May blitz returns Holmesdale 1st XI back to winning ways!

Cricket helmet, bat and ball on boundary line during a game in the English village.

Holmesdale’s 1st XI put on a strong all-round performance on Saturday, returning to their winning ways at Montreal Park, beating Broadstairs in comprehensive fashion with a side filled with players who have recently come through the youth system at the club. 

After having won the toss and putting Broadstairs in to bat on what looked like a challenging pitch, Holmesdale did not get off to the start they had hoped for with a few too many short deliveries being sent to the boundary. However, Luke Blackaby (1/25) managed to make the breakthrough, removing the attacking Jack Wheeler (18). Once this wicket fell, the Dale managed to reel Broadstairs back in with a strong bowling partnership between university attendees Ben Fawcitt (2/18) and Callum Gallagher (0/22). The pair bowled in consistently good areas and Ben Fawcitt let go some exceptional deliveries to clean up the Broadstairs top order. 

Luke Blackaby decided to turn to spin just before drinks in an attempt to run through the Broadstairs batting line up. However, initially this decision did not pay off with Broadstairs turning good balls into boundaries. Yet, both Dom May (1/34) and Mike Bryant (1/29) managed to put the brakes on after drinks and made it very challenging for the Broadstairs middle order to score, with Bryant removing Jamie Newell (64) leg before wicket, turning the game in Holmesdale’s favour. 

With both May and Bryant finishing their allocation of overs, Ant Bissett (3/26) and Jack Hulston (0/25) were called upon to bowl at the death. Both bowled exceptionally well, making it incredibly challenging for the Broadstairs lower order to find the boundary or rotate the strike, which was also assisted by some excellent fielding, including a one-handed screamer from Hulston at short mid-wicket. Bissett frequently picked up wickets in his short 5 over burst, which resulted in Broadstairs being unable to gain much momentum in the tail end of their innings and the away side ended up 205/8 after their 50 overs. 

After what can only be described as the best tea in the Kent League, Holmesdale started their chase in exceptional fashion. Dom May (63) took it upon himself to blitz the Broadstairs opening bowlers, scoring 50 off just 18 balls. It really was an assault of exceptional striking, with May sending the ball to all parts of Montreal Park and into the trees beyond. However, despite an exceptional start, Holmesdale suffered a mini collapse with Brabham (14), May and Facwitt (1) all fulling in quick succession. 

However, ever the cool heads, both Nick Miller (40) and Luke Blackaby (34) rebuilt the Holmesdale innings, keeping the scoreboard ticking over and putting on a partnership of 76, edging Holmesdale nearer their target. Yet, when Miller fell, chopping on to his stumps, there was, once again, a flurry of wickets as first Blackaby, and then the incoming Bissett and Harbig, were removed cheaply. 

With 35 still required to win the game, overs were not an issue, however Holmesdale only had 3 wickets in hand and Broadstairs left arm orthodox spinner, Matthew Frewin (4/27), had found some exceptional rhythm and was turning the ball away from the right hander with ease, making it very challenging for the incoming Holmesdale tail. However, some calm and composed batting from the youngest member of the side, Callum Gallagher (22*), and its oldest, Mike Bryant (14*), made the final 35 runs look easy, as the pair waited on the bad ball from the Broadstairs bowlers and put it away to the boundary comfortably. The pair managed to get Holmesdale over the line with 8 overs to spare in a very strong all-round team performance. 

The side will look to build on this important victory next week at home again against Tenterden and build some momentum and string a series of wins together, so that they can challenge for those all-important promotion places come the end of the season.

Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (97-1) beat Holmesdale 2nd (96 all out)
Following a wet start to the season, and two games abandoned due to the weather, Holmesdale 2nd XI fortunately managed to get a fixture in on Saturday against the Vine, on the Vine.

The home side put Holmesdale into bat and made early in-roads as Vine club stalwart Parsons knocked-over opener and Holmesdale Captain, Roffey. While Parsons was unable to take any more wickets in his 10 over-straight spell of 1/25, he’d begun what was to be a chain-reaction of wickets. From the other end, opening bowler Robinson, took 3 more of the top order caught behind and bowled.

Finishing his 8 overs with figures of 3-18. Young Holmesdale opener Joel Kovoor (22) offered maturity in his resistance as the wickets fell around him. The Vine’s Dalton (2/14) and Thompson (3/26) followed the opening pair to provide the same bowling discipline displayed by their openers. Spinner Thompson found the defending edge of Kovoor, which was beautifully caught by slip fielder Adams.

Holmesdale’s David Hudson began a fight-back, playing his shots before falling to Young (1-7) caught in the deep for 22. Nathan Fawcitt looked comfortable and at ease but could not build on his 16 not out, as the remaining wickets fell at the other end.

With the exception of two of the tail-end wickets caught by out-fielders, all wickets were either bowled, lbw, caught behind or in the cordon – which stands testament to the discipline and professional bowling of the Vine attack – bowling Holmesdale out for 96.

With skies looking threatening again the Vine came out and batted positively to secure the win with only the loss of one wicket – Durrell caught behind off the bowling of Hudson for 4. The Vine’s opener Greg Adams (33*), and number three, Evert Bekker (48*), comfortably brought the home side to victory in what was a well-executed bowling and batting display. 

Holmesdale 2nd XI have now won two, lost two and had two matches abandoned. They hope to get back to winning ways as they travel to Tenterden for round 7 of the season next week.

Kent Regional Cricket League 1C Met/West: Holmesdale 3rd (147-7) lost to Beckenham 4th (231-8)
On a damp Saturday afternoon at the St Lawrence ground Holmesdale 3rd XI took on league leaders Beckenham 4XI.  Upon winning the toss, the decision to bowl first seemed a no brainer for the Holmesdale captain following a week of heavy and persistent rain.

Beckenham’s innings got off to a strong start with a few too many loose balls meaning that Holmesdale did not take advantage of the bowler friendly conditions. Then the game evened out with three very promising young bowlers, Henry Loughnane (2/18), Max Lindsay (2/34) and Jack Drysdale (2/41), putting great spells together and slowing Beckenham’s progress. Unfortunately, a late flurry of boundaries left Holmesdale with a sizeable target of 232 to win.

The second innings got off to a rocky start with Cook being run out going for a dangerous second run and Luthra chipping go mid-on. Then Holmesdale fought back as Sam Blackaby (63) and Max Lindsay (26) put on a classy 95 runs for the third wicket. Sadly, after losing 5 wickets for 10 runs, Holmesdale’s young tail batted out the last 10 overs until they ultimately ended up falling 84 runs short.