The first team finally got their season underway this week at home to Nonington.
Winning the toss, skipper Hardy had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first. The Nonington overseas from last year had returned determined to continue from his brilliant hundred last year. Ellison & Flint shared the new ball and were straight on the money, plenty of maidens and missed opportunities meant that after the first 10 overs there was only 16 on the board, which could so easily have been 16-2 or 3.
Flint then struck in the 12th over, bowling Di Cicco and we were up and running. George then replaced Ellison and like the other two bowlers he also started with a maiden. Young Kidd was getting the ball to move big and was beating the bat regularly, picking up his first wicket at the start of his third over, bowling Pilbeam. 44-2 from 19 was a great start, Van Dyk was still in but wasn’t scoring freely.
Chris Flint finished his superb spell 10-2-25-1 and was replaced by Kidd senior but it was junior who picked up his second wicket a few overs later, finding the edge of Mclennan’s bat and Hardy taking a good catch in the slips, 56-3
Harry Carter then replaced George after drinks and clean-bowled the South African with his fourth delivery! An absolute seed that left the batsman bewildered, 59-4 and Broadstairs were eager to finish the job.
The Nonington batsmen had other ideas, Dawkins & McHugh set about a rebuild, aided by some sloppy fielding which included some vital dropped catches. The pair put on 85, before Ellison returned and had Dawkins caught by Nathan Fox 144-5 from 43. McHugh had reached his 50 and was on the charge, we needed to find a way to get him out or at least slow the run rate but it wasn’t to be until Carter got his second wicket in the 49th over, a brilliant diving effort by Tom Marshall. Two run outs followed in the final over, one a superb direct hit from Hardy after a mis-field. The visitors had totalled 196-8.
With Alex Hogben injured during the warm up, Chris Flint was promoted to open with Nathan Fox. The pair put on 19 before Flint was caught for 9, George Kidd joined Nathan but he was caught at slip for 2, Hardy LBW (0) and with Nathan caught & bowled (22) and Tom Marshall also LBW for 7, we were in trouble.
Enter an injured Alex Hogben and eager Harry Carter, from 47-5 the pair set about rebuilding our innings. The run rate was fine, but could the early loss of wickets hinder us? One of these two had to make at least a half century. It was Alex who hit the best shot of the day, dispatching a short pitched delivery into the nearby houses, Harry was being patient and waiting for the bad ball. With the partnership on 39 and just after drinks Harry was caught (19) Alfie (1) followed 2 balls later caught behind, Marius (0) bowled by the left arm spin of Harding and when Chris Kidd (2) played on to the same bowler we were 95-9. Alex (26) was adjudged LBW a few overs later to give Harding his fourth wicket and we were all out for 99.
A poor start to the season, some contributing factors of poor weather over the last few weeks meaning lack of match practice and player availability hasn’t helped. But a positive attitude is essential, we need to go out and enjoy our cricket, not fear it. It seems to work for England.
Next week we travel to Gravesend, with Matt Frewin and Jake Ashton both available and eager to make their debuts for the second time.