Kemsing drift from top but club maintain third level of village cricket for another year

Kent County Village League Division 3: Kemsing (163-8) lost to Bidborough 2nd (164-8)

The situation at the top of the Kent County Village League Division 3 was that Kemsing were third, five points behind Ightham and four points ahead of opponents Bidborough. The winner would be in the promotion mix, if Ightham slipped up. Leaders Marden are guaranteed to be promoted.

On a decent late summer’s day at Kemsing, the Bidborough skipper won the toss and decided to bat first on a rock hard track at Kemsing. He may have rued that decision a few overs later, as Grahame Wood took a wicket with his first ball and another soon afterwards and with James Walkling (2-18) again providing a devastating 9 over spell, Bidborough were 9-3 and 27-4.

The experienced Roger Shaddock (0-23) replaced Wood after his 5th over and kept the game tight, but with no luck at all. However, with the middle order steadying the ship, the batsmen launched an assault in the last 15 overs, with Andy Eames (56) being the pick, as a number of big shots found the boundary. During the onslaught, Damien Saville (2-27) bowled superbly, though other bowlers did take some tap.

However, a score of 164 was under par, but Kemsing knew they would have to bat well against a decent bowling and excellent fielding team.

The Kemsing reply was slow but steady, initially, losing G Wood for 17 and son Jake for 25 and 5 runs an over required for the last 20 overs. Not too arduous, but the pressure was mounting, as the bowling was effective and the fielding dynamic.

James Walkling and Will Moulton both scored entertaining 30s, but when they were gone, it was up to Saville to take on the task, as 4 quick wickets went down. He batted superbly and farmed the strike beautifully. The last over was reached with a daunting 12 runs required. Two boundaries and some scampering got the target down to 3 off the last ball, but only 1 run was possible. Thus a really exciting game was narrowly lost by Kemsing.

Bidborough (266 pts) play Ightham (275) next week, with the winner likely to finish 2nd. Marden (292) need 4 points to guarantee top spot. Kemsing (256) will finish 3rd or 4th, as they are 62 points ahead of 5th placed Hadlow!