Holmesdale’s 1st XI have a wet weekend to forget

Holmesdale’s 1st XI had a weekend to forget as they were first beaten by St Lawrence & Highland Court in a rain-affected game on Saturday, and then were unceremoniously dumped out of the ECB National Knockout by Three Bridges of Sussex. 

Saturday’s league game could not have got off to a better start as Luke Blackaby (2/28), winning the toss and electing to field, struck early, removing the dangerous Charlie Nash (12) and Harry Wren (2). Jamie Monkhouse was welcomed back into the side this week, and the former Tonbridge School and Durham University paceman showed what he could do by clean bowling Hammond (8).

At this time, the score was 24-3 and this brought St Lawrence overseas star, Justin Watson to the crease, and he counter attacked against the Dale seamers, whilst former Kent player, Ben Trott, dropped anchor at the other end, happy to watch his teammate take calculated risks.

As the seamers started to lose the Dale’s early control, Blackaby turned to the spin of Bryant and May, and the pair immediately slowed the rate of scoring, but neither could take a wicket in their first spells, meaning that at the 25-over drinks break, the score was 100-3. 

After drinks, Blackaby turned to the golden arm of Ant Bissett (2/26), and he started to cause havoc. First by building the pressure which resulted in the run out of Trott (22) and then having St Lawrence skipper, Will Hilton (1), caught by Nathan Fawcitt at backward point.

He followed this by forcing the South African Watson (77) to hit a return catch into his grateful hands. Bryant (1/27) and the miserly May (1/12) then both got in on the act and suddenly St Lawrence were reeling at 140-8 off 38 overs. However, then the rain came, and the whole complexion of the game changed.

After a two-hour delay, play resumed and the Dale were forced to bowl their last twelve overs by the St Lawrence tail, who took the score up to 170-9 off their allotted 50 overs. 

With 38 overs to bat, the Dale went out with positive intent, but Epps and Bryant were both bowled by Trott (4/25), the latter receiving a ball which shot along the floor from a length delivery. When Brabham (13) was caught in the ring off Watson (3/40), the Dale’s current in-form batsmen, Miller and Blackaby, were brought together yet again with the side struggling.

It took a wonder catch at short extra cover to dismiss Blackaby and when Miller (20) was caught at mid-on, Holmesdale were really up against it at 50-5. The St Lawrence bowlers proceeded to slice through the rest of the Dale batting line up like a knife through butter, and the side were bowled out for a very below-par 83. 

It was much of the same in Sunday’s National Knockout game against Three Bridges of the Sussex Premier League. Despite putting on a decent bowling display, restricting the home side to a very gettable 229-6, with youngster Thomas Masding (3/26) and Mike Bryant (3/56) shining with the ball, the batting line up did not deliver, as five of the top six got starts but refused to go on. The Dale were eventually bowled out for 120, resulting in a heavy 109 run defeat. 

Consistently inconsistent is a way to describe the 1st XI’s form at the moment. After a superb win the week before, this weekend, much like the weather, was a damp squib. The squad will need to come back looking to prove a point next week as they welcome Broadstairs to Montreal Park on Saturday.

2nd XI Match Versus Lordswood abandoned without a ball being bowled
Holmesdale’s 2nd XI lost their second of three home matches this season abandoned without a ball being bowled on Saturday. A frustrating outcome after last week’s defeat to Sandwich. The side make the short trip across town to Sevenoaks Vine this coming weekend, which should prove to be a tasty encounter. 

Shaw and Lindsay performances in vain as 3rd XI lose out to Orpington
On a rain threatened afternoon, a the 3rd XI fielded a classic side with a mix of youth and experience,  and came up just short against a very beatable Orpington side. The Holmesdale innings started badly under leaden skies, as stand-in skipper Rich Cook lost his wicket to a moment of madness on the second delivery.

It was left to the Lindsay father (Jamie) and son (Max) combination to steady the ship. A very decent knock by Jamie Lindsay (41) meant that the side were 83-3 before, Fred Shaw, returning after a considerable ten year absence with arms like tree trunk, strode in and struck an awesome 82, including one over with three sixes in a row. However, without much more support the Dale could only post a respectable total of 200 from their 40 overs.

Inspired by a very decent tea, Holmesdale set about the task in the field with great purpose. Orpington opened well, putting on 50 for the first wicket and 119 for the second. It felt like a lost cause despite Fred Shaw’s searching left arm and some decent support from Adrian Blackaby and Jack Drysdale without much reward.

Up stepped the impressive father and son Lindsay’s again, but this time it was Max’s turn to take the match to the opposition with some very mature and clever leg spin, which saw him take a richly deserved 6/37.

While it was not enough to save the match, as Orpington crossed the line seven wickets down, it got the 3rd XI much closer than they thought they would at one point. Overall, a disappointing result, but some great individual performances to take into next weekend.