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Rain ruins Vine run chase

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Sevenoaks Vine still head the Shepherd Neame Kent Premier League but the next four Clubs, Hartley, Bexley, Blackheath and Lordswood are separated by just two points.

Tunbridge Wells move out of the bottom two at the expense of Beckenham, whom they beat at the Nevill. Sadly the weather intervened in four of the five games that took place.

One such match involved leaders Sevenoaks Vine who were immersed in an interesting run chase against visitors Bexley.

Having been asked to bat first, Min Patel set Bexley off quickly with 82 from 72 balls and with 43 from George Wells, Greg Bane 37 and Adam Ball 34, Bexley reached 240 for six from 42 overs.

Min Patel

Min Patel gave Bexley a great start

Having an eye on the weather, they chose to declare early. Sevenoaks Vine reached 173 for five from 38 overs, Anthony Shales scoring 52 when the rain finally came, leaving Ollie Howick 47 not out, thus ending the run chase to produce an incomplete result leaving the Vine at the top with a lead of 12 points.

Hartley’s batsmen found some good form at Culvey Close as they stormed to 298 for five from their 45 overs in a shortened match. James Thompson made an unbeaten 95 with Charlie Hemphrey contributing a useful 63. Blackheath never looked likely to reach the target and despite a useful 48 by Jahid Ahmed they ended 110 runs short.

Canterbury looked set to record their second victory in two weeks but a middle order collapse provided visiting Bromley with the full 18 points.

Bromley, invited to bat, made slow early progress but middle order trio Richard Clinton 38, Wayne Morgan 36 and Nick Bluett 31 pushed them up to a competitive total of 214 for nine.

Stuart Drakeley with 4-33 was the pick of the Canterbury bowlers. At 132 without loss, Canterbury looked firm favourites but James Lilley 51 and Dominic Chambers 74 both fell at the same score.

Paul Steer, 21, apart, no other Canterbury batsman reached double figures as they slid to 193 all out, Wayne Morgan taking 4-40 and Richard Clinton 3-35.

The only other match to reach a conclusion was the game at the Nevill. After a delayed start due to rain the game was reduced to the minimum of 20 overs a side.

Tunbridge Wells emerged victors over Beckenham. Invited to bat, Beckenham found quick runs hard to come by, only Johan Malcolm with 58 from 41 balls dominating the attack. Beckenham reached 130 for seven but this was to prove insufficient as with Tom Elliot reaching an unbeaten 62 from 40 balls, the home side reached their target, six down, with an over in hand.

At Lordswood, there was only time for one innings before the rain arrived. Bickley Park asked their hosts to bat. They reached 202 for eight, Jonathan Price scoring 39, Lyndon Lockhart 45 and Matt Greenwood an unbeaten 52.

Phil Browning returned figures of 4-55 but the weather denied Bickley a chance to chase.