It’s a bad day at the office for Holmesdale’s 1st XI

Holmesdale’s 1st XI entered the second week of the season full of confidence having beaten Bromley Common the previous week. This week they welcomed local rivals from down the A21, Linden Park, and got off to a great start by winning the toss and electing to bowl first on a green wicket. 

Linden Park began their innings in a hurry as both openers, Jayden Hoare (33) and Graeme Francis (57), batted with aggression and made significant contributions. However, they were helped by some indifferent fielding from the home side, and both were given extra lives through dropped catches.

Eventually, both were undone by spin, but runs continued to flow for Linden Park. Former Canterbury skipper, Max Campbell (63), was ably assisted by Davies (25), resulting in the visitors reaching a total of 232-9 from their 50 overs. Mike Bryant (4/35), Dom May (2/45) and Luke Blackaby (1/34) were the pick of the Dale bowlers but, like last week, there was a feeling that the opposition had got at least 50 runs too many.

Despite this, and still riding high on the confidence of having chased down considerably more runs the previous week, Holmesdale’s innings got off to a flying start. Openers Dan Brabham (18) and Harry Galpin (24) took advantage of some loose deliveries in the first 10 overs.

However, the Dale wickets started to tumble as a result of some good bowling and some equally poor shot selection. Therefore, even though they were well up with the run-rate, Holmesdale were bowled out in the 33rd over for 158, Nick Miller (35) top scoring for the home side. With a poor performance all round, it was a week to forget for the 1st XI and they will look to bounce back against Hayes next week, fully aware that there is a lot more to come from the side. 

Harby and Brown stun Blackheath as 2nd XI start their season with impressive win
Holmesdale’s 2nd XI travelled to Blackheath on Saturday for their second game of the season after last weekend’s washout against Bromley Common. The two teams have built up quite a rivalry over the last few years, culminating in Holmesdale being promoted to the Premier Division two years ago at Blackheath’s expense. 

The team are now under the stewardship of a new captain in the shape of club stalwart, David Roffey, who has dropped down after a more than a decade in the 1st XI. Things couldn’t have got off to a better start for him as, despite losing the toss, Holmesdale ended up in the field first with a green wicket to bowl on and a lush outfield. Custody of the new ball was shared by the Kiwi wrecking ball, Dave Hudson, and Pete Grove.

The new partnership struck a number of early blows with Hudson pinning one opener plumb in front and Grove picking up two wickets, one caught in the cordon and the other via a sharp catch in the covers from debutant and Kent Women star, Jodie Hobson. After an expensive last over Grove (2/27), was pulled from the attack but still provided an excellent return from his six overs. Another debutant, Kent youngster Will Harby (4/11), was now brought into the attack and proceeded to gut the home side’s middle order with an astonishing display of swing bowling in just five overs. All of his victims were caught behind the wicket including an early contender for catch of the season from the skipper, diving full length to his right at second slip. Blackheath were in disarray at his point however they found some respite in targeting Holmesdale’s young spin attack.

Number 7, Karim, bludgeoned his way to 37 and lifted the score from 60-7 to 110-7 before Hudson was reintroduced to take his wicket. Roffey finished the innings with a wicket, meaning that Blackheath were bowled out for 127. Hudson (3/16) ended up with excellent figures from his 8 overs, however the star was 14 year-old Harby on debut.

Holmesdale went out for a tricky 10 over session before tea and soon lost Roffey (6), caught at point driving on the up, and Harby (14), similarly caught in the ring driving. Richard Holliday, who was starting to hit his straps was now joined by last season’s player of the season, Mike Brown, and they both began to counterattack, resulting in the Dale being 50-2 by the time tea was taken.

After the restart, Holliday struck 3 consecutive boundaries before falling caught behind for 32. Wickets now began to tumble with Hart (0), Luthra (5) and Hudson (0) all falling in quick succession. This left the away team 102-6, still needing 26 to win and with an inexperienced lower order. New man, Joel Kovoor (4*) steadied the ship with a composed knock leaving Brown (64*) to apply the finishing touches with 2 huge sixes over long on and long off.

A great start to the campaign, with an 18 point win leaving the 2nd XI joint top of the Kent Premier Division. They host Hayes next weekend at Montreal Park

Huddy half-century in vain for the 3rd XI
Holmesdale 3rd XI got off to a losing start in their first game of the season, with a 52-run defeat to OD CUACO at the St Lawrence Cricket Ground. However, it was not a game short of positives for the Dale with some impressive performances from many academy players.

After losing the toss and being asked to bowl, OD CUACO played very well to post 265/5 with three players passing fifty. There were notable bowling performances from four very promising youngsters with James Huddy (1/38), Henry Loughnane (2/29), Tommy Acraman (0/31) and Max Lindsay (0/33) showing signs that it could be a very exciting season for the 3rd XI.

In response, Holmesdale started well with Derek Moore getting a quick 34 before being caught at mid-on. A rebuild from Sam Blackaby (47) and Max Lindsay (25) kept the scoreboard ticking along but the star of the show was 15-year-old James Huddy who made a flawless 59 not out. Unfortunately, due to the loss of regular wickets, Holmesdale fell 52 runs short of the imposing target set by OD CUACO but, all in all, it was a very positive performance and the 3rd XI look forward to welcoming Catford and Cyphers to the St Lawrence cricket ground in two weeks’ time.