The Vine 3rd XI won the toss and elected to bat against Snodland knowing a win won the league title.
After a solid enough start Andy Akerman fell to a good catch in the covers and Dan Martin was bowled by a good offcutter to leave the Vine on 43-2 after 10 overs. Adrian Spurling batted very well and found the boundary regularly with a mix of excellent cover drives and some slightly more agricultural leg side drives. He added over 100 with Shami Iqbal before falling for 69 getting a top edge that was caught on the boundary. Will House then joined Iqbal and the pair were quite brutal on the Snodland attack as they took the score to 282-3 off 40 overs finishing unbeaten on 79 and 78 respectively.
Snodland were never likely to get near this total and so it proved. Jon Coleman bowled another fine opening spell and produced two great slower balls that deceived the batsmen clean bowling them both. Dan Martin bowled very well without any luck picking up just one wicket as did skipper Hugo Tudor. Both suffered some lusty hitting off their final few overs and it was left to Will House and Steve Bezuidenhout to tidy up. This was Bezuidenhout’s first spell of the season and to the surprise of all, he picked up 3 wickets in only 2 overs and Will House finished the innings off with 2 as well.
The emphatic victory ensured the Vine finished top of the 2A Central League, having lost only one game all season. Big congratulations to all those that have represented the 3rd XI this season.
Kent Cricket League Premier 1st Division: Sevenoaks Vine (293 all out) lost to HSBC, Kent (294-4)
The 1st XI came second to HSBC in a final day run fest in Sevenoaks.
Having won the toss, the Vine elected to bat first and make use of a classic looking Vine wicket. Evert Bekker and Chris Vernon got the Vine off to a flying start, taking the Sevenoaks side up to 93, before Vernon was trapped LBW for a well-made 50. Adam Rouse blasted a quickfire 36 from 27 balls, before also being trapped LBW, meanwhile Bekker had passed his 50 too. Bekker would be the next to fall, agonisingly sixteen runs short of a century. Hand contributions from Karl Pearson (18) and Vikas Kokkiligada (34), as well as some destructive hitting from Tom Coldman (26) ensured the Vine reach a total of 293 all out, a total believed to be more than enough to defend.
However, the HSBC batting line up had other ideas, and looked to dismantle the Vine seam attack early on. The south London side reached 84 before losing their first wicket, Sam Perks caught and bowled by Chris Vernon (1-48) for 25. Andrew Reid-Dick struck early on, getting Wajid Shah stumped for 1. However, from here on in it was all HSBC as Richard Golbourn (75), Sadiq Hassan (72), Alan Slater (71*) and Matthew Abbett (29*) led the Bank to a final over victory with three balls remaining.
The result concluded a disappointing second half of the season for the 1st XI who were top of the table with five weeks to go. That said, the Vine finished in a respectable fourth place, and still remain as the only omnipresent Premier League club.
Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Bromley Common 2nd (175 all out) lost to Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (177-4)
The 2nd XI concluded their season with a win away at Bromley Common, finishing third in the Kent Premier League.
The Vine bowled first on a wicket that appeared to be better suited to the batsman but found some early movement with the new ball. Henry Procter was instructed to bowl fast and hit the pitch hard. And that he did as he made the opening batsman uneasy with a barrage of bouncers and could’ve had two wickets early on had the slip cordon taken their chances. It would be Procter’s opening partner Harry Robinson (1-20) who would make the early in road, having Hugh Taylor caught behind for 11, albeit with a slightly wayward delivery. The shine of the new ball had worn off, and captain John Bowden turned to his experienced and plentiful spin attack of Mike Thompson and Freddie Young. Thompson bowled Hayden Burke for 22, before Young had Patrick Underwood stumped for 44 after some effective use of the short boundaries. Swastik Gupta was then caught by Robinson off Young’s bowling, and the Vine were in the driving seat with the score 88-4.
Peter Maffry and Jack Gallagher took the Bromley score beyond 100 by drinks, before Gallagher chipped a Mike Thompson full toss to Cyrus White first ball after drinks. Maffry was removed soon after as Bowden tempted him into a loose shot. The tail then failed to wag for the Common as Joe Banks (1-27), Young (3-61), Thompson (3-16) and Bowden (2-25) ensured the home team were bowled out for 175, a sub-par score on a good wicket and small ground.
The Vine chase began in terrible fashion as the top three of Greg Adams, Guy Bevan-Thomas and Cyrus White failed to get into double figures due to some excellent Bromley bowling. Ben Anderson (18) and Henry Procter were then tasked with seeing off the new ball and rebuilding the Vine chase. Some fine stroke play and good running took the Vine up to 70 before Anderson edged to second slip. Enter Mike Thompson, who along with Procter took the game away from the home team. The latter in particular made full use of some wayward bowling, smashing thirty from just two overs as Procter raced past 50 and towards his second century of the season. With less than 10 to win, Procter brought up his century with a back-foot push and finished 100*. Thompson then hit consecutive boundaries to complete a six-wicket victory and finish 40*.
Wins for Bexley and Sandwich meant the Vine finished in a credible third place, in a season of what ifs. Despite the disappointment of knowing the title was in reaching distance with two weeks left, the Vine can take great pride in their performance over the season and can look to go one better next season. Congratulations to deserved league winners Sandwich Town.