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Blackheath no match for mighty Hartley

Only 22 points separate second from eighth place in the Shepherd Neame Kent Premier League but the ever increasing gap at the top puts Hartley a whopping 48 points clear dashing hopes among rivals of catching them, even with eight games to go.

As the mid table sides appear to alternate between winning and losing, Hartley just keep on winning and extending their lead.

Hartley made light work of Blackheath on Saturday. The Blackheath batting fell apart once again with only three players reaching double figures. Charlie Hemphrey took 4-11 as the other wickets were shared around as Blackheath collapsed to a most disappointing 93 all out in the 31st over.

Dan Stickels 49 and James Hockley 21 set them on their way and despite the loss of three wickets Hartley romped home in the 16th over.

Second placed Lordswood needed a win to stay in touch with Hartley but their visit to North West Kent ended in defeat to Bickley Park. Electing to bat, Bickley got off to a sluggish start but James Watson joined Alex Darroch and began to build the innings.

Darroch departed for 40 when Dan Magin joined Watson and continued to accumulate. Watson was dismissed for a well-made 46 and Magin continued to reach 47 and help see Bickley through to 193. Lordswood seemed comfortable at 106 for three when Dan Magin trapped Zac Elkin for 35.

His next two balls bowled Matt Greenwood and Jonathan Price earning him a hat-trick and turn the tide in the Bickley direction.

Magin ended with 4-23 and the Lordswood lower order could not repair the damage he had caused and they slipped to 133 all out earning Bickley 18 points and a return to second place.

Sevenoaks Vine earned a valuable 18 points, lifting them out of the bottom two, as they chased down the 245 for nine set for them by Bexley at the Vine.

Bexley chose to bat first and with the main contributors Jimmy Peirson 62 and Jack Bell 40, reached 245 for nine in their 50 overs. In reply the Vine made rapid progress led by Oliver Durrell 55, Ollie Howick 50 and an unbeaten 76 from Luke Blackaby as the Vine raced home to win by four wickets in the 41st over.

Waheed Ali was the pick of the Beckenham bowlers taking 3-14 as Whitstable, having chosen to bat at Foxgrove Road were bowled out for a below par 156 by the home side.

Chris Isles began the chase well with 38 but the innings of the day came from Alex Blake who raced to 53 off 37 balls to take Beckenham close to the finishing line which they duly reached for the loss of four wickets with 21 overs in hand.

In the final game of the first round of win/lose cricket Bromley comfortably beat Sibton Park by six wickets. Sibton found batting hard work against the Bromley attack for whom Dominic Reed took 4-36 and Wayne Morgan 3-29 as the home side bowled Sibton Park out for 174 Jake Benfield scoring 53 and Ben Allon 40.

Wayne Morgan also came good with the bat, his 54 forming the backbone of the Bromley reply as they reached their target in the 29th over with only four down.

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