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Kent League Premier Division week 1
Kent League Premier Division week 1

Last season’s Kent League Premier Division Champions, Lordswood, started their defence with a home victory over Sandwich.

They were invited to bat first and were indebted to Owen Palmer’s 88 off 89 deliveries with nobody else reaching twenty. They finished on 199 with Henry Bee the pick of the bowling returning figures of 4 for 40.

When Sandwich batted, they looked in good shape when Zac Fagg (46) and Kit Keey (32) put on 64 for the second wicket. Ryan Davies upped the tempo with 37 from 33 deliveries, however, when he was dismissed, nobody else could get going. Thando Ntini claimed 4 for 25 from his ten overs as the visitors were dismissed for 176 with thirteen overs unused.

There was also a victory for Bexley, runners up last term, at home to Hayes after electing to field. Alex Blake held the visitors’ innings together with a well crafted 82, but he struggled to find partners and the innings closed on 193 for 7. The wickets were shared but Jack Sinfield was the most miserly, claiming 2 for 20 from his ten overs.

Shaun Evans was forced to retire hurt on 48 in Bexley’s return, but captain Matt Stiddard scored 56 not out as the hosts cruised to a six wicket victory with fourteen balls remaining.

It wasn’t as good a start for Tunbridge Wells, who finished third in 2023. They were hustled out for just 78 at home to newly promoted Canterbury. Anthony Mosca took 3 for 10 including six wides, Owen Griffiths 2 for 8 off eight overs, Cameron Wilshaw 2 for 7 off seven, and Syan Bulathsinhala 2 for 15 off six overs and four balls.

Equally tight bowling from the Wells attack made it difficult for the visitors but Mosca held his nerve in scoring 25 not out to guide them home.

Evergreen Darren Stevens starred with both bat and ball when St Lawrence & Highland Court hosted and defeated Bickley Park, back up after a year out of the Premier Division. His 3 for 30 was crucial in keeping the visitors down to 210 with Ranjit Singh top scoring on 43.

He then plundered 114 not out with fourteen fours and a six to see his side home by four wickets with just over three overs remaining.

In the remaining match, Minster won at Blackheath. Having elected to bat first they reached 63 for one in good time. Kai Appelby (4 for 15 off seven overs) was introduced to the attack and three wickets fell with no further runs on the board, and the Heath were bowled out for 165 with nobody reaching thirty.

Despite the best efforts of Matthew Golding, who claimed 3 for 28, the team from Sheppey cruised home with James Thompson top scoring on a patient 44 not out, following good knocks from Dan Stickels, 43, and Quinn Sunde, 41.

Images courtesy of Keith Gillard