Glenn Freeman promptly lost the toss and New Ash Green were put in to bat on an early season, soft, green wicket. Freeman (G) and Martin Ives marched out bat to open the season for the 2nd XI. During the first few overs Ives looked a little rusty, while Freeman (G), looking a little more settled, opened his account for the season with a well timed 4 through the covers. However, it was the latter who succumbed the Sidcup bowling first, being trapped LBW for just 4 runs in the second over. Following that, Ives, who had started to show a little fluency was caught at mid-on for 5 - right after the skipper himself had remarked how Ives was playing well and looked on for a good score. This bought in Matt Bushe, and along with Sean Funnell a partnership looked to be building, if not for the number of runs, just the amount of time seeing off the overs. Both batsmen were looking comfortable, scoring slowly but, more importantly, not being tempted by anything too risky and seeing off some tricky low balls, which could easily have done for others, with solid defensive shots. However, as so often with New Ash Green, as things began to look settled a wicket came. This time it was Funnell, who had looked good, but received a ball which very uncharacteristically for the pitch popped up, leading to the bowler making a very good one-handed return catch, albeit more Nureyev than Warne. Next batman in was Jamie Clark, looking to better his league average from last season†, but it may be easier just to say he fell one run short of this target and was bowled after only 2 more overs. This bought in Callum Whittern, a man known for his ability to stay in, and alongside Bushe the longest partnership of this innings was formed, with the pair seeing off 12 overs, for a nicely symetrical 12 runs. It is most likely this partnership which allowed the innings to make it to the 39th over and this should be commended, but in the end Whittern fell, bowled for 1. It should be mentioned this score came off 40 balls with him seeing off 4 times the number of maidens as runs scored. The fall of wicket bought in the second Freeman, Simon, who picked up the reins and kept plugging away. Unfortunately, the last recognised batsman (Bushe) was excellently stumped in the next over by the Sidcup keeper with the score on 37-6. With the situation looking dire, things did not improve when, in the 29th over, Freeman (S) was caught off the 5th ball of the over, only for Michael Gallagher to be bowled the very next ball. This bought in Edward Quantrill, who along with New Ash Green returnee Michael James, back for his first game in several years, were set the task to see out 10 overs with only 2 wickets in hand. Much like the Bushe/Whittern partnership, the main aim was just to see off as many balls as possible but both players kept the runs ticking over, with Quantrill (E) even hitting the 2nd 4 of the innings. Disaster struck in the 35th over, as James’ hamstring started to play up, meaning a runner was required. Whittern was hastily called up (whilst some might claim it’s because he’s the fastest runner, others with greater understanding of New Ash Green tactics, suspect he may have just been the closest to the changing rooms at the time). It was not until the 38th over where Quantrill (E) was finally bowled for 11. This bought on Felix Quantrill, in as No11 and told to take it easy at first to test the pitch. Obviously being told this, he swung at all 3 balls of the over, managing to knock the last one down to fine leg to steal the strike, before heaving at the 1st ball of the 39th over and being bowled. [WebEd’s note: This part of the narrative may lay clues as to the identity of our impartial reporter.] James was left on 6 not out at the other end and should be highly commended for staying in for 15 overs.

† 2017 League Average: 0 - Source: Official NAG&HCC Statistical Tome - Volume 45

After a good tea in the sun, a high level of optimism was in the air. If the New Ash Green batsmen struggled on this pitch, then why should Sidcup fare any better? The Quantrill brothers opened the bowling, and at first it looked promising with both Sidcup openers, like with the New Ash Green batsmen, struggling to score runs at any rate at all. A couple of leg byes but apart from that, solid tight bowling at first from both bowlers restricted Sidcup greatly. The big difference, however, between New Ash Green and Sidcup was the wickets. The Sidcup batsmen gave away no opportunities at all, playing defensively and keeping their wickets. After 7 & 8 overs respectively, both with 4 maidens each, the Quantrill brothers were bought out of the attack and replaced with Freeman (S) and Bushe. Freeman was rusty at first but showed promise with some very good balls nipping off the seam. At the other end Bushe got into a rhythm and looked at his consistent best, albeit unrewarded by a wicket. The only breakthrough managed by New Ash Green was off Freeman (S) who tempted one of the openers into cutting a wider ball into the palms of Sean Funnell who took it excellently, low and to his right-hand side. At the fall of the wicket, Sidcup only needed a further 18 runs to win. With the wicket improving throughout the day and 9 wickets in hand this target was not difficult to reach. The game saw Bushe and Freeman continue and even a cameo over from Gallagher at the end, but Sidcup reached the target of 59 in 24 overs.

Despite this defeat, there were a lot of positives to take from it. The team as a unit fielded better than before and are showing continual improvement. The bowling again, whilst not having the strongest attack, held their own and to take the second innings to 24 overs was impressive, considering the low target score. Many of the New Ash Green wickets that fell were not necessarily gifts from the batsmen and our players did look after their wickets more so than last season. With these positives in mind, the Second XI can look forward to the developing season with optimism and work to pick up on these strengths.

Scorecard at Play-Cricket Our playcricket pages also provides team & league statistics.

Current League Table See how we are doing so far this season.

Club Stats snapshot after this weekend's matches. | Current Club Stats Page

slips at Manor Field

Manor Field. 2nd XI in the field at home. You can see more photos of club games here in our gallery.