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Hartley's Hockley blasts another ton

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A comfortable win over Tunbridge Wells and a loss by Sevenoaks Vine has opened up a twelve point gap at the top of the Shepherd Neame Kent Premier League for Hartley with Blackheath sliding into second place after defeating Bexley.

At the Nevill, Tunbridge Wells elected to bat and their total of 208 all out was due mainly to an innings of 94 by Alex Williams who received little support except a determined 38 by Will Stickler.

The Hartley bowling figures were steady without being spectacular, James Cramp returning the best figures of 3-32.

James Hockley blasted a fine unbeaten 126 and assisted by a half century by Sam Billings, Hartley romped home just three down and 17 overs in the bank.

This century takes James Hockley to sixteen 1st XI centuries in the Kent Cricket League and he now heads the all-time field. The loss for Tunbridge Wells leaves them at the foot of the table now 22 points away from safety.

At Lordswood, visitors Sevenoaks Vine elected to bat but Amjad Khan 3-18 and Jack Laraman 3-30 put them under considerable pressure and only one batman, Chris Hammond, 33, passed thirty, resulting in a final total of 175. Lordswood also found batting difficult against a steady Vine attack.

Their run chase was built around a solid innings of 59 by Jonathan Prince but at 126-8 the game seemed to be heading the way of the Sevenoaks side.

However a fine partnership of 53 between Dan Masters, 32, and Jack Laraman 23 saw Lordswood home with no further loss of wickets with just one over to go.

The was less such fortune for the Bromley lower order as they collapsed to 73 all out to lose by 61 runs to Beckenham in a match reduced to 70 overs. With their respective positions in the table, and the result at Canterbury, this was a vital win for Beckenham.

On a turning wicket, Beckenham chose to bat and had only Will MacVicar 43 and Johan Malcolm 32 to thank for reaching 120 for four and looked set to set Bromley a stiff target.

Skipper James Butterfill had other ideas as he decimated the Beckenham middle and lower order returning the excellent figures of 6-12 from 6.3 overs restricting Beckenham to a modest total of 135 all out.

Bromley found bating even less easy. Will MacVicar removed their top three with just 27 on the board. Richard Clinton, 26, then showed some resistance but wickets tumbled all around him as their lower order folded against the pace of Henry Jones 2-19 and a fine spell from young spinner Adam Senn with 4-23 as they mopped up the last seven wickets for just 46 runs.

Whilst the win for Beckenham moves above Bromley into seventh place and slightly away from the relegation zone, Canterbury also continued their winning streak and hop above Bromley into eighth place by three points.

Canterbury invited their visitors Bickley Park to bat and they were soon in trouble as an opening spell of 4-35 by Ryan Minter helped leave them in a perilous position at 76 for seven.

Michael Ridley and Krish Maru added some respectability both scoring 29 but their final total of 141 was to prove totally inadequate.

Dominic Chambers anchored the Canterbury reply, batting throughout the chase for an unbeaten 50, but skipper Paul Steer took the batting honours of the day also unbeaten, with 78 from 80 balls, leading Canterbury to victory in just the 30th over.

At the Rectory Field, Blackheath batted first against visitors Bexley in a match reduced to 90 overs. A useful 54 from Craig Wood and thirties from Jahid

Ahmed and Faisal Shahid set them on the way, and a late flourish of 41 from 26 balls by Warren Lee enabled them to set Bexley 219 to chase.

In reply, Greg Bane opened up with 36 and George Wells scored 81 from 82 balls, but Faisal Shahid with 5-35 put Bexley to the sword and behind the run rate and they were bowled out for 210 with two balls remaining.