Sevenoaks choked by Clinton ton
The final matches of the first half of the season produced a series of surprise results as three of the bottom four teams beat the top three, leaving the top two, Sevenoaks Vine and Blackheath, unchanged, but lifting the hopes of Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells.
Leaders Sevenoaks Vine visited Bromley at Plaistow Lane, and with Richard Clinton and Wayne Morgan finding good form, the home Club earned a valuable sixteen points.
Invited to bat, the Sevenoaks managed a total of 189 for nine, with Wayne Morgan taking 5-38. Luke Blackaby top scored with 34.
An impressive unbeaten 101 by Richard Clinton, supported by a half century from Miguel Barbosa saw Bromley safely home to a seven wicket victory.
Blackheath missed the opportunity to top the table, failing to capitalise on the loss by the Vine, as they too suffered defeat, to Tunbridge Wells at the Rectory Field.
The visitors invited Blackheath to bat and they were soon in full flow. Craig Wood scored an impressive 136 as Blackheath raced to 276 for six calling a close to their innings in the 51st over.
This was to prove costly as the Tunbridge Well openers recorded a superb 215 run partnership Alex Williams scoring 123, with his partner Gregor Patterson, remaining till the end with 108, to give Tunbridge Wells a six wicket victory.
The third match to go against form was down at Canterbury, where the bottom placed club earned a resounding ten wicket win over visitors Bexley.
Ryan Minter produced career best figures of 7-38 as he tore through the Bexley line up with only Jack Bell 33 and Min Patel 25 reaching double figures as Bexley slumped to a most disappointing total of 88 all out. Dominic Chambers, 45, and James Lilley, 41, saw Canterbury home without loss.
There was a thrilling one wicket victory at Culvey Close for home side Hartley over Lordswood. Invited to bat, Lordswood went about their innings in workmanlike fashion, Lyndon Lockhart scored 67 and Chris Piesley 59, with Lordswood finally bowled out for 216.
Charlie Hemphrey was the pick of the bowlers with 4-55. What followed was amazing. Sam Billings and Dan Stickels took Hartley to 131 without loss and seemingly cruising to victory.
Amjad Khan then returned to the attack after an ordinary first spell. He removed Stickels, and then a hat trick ensued, another wicket, and a wicket at the other end, to reduce Hartley to 131 for six, with Sam Billing watching in disbelief at the other end.
Billings batted superbly and marshalled the rest of the innings to end on 106 not out to steer Hartley to the narrowest and most exciting victory.
The final game at Bickley Park saw the home side defeat out of form visitors Beckenham by six wickets. It was a good toss to win for the home Club who had little hesitation in inviting Beckenham to bat on a wicket offering some early assistance to the bowlers.
A lack of application in such conditions, against a well organised attack, contributed to Beckenham’s demise. The ever steady James Lincoln took 3-28 and Nayam Doshi 3-34 as Beckenham imploded to 113 all out, only Raza Ali Dar with 46 showing enough technique, application, grit and determination.
Beckenham fought hard in the field, but 113 were too few to defend and with skipper Chris Coulson top scoring on 33, Bickley took the points.