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History of New Ash Green & Hartley Cricket Club

New Ash Green Cricket Club was established in 1972. Its first 30 years saw it grow from a group of friends, very few of whom were regular cricketers, to a Kent League Club. A lot of work went into the establishment of the Club, and recollections from some of the founder members, along with match reports and statistics from 2001 onwards, can be read on the archive pages of this site.

 Whilst there have been some periods of consolidation the Club's history has mostly been one of continuous growth, progressing from an occasional side to a full fixture list, then adding an occasional 2nd XI in the early 1980's. By the early 1990's the Club was putting out two XI's twice a weekend. The increasing influence of league cricket saw a shift in balance towards Saturdays, and a 3rd XI was established on a Saturday at a cost of a regular Sunday 2nd XI. By 2003 the club was fielding three league XI's on a Saturday, the top two in the Kent League, and a Kent Village League XI on a Sunday.

The running of a 3rd XI required a new ground, and in 2003 the Club took over the cricket facilities at Manor Field, Hartley. Although the pitch required some work the surroundings were considerably more attractive than the Club's long time home at the Sports Field in New Ash Green. Increasing difficulties in maintaining two grounds led to the decision to shift the top teams to the Manor Field on a permanent basis. 2004 saw regular Kent League cricket at Manor Field , and if the pitch was not yet up to the standard of the surroundings it was certainly much better than might have been expected after years of neglect. In recognition of the change of location the Club formally adopted a new name at the 2004 AGM and is now known as New Ash Green & Hartley Cricket Club.

The 1990s had seen something of a freak influx of talented players at the same time as a group of young players matured, leading to the club's glory years, with the 2nd XI gaining promotion to the Kent League in 2001 and the 1st XI following in 2002, winning the then Mid-Kent League on the way. However after a couple of years in which both 1st and 2nd XIs had promising seasons in the Kent League, injuries, age and house moves started to take a toll on the 1st XI squad, with consequent knock on effects on the rest of the teams.

The 3rd XI folded, and the other two teams endured a tough few years, as the club returned to a level more suited to its natural catchment area. The fact that the standard of the sides had fallen faster than it was possible to drop through the leagues made for some difficult years, something of a vicious circle as naturally some players became demoralised with constant poor results. There have been some dark years for the club, with frequent talks of mergers or even folding the club, but there has always been a core of players determined to keep the club running, and in 2010/11 the tide seems to have turned, with some junior members maturing and a number of new recruits joining the side. With both sides now at a level where there is every reason to think they can be competitive and a strong core of members making the Sunday side into an enjoyable social team there is every reason to hope for a brighter future.