After a tough yet productive pre-season schedule, including matches against Dartford, Beckenham, Sevenoaks Vine and a National Cup victory against Sussex Premier League side East Grinstead, Holmesdale’s three senior sides finally got their league campaigns underway against Bromley Common and Sidcup at the weekend.
Unfortunately, both the 2nd and 3rd XI games were cancelled due to the rain, but the 1st XI escaped the weather and got their season off to a flying start with a huge win against Bromley Common in Division 1 of the Kent Cricket League.
On an overcast May afternoon, Holmesdale skipper, Luke Blackaby, won the toss and had little hesitation in putting Bromley Common into bat. However, not all went as planned or expected for the Dale. Despite excellent spells from Ben East (1/40) and Blackaby (2/36), the other bowlers toiled and after 35 overs Bromley Common were 180-2 with Hayden Burke (69) and overseas star Gamindu Kanishka (66) both making half centuries and putting on a hundred partnership for the hosts.
Holmesdale did fight back once Dom May (3/54) made the breakthrough, but despite this, some late order hitting from Jamal Patterson (45*) saw Bromley Common up to 264 all out; a very competitive score.
The Dale’s innings did not get off to the greatest of starts either, with the in-form Dan Brabham (15) and Mark Epps (5) both falling to Bromley pace-man Sam Stuart.
Ben Fawcitt (40) and Harry Galpin (27) rebuilt the innings, putting on 59 for the third wicket, before both fell in quick succession. In stepped Nick Miller, back from Australia for his second season with Holmesdale, and Ant Bissett (17), who steadied the ship and took the score to 134 until the latter fell to Archer. With 131 still required to win the game, and 16 overs left, overseas player Miller was joined by vice-captain Rupert Harbig and the pair proceeded to put on a scintillating display of controlled hitting and superb running between the wickets.
Scoring at over nine runs per over, both were able to hit the boundary when it was required and were in the middle when the Dale overcame the target, with 2.1 overs to spare. Nick Miller finishing on 96 not out off 85 balls, and Rupert Harbig on 57 not out off 43; a superb effort from both.
This weekend, Holmesdale 1st XI are at home to Linden Park from Tunbridge Wells, while the 2nd XI face a trip to Blackheath and the 3rd XI welcome OD CUACO to Seal, St Lawrence.
The 1st XI are also looking forward to the 3rd Round of the Royal London National Club Championship against Three Bridges of Sussex on Sunday 9th June, as Lordswood conceded the 2nd Round tie which was due to be played this weekend.