Kent County Village League Division 4: Horsmonden 2nd (104 all out) lost to Kemsing (105-1)
By Roger Shaddock
At the historic Doghouse Ground in Horsmonden, the home skipper, Glen Christian, won the toss and decided to bat first, even though he was aware of the difference in strength between the two sides.
With a very young side, it was important that the openers saw off the pace of Kemsing quicks, Stuart Barnes and Grahame Wood, which they did! However, with the introduction of Nizam in the 10th over, 14 year-old Henry Martin could not resist a slightly wide delivery, to be caught behind by keeper, Paul Bean.
In the following over, Roger Shaddock replaced Barnes and bowled his first ball a foot wide of the stumps, which the experienced Tony Ford left alone. However, the ball swung in late and with the off stump at the jaunty angle, the stunned batsman had to depart, to much amusement all round.
Shaddock’s next ball was not quite so impressive – a low full toss, attempting a yorker – but the batsman drove it straight to James Walkling at silly mid off, for a very sharp catch! No hat-trick this time, however!
Shaddock peaked a bit too early, failing to take another wicket, despite lots of groaning and appealling! The bowling honours were to go to 16 year-old Nizam, as he showed great accuracy and some decent pace to take three more wickets, before he had to be taken off after his maximum seven overs, under the ECB guidelines. This cost him his first five wicket haul, as he finished with a superb 4-15. He had induced another edge to keeper Bean, a thick edge to cover, Jake Wood, and another catch for the specialist silly mid off, Walkling! Terrific bowling. With Horsmonden on 43-6 it was not looking good for the home side.
However, some entertaining resistance was provided by the aggressive Glen Christian, who found some unexpected support from Freddy Cunningham, who massively exceeded his team’s expectations by scoring a cheeky 16, before the off-breaks of Damien Saville and the pace of the returning Barnes polished off the last four wickets, with Christian unlucky to miss out on a deserved half-century by one run. The Kemsing side were treated to a stunning catch by the airborne Martin Green at point, again proving the old adage of having your best fielder in that position!
After tea, a straightforward run chase was negotiated successfully by the Kemsing batsmen, with the only casualty being Jake Wood, as his dad, Grahame, scored 67 and wrapped up the innings in less than 22 overs. However, in that time, nine Horsmonden players got a bowl, to keep their young side fully involved, an important consideration after the loss of a large number of key players earlier in the season.
Kemsing remain in second place in the KCVL Division 4, but if they beat top side, Chiddingstone, next week and win the final game the following week, against already relegated Shipbourne, they will be champions! One win will guarantee them promotion as runners up.