Holmesdale clinch defeat from the jaws of victory

Holmesdale suffered an agonising defeat at the hands of Bexley on Saturday in a rain-affected match.

Losing the toss for the second consecutive week, the Dale were asked to bat on a green pitch. As expected, the ball moved around and the Riverhead-based side were quickly reduced to 25-3 inside 10 overs. McDowell (0), Bisset (12) and Fawcitt (10) were the wickets to fall.

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This brought Carlos Maynard and Luke Blackaby to the crease and the two had to defend and leave the ball well against a quality Bexley attack.

The pair did just that and then, suddenly, batting became easier and they put on 144 for the 4th wicket with an array of fantastic shots all around the ground, including a number of maximums off the slow bowlers.

Unfortunately, just before the rain both Blackaby (66) and Maynard (75) fell in the space of three balls in the 37th over, and then the rain fell.

After an early tea and an hour lost to the bad weather, the Dale only had 3 overs and three balls left to face. Dom May (20*) joined Will Harby (15*) and took the total to 205-5 off 40 overs, which was revised up to 227 for Bexley to chase in 40 overs. But, just before Bexley went out, another 4 overs were lost due to rain. So, once all the calculations had been done, Bexley would now need to chase 215 off 36 overs.

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The Dale started incredibly well with the ball, keeping it tight. Blackaby (1-33) was ably supported by Surguy (0-16) in the opening powerplay. When Harby (1-45) and Harbig (3-40) had reduced Bexley to 52-3, it brought Adam Ball and Matthew Stiddard together. This was the key partnership.

Balls seared past the outside edge of both batsmen in the beginning but they then both started to play their shots. It was to be a crucial match winning partnership of 135 between the pair as everything that the Dale tried was in vain.

The pair needed 78 off seven overs and then 30 off the final threeovers. In this time, Fawcitt (1-43) had removed Ball for a run-a-ball 66 and Harbig then removed Stiddard for 76 from 59 balls. However, it was too little too late and Bexley got the final five runs off the last over with relative ease thanks to some monstrous hitting in the overs before.

It was a gut wrenching result for the Dale who could not be faulted for a lack of effort or desire to win the game. But ultimately, it was not quite enough.

Next week, the 1st XI travel down the A21 to Tunbridge Wells, knowing that they are not far away from their first victory.

Download the weekly stats report for full league tables, results and forthcoming fixtures.