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Full steam ahead for Hartley

Hartley move one week closer to retaining the Premier title as they beat Bexley by six wickets with Bickley Park also victorious against their visitors Sibton Park.

The East Kent Club remain in the relegation zone but close the gap slightly on Sevenoaks Vine from 13 to 11 points, as the Sevenoaks side were heavily defeated at Beckenham, earning no points.

No details have been provided for the Hartley game, except that at Culvey Close, Hartley invited visitors Bexley to bat. Bexley were bowled out for 201 in the 44th over. Hartley chased these down for the loss of four wickets in a ball short of 35 overs.

Former New Zealand test bowler Brent Arnel produced extraordinary figures of 8-7-1-6, after Sevenoaks Vine elected to bat at Foxgrove Road. The Vine could find no answers against Arnel who ripped through their top order.

Only Luke Blackaby 35 and Ollie Howick 27 added some respectability as the Vine slumped to 121 all out. Alex Blake with a quick fire unbeaten 75 made light work of the chase as Beckenham romped home to win by eight wickets in just the 20th over to lift themselves 33 points away from the drop zone.

Bickley Park held the lead at the top to 48 points as they narrowly beat the approaching rain to defeat Sibton Park by 142 runs. Bickley elected to bat, Dan Magin was their top scorer with 80 and with useful contributions of 48 from Alex Darroch and 46 from Chris Coulson, Bickley closed on 247 for six.

In reply only Steve Hickmott reached double figures with 49 as Nayan Doshi spun his way through the top order taking 4-18 and Terry Howes accounted for the lower order with 3-12 as Sibton were bowled out for 105 just before the heavens opened.

Whitstable look set to return to Division 1 in 2014, as are now 41 points away from safety and have a mountain to climb with only six games remaining.

Their misery was compounded by a thorough thrashing by Lordswood. Invited to bat at home, Whitstable could only manage a total of 70 in 28 overs, as Adeel Hussein 4-17 and Dan Masters 3-21 tore them apart.

Seventeen overs later it was all over, Zac Elkin the main run scorer with an unbeaten 41 as Lordswood cruised home to win by eight wickets.

The final game at Bromley was incomplete as the rain closed in to conclude play. Electing to bat, Jahid Ahmed with 74 Aiden Blizzard 64 and Callum Haggett 57 not out, helped Blackheath to post a useful total of 262 for eight at Plaistow Lane.

The game was well poised with Bromley at 220 for five with nine overs remaining when the rain took the players off. David Smith scored 65 and Richard Selvey-Clinton 53 in the Bromley chase.

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