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Kent League Premier Division Week 17
Kent League Premier Division Week 17

It was another big day for Lordswood in the Kent League Premier Division as they won again to almost guarantee the title.

Second placed Bexley were defeated at Tunbridge Wells, with the hosts now being the only team still with a mathematical chance of catching the leaders.

Lordswood hosted Minster, and after electing to bat, racked up 283 for 9. Openers Linden Lockhart (42) and Max Wood (41) put on 91 for the first wicket. At 167 for 6, Minster had hopes of keeping the target down however Ed Taylor scored 59 and Bradley Goldsack 49 to set an imposing target. Aron Nijjar, back from Essex first team duty, returned 3 for 49.

Rain then caused a delay and, eventually, Minster were set a revised target of 144 from 28 overs. Ed Moore scored 60 from just 37 deliveries but although Akhil Venugopolan scored 34, they fell just short on 136 for 3.

Bad weather also affected the match between Tunbridge Wells and Bexley, The hosts chose to bat first and looked to be in trouble at 51 for 4. Then Sam Smith took command, scoring 102. He was supported by Calvin Johnson’s 40. Ahmed Jamal took 4 for 35 and Harry Dowling 3 for 34, but they couldn’t stop Wells from finishing on 226 for 9.

Losing wickets regularly in their quest to score 197 in 37 overs, Bexley were bowled out for 110 from 27.3 overs. George Haley scored 50 but had little support. Michael Waller returned 4 for 17 and Matthew Barker 3 for 17.

Going into the final week, a win for Lordswood at Holmesdale will guarantee them the title. However, a defeat for them, and a victory for Tunbridge Wells at St Lawrence & Highland Court would see the trophy going to the Nevill. Bexley are now out of the running but their season is far from over with an ECB National Club Final at Lords ahead of them.

At the other end of the table, starting the day in bottom place, Blackheath gave themselves a chance of survival with a big win at Sandwich in another rain affected game. Having won the toss, the hosts batted first and found Matthew Golding and Tanweer Sikandar too hot to handle. Golding claimed 5 for 32 and Slkandar 4 for 5 from 6.4 overs as Sandwich were bowled out for 98.

Set a target of 76 from 31 overs, the visitors achieved it for the loss of four wickets with 8.1 overs to spare. They still remain seven points behind Sevenoaks Vine and Hayes but overtook Holmesdale whose defeat at the Vine confined them to relegation after one season in the Premier Division.

Sevenoaks were asked to field first and could do little to stop Curtis Maynard who scored 111 at fractionally under a run a ball. Henry Marrick supported him with 40 as the visitors finished on 295 for 8. Sahil Shah claimed 3 for 35.

Ben Compton (61 not out) and Chris Vernon (54 not out) then set about chasing a revised target of 130 after the loss of an early wicket and they saw it through, winning in the 25th over by nine wickets.

Reigning champions Hayes are not guaranteed safety after their game with St Lawrence & Highland Court was abandoned. The visitors were asked to bat first and were on 134 for 8 when rain brought a close to the proceedings.

Blackheath and Sevenoaks Vine meet next week and if the hosts win they will overtake their guests. For Hayes to drop, they would have to lose at Minster and claim fewer bonus points than Sevenoaks in defeat.

Images courtesy of Allen Hollands