Vine look to rebuild after a hattrick of disappointing performances

Kent Cricket League Premier 1st Division: Tunbridge Wells (221 all out) beat Sevenoaks Vine (155 all out)

Within the cricketing world, not many games are more highly anticipated than the ‘A21 Derby’ which was, as always, fiercely contested between Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks Vine at the Nevill Ground.

On a good wicket, Tunbridge Wells won the toss on a what looked like a good wicket and elected to bat first, however disaster struck for the home side with the first ball when captain Chris Williams was out caught at fine leg off a vicious bouncer from Sevenoaks Vine opening bowler Miles Richardson.

Will and Sam Stickler set about re-building and withstood a fine opening spell from Richardson (2-29) and Matt Dalton. Both were dismissed in their 40s and the Vine continued to apply pressure with the spin bowling of the ever patrolling Neil Reid Dick, fresh from a midweek break in Oxford. Reid Dick (1-46) and overseas Luke Schlemmer (2-29) kept the pressure on and chipped away at the Wells middle order. Schlemmer claimed the important wicket of Sam Stickler, ably supported by the cardio king Michael Cowdrey taking a fine diving catch at mid off. Tunbridge Wells had set up a late innings onslaught however the introduction of seasoned veteran John Bowden scuppered any chances. Bowden, showed his experience, claiming 4 wickets for 10 runs in 2.4 overs to wrap up the Innings, with the home side finishing on 221.

A good start was vital for the Vine to chase down this score, however once again the Vine’s top order failed to make any significant contributions with only Bowden (25) and Ben Price (14) making double figures from the Vine’s top six. Seamer Dave Smith was the pick of the Wells bowlers with the blonde bombshell returning impressive figures of 4-19 from his 10 overs. The bearded Evert Bekker scored a fine 50 and was ably supported by some end of innings big hitting from Reid Dick (4) to take the Vine to 155 all out.

Another disappointing performance from Sevenoaks Vine, but with some favourable fixtures in the coming weeks, they will be looking forward to getting back on home soil this weekend and securing a win to get their season back on track.

Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (107 all out) lost to Tunbridge Wells 2nd (113/2)
Sevenoaks Vine’s 2nd XI slumped to their second successive defeat, this time at the hands of Tunbridge Wells.

The Vine elected to bat after winning the toss and made a good start with openers Hugh Piper and Mike Thompson sharing an opening stand worth 43 before Thompson bottom edged a short ball onto his own stumps. Piper followed the next over smashing a long hop straight to the hands of short midwicket, departing for 19. The in form Thomas Harvey played some classic sweep shots before a ball rolled back onto his own stumps and suddenly The Vine were 58-3. Few contributions from the middle order saw the Vine then collapse to 84-9 with spinners Joe McCaffrey, Mark Mclean and Ewan Pedder brushing the middle order a side sharing seven wickets between them. Tailenders Karl Pearson and Harry Robinson frustrated the visitors with a 23 run partnership before the former was trapped LBW. The Vine were bowled out for a poor 107.

Knowing early wickets would be essential to getting some form of reward from the fixture, The Vine turned to seamers Henry Smith and Harry Robinson, the latter dismissing Wells stalwart Tim Luckhurst for just 4. Opener Ed Harwood along with number three Hugo Williams became increasingly comfortable on a flattening wicket, and soon began to play their shots towards the end of the powerplay. Harwood would be eventually dismissed for 47 by Mike Thompson, with Karl Pearson taking a high, swirling catch. It would however be Hugo Williams’ day as the batsman finished proceedings with successive sixes to take the Wells to an eight wicket victory.

The Vine will look to make amends away at Beckenham following what was a very poor day at the office.

Kent Regional Cricket League Division 2 Central: Sheppey (127/6) beat Sevenoaks Vine 3rd (124 all out)
The 3rd XI came out the wrong side of a low scoring affair after a trip to Sheppey. Stuck in on a wet one, the Vineyard were well set at half way (50-1) to post a challenging total on a stodgy deck however Sheppey fought back hard in the last 10 overs, restricting the Vineyard to 124 from their allotment. Ben Harvey the pick of the batsman with a battling 47.

Sheppey came out with intent to muscle their way to the target, not hanging around for the inevitable unplayable delivery and found themselves 48-1 from the first 5 overs. You’d have thought at this point the writing was on the wall for the Vineyard and they’d be sent back to the mainland with nothing other than a hiding however a serious fight back from the change bowlers silenced the previously chirpy locals. 

James Thresher and Will Ansell took 5 wickets between them, exposing the lower middle order, Thresher at one point on a hat trick. A big squeeze in the field followed by a period of lower scoring. With 25 runs required, the bubble burst and Sheppey threw caution to the wind, gaining the required runs with a couple of lusty blows, offering some half chances to the Vineyard that if taken, could have swung the result of the game. The final result – a 4 wicket loss for the 3rd XI.

U15 Premier League at Tunbridge Wells
The Prem. side had the pleasure of playing at the very nice Nevill Ground, unfortunately The Vine’s poor run on that ground (the 1st XI lost there yesterday) continued. Henry won the toss and elected to bat on a good pitch. Jack got us off to a good start scoring 29 with some lovely pull shots. Unfortunately, the batting was a bit light this week and aside from Monty’s excellent 31 in the middle order, we probably ended the innings with 20-25 runs less than needed, all out for 126 on the last ball of the 25 overs. 

The Vine got off to a solid start, keeping the older TWCC batts in check to remain in the game around the 10 over mark, Monty picking up one of the openers plumb LBW. After that they managed to score at a steady pace to eventually ease ahead and win the match by 7 wickets in the 22nd over, Henry and Will picking up the other wickets. The guys stuck at it in the field, and mostly bowled well aside from one, sometimes two, “four balls” per over…lessons to be learned. A special mention to Toby who kept wicket, at late notice, for the first time and was a natural, including at catch up to the stumps off Will and a mere three byes. Reduced extras was a definite positive from this game.

At the half-way mark of the League we are 1 and 4, however I’m confident the lads will continue to learn and improve over the next 5-weeks.

U15 West Malling League at Addington-Town Malling
The WM side travelled to Addington this afternoon to take on a combined side, with the Vine batting first. We lost early wickets and were 26/4 at one stage before some solid middle order work from Charlie 21, set the stage for some late innings hitting from Luca (25 not out, including a six). At the end of the 25th over, SVCC had set a total of 111/7.

In the field The Vine managed to take regular wickets (2 each to Milo and Olly, another to Owen on debut, plus 3 run outs), however the extras told the tale with 52 in total, incl. 35 wides! Unfortunately leaking that many runs allowed the opposition to sneak home in the 24th over by two wickets, 112/8. Definite focus at training this week will be straighter bowling for the lads.

Under 13 Prem Vs Castle Hill
ln almost perfect cricket conditions at home against Castle Hill The Vine were stuck in to bat on a dewy pitch. Castle Hill bowled well with a tight opening 4 overs. Ben Warburton was run out early doors as and the Vine struggled to get the score board moving with just 18 from the first 5 overs. Skipper Will Deacon was let off the hook, dropped by an easy catch from the bowler and at halfway point Sevenoaks were 43-2

The wicket quickly dried out making the ball harder to time, but Will and George van der Weisthuzen started to dispatch the bad ball. George took advantage of being dropped a couple of times, and both he and Will retired for 30. Unfortunately two batsman retiring in quick succession plus two quick wickets meant we lost a little momentum at a time we should have accelerated. Max Blincoe and Tristan Petersen managed to get us to a respectable 106-4, probably 15 runs short of our intentions 

With the sun now shining and wicket drying out, the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat quite so easily, and Ben and George vdW took early wickets leaving Castle Hill 11-2 off 3 overs. George Van der Weisthuzen foxed batter with an impressive out of the back of the hand slower ball!

The first change attack struggled initially but a swap of ends did the trick for George Lythgoe and Castle Hill were 47-3 off 8 overs. Freddie Tiley bowled tightly and took a wicket with his first ball to a decent catch by James King at mid on. There was an impressive catch also from George vdW off Lucy Blincoe which came at the right time for Vine. Jasmine Beckett then came in with a crucially tight over 3 overs from the end giving just 1 run away. Castle Hill needed just 4 runs off the last over and got over the line with one ball remaining.

A really good game, played in good spirit but didn’t quite score enough runs.

Under 13s v. Cowdrey
The under 13 championship team played a 9  a side fixture at Cowdrey also in fine weather but with a challenging wicket. Vine was asked to bat by Cowdrey and openers Fin Cooper and Henry Neale saw off the opening bowlers before both falling in quick succession. A further wicket left Vine 25-3 and in need of some re-building. James Webb, Zavier Prongue and Josh McCann all made good contributions but unfortunately didn’t get to the crucial stage of retiring which could have lengthened the innings. A total of 92 all out felt a bit short of what was needed and the team needed a positive response in the field. 

James W (with 2 wickets) and Thomas Porter (with 1) opened the bowling at 3 down the door seemed ajar for a comeback. On a two paced deck with inconsistent bounce batting and wicketkeeping were a challenge and bowling straight would prove the key. Although all the bowlers did a great job with Eddie Shepphard standing out for tidiness the total set proved to be within Cowdrey’s grasp for the loss of 5 wickets. The other Vine wicket taker was Josh who did very well. Fielding was encouraging and Thomas P did a great job leading the team as did Henry Neale as stand in keeper. 

The learning experience on such a wicket will be invaluable with all the boys recognising the need to play straight when batting and bowl at the stumps when bowling. Limiting the number of extras is another lesson to learn. Again really good spirit and special thanks to Mark for scoring once again!