KSN are proud to support:

Kent League Premier Division week 18
Kent League Premier Division week 18

After an enthralling eighteen weeks of cricket, there was joy for Lordswood as they were crowned Kent League Premier Division Champions.

However, there was disappointment for Sevenoaks Vine as they joined Holmesdale in falling through the relegation trap door.

Callum MacLeod’s Lordswood visited bottom club Holmesdale knowing that victory would guarantee them the title. Having won the toss, MacLeod invited the hosts to bat first and played his part in dismissing them for 78 by taking 3 for 14. However, the main bowling honours went to Jack Laraman who returned 5 for 17. Carlos Maynard put up some resistance, scoring 30, however four ducks told its own story.

Despite that, it was not plain sailing for the Lords and they found themselves in a spot of bother at 23 for 5, with Callum Gallagher claiming all five and finishing with 5 for 21. MacLeod was not to be denied though, and played a captain’s innings to guide his side home with 32 not out, supported by Bradley Goldsack’s 27 not out.

As it turned out, Lordswood would have been champions even if beaten as the only team who could reach them, Tunbridge Wells, lost at St Lawrence & Highland Court. The hosts elected to bat first and were indebted to skipper Matt Hammond who scored 70 on their way to 200 all out. Govind Nair was the most successful bowler, taking 3 for 36.

Jamie Hemphrey then took centre stage for the hosts, claiming 5 for 45 as Wells slumped to 49 for 5, then 94 for 8. Matthew Barker, batting at nine, and David Smith at ten, kept them in the game with 40 and 37 respectively, but they fell 23 runs short.

In the battle to avoid the drop Blackheath, who started the day in the other relegation spot, hosted Sevenoaks Vine knowing that victory would lift them above Sevenoaks Vine in the table. The hosts were asked to bat first and a steady opening partnership of 108 between Jas Bassan (63) and George Wells (54), set them up nicely. Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond then came in and scored 40 allowing the Heath to finish on 252 for 9. Sam Jones claimed 3 for 54.

Opener Ben Price gave Sevenoaks hope with 58 at quicker than a run a ball but only captain Luke Schlemmer, with 36, made over 30 as seasoned campaigner Tanweer Sikandar kept them at bay with 5 for 36. They finished on 197 for 9 from their fifty overs, three runs shy of an additional batting point.

There was still a chance for Sevenoaks, depending on Bexley winning at home to Sandwich Town, and the number of bonus points claimed by the visitors. This game turned out to be yet another last over thriller at Manor Way. The hosts chose to bat first and Calum Basey anchored the innings with a well crafted 65. Matt Stiddard scored 34 but nobody else got going as they were bowled out for 168. Cody Nieuwoudt was pick of the bowlers taking 3 for 27.

Rory Smith was the star performer with the bat for Sandwich as Freddie Foster (3 for 29) and Ellis Daly (3 for 31), worked their way through the batting line-up. Smith stood firm and with two overs remaining, they were on 151 for 9. Smith hit two fours in the penultimate over before taking a single off the last delivery. He hit a six off the third ball of the final over leaving them two to tie and three to win. Having failed to score off the next ball he hit the penultimate delivery and looked for a two to tie to bring the scores level. However, Daly’s throw was too accurate and Smith was run out for 81.

Their dismay turned to joy when they heard the news from Blackheath as they finished on level points with Sevenoaks, but survived having won more matches during the season. Victory for Bexley meant that they finished the season as runners-up.

Finally, Hayes visited Minster. The visitors won the toss and chose to field first. William MacVicar took 3 for 16 as the hosts were dismissed for 123, James Thompson top scoring with 31.

Bill Prideaux soon reduced Hayes to 17 for 3 on his way to 3 for 31, but although nobody made it to thirty, solid sensible batting saw the visitors through by four wickets with 17.2 overs to spare and a top half of the table finish.

Promoted from the Championship into the Premier for 2024 to replace Holmesdale and Sevenoaks Vine were Canterbury and Bickley Park.

Images courtesy of Keith Gillard and Allen Hollands.