The Kent County Village League season for 2019 starts on May 11th, and with 18 local teams competing across the seven divisions, we take a look at their prospects.
We start with Division 1, where Four Elms will be trying extremely hard to go one better than their runners-up spot last year, in an effort to win the top division for the first time. Penshurst Park will want to get back to the top, as they have not won the title for a few years, now.
In Division 2, Leigh, Eynsford and newly promoted Farningham are expected to be there or thereabouts in a division that is impossible to call until we are well into the season. A couple of local derbies between Eynsford and Farningham should be interesting affairs though and everyone will be trying to get into the top division, so we expect there to be some crucial games on the way to a frantic finale.
Division 3 pits promoted Kemsing and Chiddingstone against Shoreham and Stonewall Park in more local derbies to whet the appetite. Kemsing will be keen to extend their run of three promotions in four years. This is a well-balanced division, so there will be some tight games.
Five local teams are in Division 4: Otford, Sevenoaks Weald, Underriver, Halstead and newcomers, Horton Kirby. This promises to be a very interesting division, as all the sides appear to be evenly matched and anything could happen. We expect this division to go to the wire before promotion and relegation places are sorted out.
Division 5 presents Knockholt, Chevening Amblers and Sennocke with a fair chance of promotion, though it will be tough, as this is also a very well-matched division. Don’t expect too many easy games, however.
Farningham 2nds, Four Elms 2nds, Penshurst Park 2nds, Otford 2nds and St. Lawrence are in Division 6 and this offers some decent, competitive cricket. There are a number of good teams in the division and there will be very few easy games. However, all the Sevenoaks sides are in with a chance of promotion, particularly as three will be going up.
In the 14-team Division 7, life is a little more relaxed, but with three promotion places up for grabs, most teams will be keen to do well. However, this division is aimed more at development and enabling players to get a game, so although there will be some tight games, winning is not so important. Expect Leigh 2nds, Eynsford 2nds and Shoreham 2nds to be in the top half, with Eynsford most likely to reach the top three, based on last season’s performance.
• If anyone is interested in playing cricket for one of the Sevenoaks District clubs, please visit the league website www.kentcountyvillage.play-cricket.com and click on the Clubs tab to see the list of clubs with links to their individual websites.