Tunbridge Wells put up a valiant fight but suffer defeat in their National T20 semi-final encounter
The TWCC T20 XI played their ninth game in a wonderful journey which had taken them from Kent to Derbyshire via stops en route, and, had they played a tenth match, that would have meant a place in the National T20 Final, while already they had become the first from their county to have reached the last four. Sadly, for their contingent of fans, parents, and well-wishers, the XI, which had gone undefeated from June to September, fell at the penultimate hurdle, but in no way did this diminish a marvellous campaign with some amazing victories against all odds in the contests played along the way.
Swardeston, from Norfolk, had an impressive record, and indeed had won this very competition once before; they were asked to bat first, and posted more than fifty from the opening five overs. Lewis Denmark (39) and Joe Gatting next added a 39-ball 40 for the fifth partnership before Fred Florry (4-26) brought back some control to the fielding side. Despite superb catching and groundwork, more punishment came from the lower order, and the target was set at 168 for the win. Swardeston cracked twelve fours and six sixes in all, and finished nine down, but Wells had been here before and triumphed.
The reply began with splendid alacrity, but while there were many good starts made, no-one was quite able to go on to play the required commanding innings. Top-scorer was again Dave Smith (31) from number six, and his dismissal left 38 needed from ten deliveries. The tail was unable to do the miraculous, and the result came with Wells 23 short. They can say they were beaten by the eventual winners, but they had done their best, and left their followers and colleagues proud of a huge endeavour at times astoundingly executed.