ROUND 9: Holmesdale 2nd XI v Beckenham 2nd XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI beat Beckenham by 10 runs on Saturday in a relegation dog fight. Winning the toss, Holmesdale elected to bat first on a glorious afternoon. James Crawforth and Max Melbourn (33) started off with purpose, taking the score past 70 before the first wicket was lost. James Crawforth continued to build and was ably supported by Richard Holliday (16) and Mike Brown (37) on his way to a magnificent 104* off 143 balls. Holmesdale scored 286 off their allotted 50 overs.
Holmesdale set about their task of defending their big total with expert control and discipline, reducing Beckenham to 25-1 off the first 10 overs, with pace duo, Jamie Monkhouse and Dave Hudson, bowling exceptionally well. However, Beckenham’s number 3, Grice, scored a wonderfully crafted 104 off 90 balls to bring the game back into the balance. Will Dickinson managed to get rid of Grice in the 42nd over but still Beckenham attacked all the way to the end. Needing 20 off the final over, Mike Bryant turned to young seamer, Peter Wright, to bowl the final over. He did so with aplomb, only conceding 10 runs, meaning that Beckenham scored 276 and gave the victory to the Dale. This win takes the 2nd XI out of the relegation zone at the half way stage: a positive end to a tough first encounter with Premier League cricket.
ROUND 8: HOLMESDALE 2ND XI v BEXLEY 2ND XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI took their match with Bexley 2nd XI right to the wire last Saturday, before succumbing to defeat by 25 runs on a beautiful day at Montreal Park. Holmesdale lost the toss and were made to field, but got off to a great start, with Linfield picking up opener Griggs without scoring. In came, Bexley skipper Abbas who proceeded to play a wonderfully controlled innings of 117*, while the Holmesdale bowlers produced anything but control and consistency. They Bryant brothers, Mike (1-33) and Harry (0-47), were the only two bowlers to apply any sort of real pressure during the innings, which meant that Bexley finished on 272-3 from their allotted 50 overs.
Holmesdale got off to a flying start with the returning Jack Hulston (32) and Max Melbourn (23) punishing anything over-pitched. Mike Bryant (30) and Holliday (28) also got starts at three and four, but nobody made a really telling contribution until Mike Brown (63) entered the game. Once again, Brown glued the Holmesdale innings together, but he fell to an incredible catch on the boundary and it was going to be an almighty ask to win once he had departed. Harry Bryant (15), McCann (18) and Linfield (15) gave it a go, but in the end the Dale came up just short, finishing on 247 all out. Next week the 2s go up against Beckenham in a relegation scrap, knowing that they need their bowlers to hit consistent lines and lengths and that their batsmen need to push on from the starts they are getting and turn them into match-winning contributions.
ROUND 7: Holmesdale 2nd XI v Whitstable 2nd XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI recorded their first ever Premier League win on Saturday, beating Whitstable by 1 wicket in an incredibly exciting game. Whitstable won the toss and elected to bat first, but Holmesdale got off to a dream start with Monkhouse (3-21) and Wright (44) tearing through the top order. At drinks Whitstable were 66-6 with Holmesdale well on top. However, Whitstable number 7, Paul Gambrill, played a gem of an innings, scoring 76. This meant that by the time Holmesdale had bowled Whitstable out, they had made 157.
Holmesdale decided to approach their innings with positive intent, but it did not get off to the greatest of starts, with openers Crawforth and McCann both departing early. When Bryant (17) had departed with the score at 33-3, there was worry, and nobody was ready for what happened next.
Up stepped Richard Holliday, who proceeded to play the innings of his life while all other Holmesdale batsmen came in and went. Holliday played some extraordinary shots on his way to his highest Kent League score, including five 6s over deep midwicket and a glorious array of drives over extra cover. When last man, Peter Wright, came in, Holmesdale still needed 9 to win, but this was no problem for Holliday who expertly guided two 4s to tie the game and then dispatched the winning runs via a huge maximum. Holliday finished on 87 not out and as a result Holmesdale are now one win away from being out of the relegation zone of the Premier League.
Round 5: Holmesdale v Sandwich Town 2nd XI
Holmesdale Second XI hosted Sandwich Town on Saturday looking to build on recent strong performances and record a first win of the season. After losing the toss and being asked to bat an inexperienced Holmesdale line up made a tentative start in difficult batting conditions and lost make-shift opener Keevil and Sam Blackaby to successive balls. Crawforth (49) and Topliss (33) then steadied the ship and took the game to the opposition before a mix up saw Topliss run out with the score at 75-3. Skipper Brown joined Crawforth and the pair added 50 before both fell in quick succession. Only youngster Kovoor (18) made double figures in the middle and lower order as Holmesdale finished their innings on 182-9 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Sandwich made a steady start before Wright (1-45) had Snell well caught but with the bowing lacking consistency at times, the visitors were able to make steady progress towards their target. Only Lovelock (10-5-17-1) exerted any control with Linfield (2-38) and Dickinson (1-31) the other wicket takers. Sandwich reached their target with 14 overs and 5 wickets to spare. Graham (50), Beaman (49) and Hills (48*) were the major contributors for the visitors. Holmesdale played well at times during the game but need to work on their consistency with the ball as they search for that elusive first win.
Round 4 Holmesdale 2nd XI V TUNBRIDGE WELLS2nd XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI travelled to The Neville Ground on Saturday, hoping to get their first win of the season under their belts against Tunbridge Wells. Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Holmesdale restricted Wells to 188-9 from their 50 overs - an exceptional performance. The pick of the bowlers were Nathan Fawcitt (3-38), Richard Holliday (3-42) and 16 year-old leg spinner, Joel Kovoor (1-26), who took his first second XI wicket.
Holmesdale’s innings got off to an excellent start with Holliday (26) and Crawforth (37) taking the 2s to 70-2 when an untimely run out led to a middle order collapse and the side being reduced to 80-6. Up stepped the in-form Michael Brown (48) and Nathan Fawcitt (39) who dragged the game back from the jaws of defeat to the edge of victory with the side needing 24 off the last 3 overs. But, unfortunately, the Wells bowlers put on a display of exceptional death bowling and Holmesdale fell 5 runs short. An agonising result yet again for the boys who know that when the first victory comes, it will taste so much sweeter.
Round 3 (19-05-18) HOLMESDALE 2ND XI v HARTLEY 2ND XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI fell just short of beating Hartley last Saturday, losing by 13 runs. Hartley won the toss and posted 226-7, but it in reality it should have been a lot less, as the Dale bowlers bowled too many loose deliveries and wides. Spinners, Mike Bryant (2-20) and Nathan Fawcitt (2-34), were the pick of the Holmesdale bowlers.
In reply, Holmesdale got off to a dreadful start with three of the top four batsmen being run out. Mike Brown (63) and Bryant (26) rebuilt the innings and Holliday (31) and Linfield (31*) continued the excellent work and took the score to 213-8 but ran out of balls in the end. A good effort, but lots still to work on.
Round 2 (12-05-18) Holmesdale 2nd XI v Sevenoaks Vine 2nd XI
Holmesdale ended the 2nd XI Premier League derby against The Vine on top before the game succumbed to the weather and had to be abandoned. The Vine won the toss and elected to field but did not get the early wickets they were hoping for as Holmesdale openers Ed Bonner (55) and Max Melbourn (19) put on 75 for the first wicket. Ed Bonner looked in particularly great touch as he laced numerous cover drives to the fence. However, both fell in quick succession to the bowling of Michael Thompson (3-32), as did Joel Kovoor. Vine skipper, Piers Robinson (2-34), then had Brown caught behind which left Holmesdale 96-4 at drinks. Dale skipper, Mike Bryant (48), and the returning Ben Earl (32) steadied the ship, putting on 70 for the fifth wicket, mixing calculated aggression with stoic defence. When Ben Earl departed flashing at a wide one off Boudville, Alex McCann (9) joined Mike Bryant, but he and Rich Linfield were both castled by James White (2-41) within the space of two balls. Mike Bryant and Richard Holliday took the score past 200, but both succumbed to the bowling of Alex Christie (2-43). Number 10 Sam Lovelock (8*) was able to guide Holmesdale up to 222 all out - an excellent effort in difficult batting conditions.
The Vine got off to a cracking start with the bat, with the openers putting on 50 for the first wicket off just 11 overs. Michael Barber (33) drove the ball expertly and he was ably support by Michael Thompson (21). However, when Max Melbourn (1-19) had Mike Barber caught behind and Sam Lovelock (1-8) bowled Thompson the tide quickly shifted in Holmesdale’s favour and huge pressure was being exerted on the Vine’s middle order. It was at this point when the rain started to fall even heavier than it had been all day and play had to be halted. An excellent effort by all concerned and honours spread evenly across the town
Kent Premier League Round 1 (05-05-18) Holmesdale 2nd XI V Tenterden 2nd XI
Holmesdale 2nd XI had a tough introduction to Premier League Cricket at home to Tenterden on Saturday, losing by 104 runs. Holmesdale bowled and fielded very well, restricting Tenterden to 200 all out. Mike Bryant (4-28) and Rich Linfield (3-46) were the pick of the bowlers. Holmesdale’s innings never really got started with none of the top 6 making it into double figures. The stand out performance was from youngster Alfie Marr-Johnson who made a very composed and gritty 21 not out.
Holmesdale Cricket Club Limited
Cricket Ground, Montreal Park,
Worships Hill, Sevenoaks TN13 2AP
Registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) & Companies House - 09006645