Sevenoaks Vine returnees put in solid display despite loss on the road

Sevenoaks Vine’s 1st XI made the trip to Burberry Lane to face a Leeds and Broomfield side in their first official fixture of the season, and with the league season starting in three weeks, they have just two more friendlies to get on form before they host Bickley Park on Saturday 8th May. 

Sevenoaks Vine 1st XI (262-8) lost to Leeds and Broomfield (263-2)
A good team on paper was made even stronger by the availability of the recently quarantined returning overseas Luke Schlemmer and Michael Cowdrey, who had missed the last few seasons with university commitments. 

Ben Price, leading The Vine for the day, won the toss on what looked a good pitch on the picturesque ground overlooking Leeds Castle and chose to bat first in a 40 over a side affair. 

Price opened the batting with the in form Chris Vernon, fresh from a midweek 50 at Lords for MCC South team. Good spells from both Leeds opening bowlers were successfully negotiated and the score passed 60 for no loss at the 10 over mark. Vernon was however the first man to depart, looping a back of a length ball to midwicket for 31. Price shortly followed for 48 finding the only man positioned on the leg side boundary. 

A few quick wickets fell at an awkward time for The Vine and it was the previously mentioned Schlemmer and Cowdrey who looked to rebuild. Schlemmer made an impressive 31 before his departure but it was Cowdrey who became the main aggressor and quickly found his feet on his return, finishing with a well made 89. Useful contributions from James White and Joe Banks must also be mentioned, with some good strokeplay throughout. 

The Vine finished their 40 overs 262-8, in a total they would have been more than happy with at the half way stage of the game. 

A short interval for tea also gave both sides a chance to come together to observe a minutes silence along with the rest of the nation for HRH Prince Philip funeral. It would be then up to Vernon and Harry Robinson to share the new ball with the latter bowling particularly well and unlucky not to pick up a wicket during a probing opening spell. Karl Pearson replaced Vernon and was quick to blow away the cobwebs finding a nagging line and length almost immediately, he too was unlucky not to pick up at least one wicket along the way. 

It became clear very quickly how Leeds were to play their cricket and that was to take the attack to the The Vine bowlers. In a side packed full of spinning talent, The Vine will be extremely disappointed with how the innings began to play out, in a bowling display that lacked variety and any real sort of plans and a fielding display that finished with five or six missed game changing opportunities.

The Vine spent much of the game having to field with 10 with Schlemmer having gone off injured when he held onto a superb one handed catch only to run out of room very quickly with a knee high brick wall fast to greet him. Fortunately the incident could have been much worse and it is hoped he will be nursed back to full health for next Saturday.

George Davis of Leeds played a quite superb innings when he was finally dismissed for 159. His innings had made the job for those around him far easier. Leeds chased down The Vine total with some ease with the loss of only two wickets and with four overs still to spare. 

Overall an extremely disappointing day but The Vine will take a lot from the experience and will be particularly pleased with the batting display. It is clear that there is still far more to polish up on in the field and with the ball before we are greeted by the fast approaching new league season.

Sevenoaks Vine 2nd XI (152-9) lost to The Mote (153-2)
A youthful Vine 2nd XI welcomed The Mote 2nd XI to Orchard Field on Saturday afternoon looking to blow away a few more cobwebs with the league season only two weekends away. 

Captain Matt Wilson won the toss and elected to bat hoping to get off to a good start. Openers Charlie Williams and Harry House did just that and raced to 52-1 from nine overs, with the former hitting a quick 17. Harry House took the lead from here on and made his maiden senior 50 as The Vine reached 78-2 from 14 overs. Then came about a collapse from The Vine as the inexperience of the side showed. Handy contributions from Henry Lewis (22) and Matt Wilson (33) certainly helped but The Vine would limp to a 152-9. James Waterson was the star with the ball for The Mote as he picked up 4-20 from his five overs.

The Vine would continue to face one way traffic as the Mote openers blasted a number of boundaries in the opening few overs. Opener Raj Raveendran would go on to make a powerful 42 before falling LBW to the bowling of Henry Lewis. Meanwhile, the other opener and captain James Hodgson went on to make a well made 52 before retiring not out, leaving it to his son Charlie Hodgson to finish off the game scoring 33 not out. The Mote completed their chase within 24 overs.

Whilst it proved a difficult afternoon for The Vine, the club can no doubt take pride in some of the performances of the stars of the future.