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Saturday Second XI Results 2010
Date  Venue

TWCC
Score

Opponents

Score

Opponents Result
17 April 2010
The Vine
250 for 5 wkts
251 for 3 wkts
Sevenoaks Vine CC II XI
TWCC lost by 7 wkts

   Batting first on a track that was ominously close to the road gave Wells a luxury start to their Friendly with a ten-man Vine II side, but this was a two-edged sword for skipper David Pinkstone in that it was extremely hard to judge what would be a par score on the day.

   Theo Burley (13 fours and 2 sixes) eased into the task with opening partner Sam Watts as 164 runs came from 23 overs, before retirements saw both openers make way for the middle order. Hereabouts, the home attack enjoyed some success, as three wickets came as the acceleration was attempted, but only debutant Joe Schindler made real headway, notching an unbeaten 27 as the agreed overs ended. Burley reached his hundred from 83 balls, while Watts began 2010 as he had ended 2009 with an accomplished half-century.

   The reply saw Vine throw caution to the winds, and the top three teed off to enormous effect as the 200 was posted fromj just 27 overs. Wells did manage to grab three late wickets, but Oscar King (98) saw his side to within 4 of the win when unluckily he missed out on three figures, while Andy Akerman and Muhammad Nadeem gave notable support, the latter crashing 79 from 36 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes.

   So Wells gained some very useful batting practise despite going down by seven wickets, and the warm-up provided both XIs with much guidance for the coming campaigns.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

Opponents Result
24 April 2010
The Nevill
112 all out
117 for 2 wkts
Hastings & St Leonards CC II XI
TWCC won by 8 wkts

   A track that was to see 30 wickets fall in two days for just a century per innings was surprisingly difficult to bat on, notwithstanding the Wells reply in the afternoon warmth.

   Hastings played a predominantly youthful side, who quickly slipped to 35-4 with Mark Thompson marshalling his forces to stunning effect. Recovery came as Tom Powell and George Eldridge all but doubled the total, but the home attack then came back into the game with the last five wickets crashing for 25 runs. David Green (3-16) was the best of an all-round bowling effort, and the catching was keen and competitive throughout.

   The chase featured yet more attacking play from Sam Watts (33), who posted 47 with Barny Shaw for the opening partnership. With the danger of collapse removed, Sahil Sharma and Marc Newbould added an unbeaten 50 for the third stand after Watts departed, which finished the match having used up just 20.3 overs. Sharma hit one sumptuous straight six off the back foot to recall his colts days, and came in having clubbed 30 runs with 26 in boundaries from a mere 19 deliveries. For the visitors, the defeat was comprehensive, although it might have been interesting to see how Wells would have fared with a bat-first option - this was soon to be revealed on the following day after a light shower or two.

   The preparation continues on May 1 with a Friendly against Orpington II on the Upper Ground as TW III have a League Game on the main pitch.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

Opponents Result
01 May 2010
The Upper Nevill
246 for 6 wkts
168 all out
Orpington CC II XI
TWCC lost by 78 runs

   The Orpington second string put together a challenging 40-over score, thanks largely to Ian Game (63) and Keith Stockbridge (50*), who took full advantage of some makeshift bowling.

   Skipper Giles Randle (2-14) set the correct tone as the top order wobbled, but thereafter the visiting batsmen held sway, all of the home attack suffering. Four further wickets were captured, but the pace of the innings accelerated comfortably, and a run-a-ball 246-6 represented a healthy recovery.

   Such a target was approachable, but, Matt Stone (53) apart, the home batsmen made little headway in the face of a street-wise attack that knew its limitations. A gutsy fifth partnership of 53 between David Wharrier (23) and Stone was the highlight, but wickets were being regularly lost, the final four going down as just nine runs were added.

   The eventual deficit of 78 runs was perhaps harsh, although the unused five overs suggested a more pressing difficulty. The League Season commences on BH Monday against 2009 Runners-Up Bromley II.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

League Opponents Result
03 May 2010
The Nevill
232 for 5 wkts
117 all out
Bromley CC II XI
TWCC lost by 115 runs

   Following urgent mopping-up arrangements in the morning, and an almost arctic temperature, Wells won the toss and asked the visitors to bat.

   The attack, of noble proportions on paper, struggled to dislodge the determined Bromley line-up, despite an early breakthrough that remained the sole success in the opening 25 overs. By this stage, Stephen Bailes and Matt Horder had taken the total to 104, each homing in on his own half-century, when Wells struck a double blow which removed both players within the space of six deliveries. This merely served to bring Michael Lawrence to the crease, and he, with Chris Tooley, added a run-a-ball 72, followed by Alex de Warenne assisting as 56 more were put on for the fifth partnership in the final eight overs. Lawrence struck eleven boundaries in a fluent, undefeated 81, made from 79 balls, which defied not only the straining attack but also the windy, cold and unseasonal weather in seeing the total up to 232-5, as Wells grabbed a second bowling point with the last ball of the innings.

   The reply was given solidity by Theo Burley (48), whose early form has been quite excellent, yet three wickets were taken as the score reached 41, Alan Stickells (3-33) snapping up all three. Brough Cooper (25) gave support to Burley as 52 runs came for the fourth wicket in twelve upbeat overs, which promised much, until Jon Froome was brought into the attack. The move to spin proved immediately decisive, three vital wickets falling as the total reached the century mark, while the remaining four batsmen added just seventeen as the innings collapsed to an unexpected all-out 117. Froome collected 5-11 in ten miserly overs, and effectively rubbed out the chase, as Wells slipped headlong to defeat by 115 runs, and an unhappy start to the season.

   The upcoming Saturday sees the side travel to Hayes to put the campaign back on track.


Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
15 May 2010
The Nevill
157 all out
161 for 5 wkts
Bickley Park CC II XI
TWCC lost by 5 wkts

   The home side won the toss and batted, the conditions being firm and dry at the outset, and a very fine knock from Nigel Keess (55) promised a testing total before the innings rather lost its way.

   Keess stroked eleven boundaries in a fluent display that took the score along to 81-2, but the middle order could not capitalise, with Neil Clinton (4-35) and Xavier Darroch (3-41) taking a grip that they never relaxed. At the same time, the threat of rain grew, and, indeed, caused several breaks in the play. The Wells innings crumbled to 129-8, with fourteen overs to be played, when Sam Watts (38) rallied the tail and saw to the posting of a second batting point. Richard Horner returned to end the struggle at 157, leaving the visitors 54 overs to get the runs.

   Wells fought back into the game strongly, reducing Bickley's chase to 6-2 and then 45-4. Giles Randle (2-15) put in a captain's effort, but the turning point arose when his opposite number Gordon Darroch joined Julian Ramsay. These two added 51 in sixteen overs and the initiative passed quietly to the batting side. Ramsay took command at the dismissal of his captain, and hit up 56 out of the required 61 while cleverly taking most of the strike. Altogether crashing twelve fours, Ramsay (81*) saw his side to the win without further loss, Graeme Barnett his silent partner as the unbroken partnership realised 65 runs as the fifth wicket held.

   The defeat kept Wells pegged in the lower reaches of the table, although a couple of wins would soon put that situation right. The coming weekend sees the XI away to Blackheath II, always a tough game, and the hope must be that the side can turn the corner and bring home the points.


Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
22 May 2010
The Rectory Field
119 all out
120 for 0 wkt
Blackheath CC II XI
TWCC lost by ten wkts

   Wells won the toss and batted, and all started well as the openers progressed to 31 without undue difficulty. The subsequent demise was as surprising as it was total.

   A double strike by Ahmed Akbari stalled the effort, yet, amazingly, only one further batsman was destined to reach double figures as the home attack carried all before them. The score tottered to 63-4, when Sam Watts (22) rallied the middle order, but from 92, the remaining six wickets tamely fell into the bag while just 27 runs were added. Riv Monsell (3-25) and veteran Chris Swadkin (2-21) produced trademark guile and cunning, while Akbari emerged with the astonishing analysis of 3-5 from eight overs. Skipper Giles Randle showed that survival was possible, but it was all too late, and the final score of 119 looked to be woefully under-par.

   The home openers proceeded to put such a target into perspective as they went at 5-per-over for 22 overs to reel in an emphatic ten-wicket win. Seb Slater (70*) stroked ten boundaries in a 67-ball innings of considerable skill and character, and he received ideal support from fellow-opener Hadleigh Luff, who was content to play second fiddle as the chase moved towards completion.

   There was no apparent explanation for the Wells collapse, but the effect of the day's events was to push the XI into the relegation zone, which should be stimulus enough to snap them out of the doldrums.

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
31 May 2010
Hawkenbury Oval
126 all out
124 all out
Whitstable CC II XI
TWCC won by 2 runs

   Without a win in 2010, the Wells second string entertained the League Leaders at Hawkenbury, the Main Nevill Ground being in preparation for the upcoming County Week. The visitors won the toss and asked TW to bat, the wicket being somewhat of an unknown quantity to both sides.

   Gregor Paterson (35) and Theo Burley (22) negotiated the early phase reasonably well, and the score reached a high point of 66-1 before the Whitstable XI settled upon the correct attacking combination to gain maximum advantage. Duncan Hardy (2-24) and Stuart Clements (5-17) each put down fifteen testing and skilful overs, and dragged the game round for the visitors, the Wells middle order succumbing tamely as the score slumped to 100-7 with thirteen overs still to be bowled. James Sharp showed the mettle to bat through the allocation, and, with support from his captain and the ageless Peter Ford, the home innings lingered long enough to reach a solitary batting point and all but bat out the overs. 126 was the final total, and Clements deservedly took the honours for Whitstable.

   The reply was launched ferociously by a single-handed onslaught from youngster Byron Gould, who wrecked the three peaceful maidens of Giles Randle with six fours as 26 came from his next two overs. Meanwhile, Matt Green had put in a very useful and rapid spell from the top end, which reaped due reward as he snapped up 2-0 in his last two overs to send the score to 58-3, Gould having blasted 45 of these with ten boundaries. Still just fourteen overs had been completed when Michael Churchill (5-44) entered the attack in harness with Ford (2-25), and Wells contrived to turn the match on its head yet again as the score crashed to 103-9 after fifteen overs of spin. Ford's guile saw Gould superbly caught on the boundary by Sam Watts, although several half-chances went begging as the contest tightened. There was yet another twist to the game, however, as Clements marshalled a last wicket partnership with Andy Robertson that brought the score to within an ace of the win. Eleven nailbiting overs were survived and 21 runs gradually added by this pair as Wells tried every permutation to dislodge the last wicket, when, at length, Ford induced a nick to keeper Burley from the last man to end the contest in the home side's favour by the narrowest of margins. Churchill's spell was a revelation in the tautness of the tussle, while Gould's 69 out of 91 was unlucky not to clinch the game. 

   Wells' first win of 2010 brought 20 points in as breathtaking a turnaround as could be imagined, with the form-book being completely re-written. The sportsmanship of both XIs was memorable despite the emotion, and the tense later stages were serenely managed by two seasoned Umpires. The teams both shook hands within moments of the conclusion, and spectators, Officials and Players alike shared in the mood of the occasion, knowing that a marvellously fine cricket match had just been played out. 


Date  Venue

TWCC score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
12 June 2010
The Nevill
188 for 5 wkts
191 for 3 wkts
Bexley CC II XI TWCC lost by 7 wkts

   Wells won the toss and chose to bat, but found conditions extremely difficult, and the early exchanges definitely favoured the visiting attack. Mainly going at just three-per-over, the bowlers extended their domination for much of the innings, the home batsmen only establishing some control in the latter overs, with the result that just five wickets were lost during long rearguards, despite the enforced retirement of Peter Ford following injury.

   The opening twentyfour overs saw the score rise somnolently to 50-3, when Mark Alexander (45) and Brough Cooper (39) injected some urgency into proceedings while adding 74 for the fourth wicket from 18 overs. Alexander played some glorious strokes, while Cooper rotated the strike, and all looked well until Bexley removed both shortly after the 150 was reached. A further batting point was gathered but the mishap to Ford rather overshadowed events, and the innings ended tamely on 188-5 after 50 overs.

   Captain David Pask (69) anchored the chase, seeing 68 runs made for the opening stand, followed by 72 for the second wicket with Alex Pinnock. His departure at 140-2 merely enabled Pinnock to take over, and he serenely moved to an undefeated 74 (10 fours from 78 balls) as the win was achieved with seven wickets, and eight overs, in hand. Three Wells bowlers took a wicket, best effort coming from Matt Green with 1-35 in two spells.

   The abiding impression was of insufficient runs to defend, yet the wicket had certainly been difficult from the outset, if getting easier as time passed. Bexley showed better skills at using the conditions, and took sixteen points from a comprehensive victory. Wells slipped back into the dropzone, yet their nearest rivals remain well within reach, and so TW simply have to put together a few good results to survive.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

League Opponents Result
19 June 2010
The Nevill
191 all out
192 for 2 wkts
The Mote CC II XI
TWCC won by 8 wkts

   A reinforced Wells second-string in the end proved to be too strong for Mote II, who began the match as though in a hurry to reach a conclusion.

   Wells won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first, and they responded very positively after a gentle start that saw 28 runs come from the opening ten overs. Forty runs were struck from the next ten overs, while Chris Fenwick and skipper Giles Randle each achieved a break-through. Lawrence Freeborn (9 fours in a 67-ball 50) and Richard Coles (34, with 5 fours and one enormous six) now powered their side up to 140-2 with a rollicking partnership worth 63 when disaster struck. The Wells bowlers, led by Randle (4-37) grabbed five wickets for six runs and completely wrecked the Mote middle order, Alex Williams chiming in with 3-48, after coming in for some punishment as he tried spin before reverting to seam-up. The catch by Harry Florry to remove Coles was quite remarkable, and the groundwork was sound with only the occasional lapse. The tail-enders achieved something of a recovery as they added 45 for the last three wickets, Fenwick snapping up a brace to take his haul to 3-44, and Wells were left to reach 192 for victory from 53 overs.

   The chase started sedately as 39 runs came for the loss of James Sharp, Williams showing much restraint before pulling away in a match-winning partnership with Florry that posted 99 in 22 overs of often dashing strokeplay. Williams reached a rehabilitating half-century after 63 balls, and Florry had managed 40 when the long partnership was finally broken at 138-2. Will Stickler now played a delightful cameo as the remaining 54 runs came in ten overs, Florry taking out his bat for an undefeated 71 (9 fours) from 96 balls, and the victory arrived with eight wickets and six overs to spare. Stickler returned unbeaten on 21, and Wells took 16 points to lift them out of the bottom two in the table, and provide the opportunity to consolidate in the upcoming games.

   The win was gladly received in the home camp, and was a timely reminder of the positive side of the XI, which will be a vital component in the contests lying ahead.

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
26 June 2010
Martin Grove
256 all out
248 all out
Lordswood CC II XI
TWCC won by 8 runs

   The customary month-end tight finish was faithfully enacted in June as Wells managed to hold off a remarkable chase from the home batsmen, which culminated in a dramatic run-out with less than an over remaining that gave the win to the visitors.

   Journeying to Martin Grove, Wells won a useful toss and chose to bat first on a very hot afternoon, moving uneasily to 48-2 before Brough Cooper (61 with 10 fours plus 1 six from 63 balls) and Harry Florry (63 with 10 fours) came together in a defining partnership of 108 from 21 overs that took the total into more comfortable terrain. Cooper's form was a revelation, as he unleashed a joyous array of festival strokeplay all around the wicket, while Florry gave every support in order to secure the platform that was being created. James Sharp helped to push the score on to 191-4, but Florry departed six runs later, leaving Greg Brunger (22) to keep up the momentum along with Michael Churchill's contribution.

   Matt Iles (5-66) twice broke through with a double strike for Lordswood, proving to be expensive only during Cooper's onslaught, but he was not alone in that, while Jack Laraman (3-52) helped restrict the total to 243-6 after 45 overs. The tail was swept away quite abruptly in the end, and the final tally reached 258 all out inside the allocation, with one over going to Lordswood in their target chase.

   The reply was built around a dynamic, pathfinding captain's knock from Laurence Frost (114, with 17 fours and one six in 88 balls) while the Wells attack made steady inroads as the score mounted. Frost's great effort was finally ended at 162-5 by Matt Green, who went on to capture four wickets, all clean-bowled, for the second time in three days, a thoroughly rare occurence. Green's second spell was to prove decisive in the victory that was eventually achieved, but first came James Kitcherside (57), who continued where Frost had left off. The Wells groundwork hereabouts tipped the balance in the closing stages as three run-outs were achieved, although this served as well to underline the commitment shown by the chasing batsmen.

   With nine required from the final (51st) over, Greg Brunger produced a remarkable stop and throw to put out Kitcherside as he sought to re-take the strike, and the 20-pointer was at last completed in the tensest of finales. The win allowed Wells to continue their upward climb, taking them to seventh spot, just below their opponents of the day, and a considerable advance on the form and spirit of the early season. Such a fine match as this was played out in the very best of the spirit of cricket, with the game veering first to one side and then to the other.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

League Opponents Result
03 July 2010
The Nevill
232 for 6 wkts
176 for 7 wkts
Sevenoaks Vine CC II XI
Losing Draw

   Wells won the toss, and, despite the July Summer heat, took the field, perhaps to forestall a bat-second defeat on so good a batting surface. Whatever the plan, the bowlers tried manfully to restrict the visitors' scoring throughout the innings, and for all but the very end of the long effort, were largely successful.

   The batsmen toiled from the outset, and, of the first 30 runs scored from the opening ten overs, 15 were extras, as Chris Fenwick and Matt Green strove for pace. The desultory scoring rate was continued beyond the halfway point, just one wicket falling en route to 103-1 from 30 overs. Wells' second string bowlers, Giles Randle and Peter Ford, were equally hard to get away, and the Vine lineup lost two further batsmen in a vain attempt to accelerate, with the forty-over mark showing just 153-3 on the board. Rob Hemmingway (83) desperately tried to raise the tempo, prospering markedly shortly before his dismissal at 210, and the final six overs saw a welcome burst of activity as 52 runs were crashed to bring up a final tally of 232-6. Fred Florry (3-50) joined Ford (3-52) as the only wicket-taking bowlers, but 38 extras were allowed which offset the otherwise strong showing. 

   The response stumbled awkwardly to 32-3 from the first eight overs, aggressively managed by skipper Ed Goodworth, although some of the appealing was histrionic rather than apposite. The home middle order battled back into the game as Brough Cooper (41) set about the attack, and support was forthcoming from Theo Burley and James Sharp as the score rose to within a hundred of the target. With sixteen overs remaining, a double strike by The Vine rocked the Wells chase, and it came down to the cool head of Ford (29 not out) to see his side safely to stumps with notable help from expert tail-ender Fenwick. A final score of 176-7 brought three batting points to go with the two bowling points gained earlier, while defeat was averted, and the standing of the XI in the table was not materially changed from that of the previous week.

   A home game against Hayes CC at The Nevill awaits the team on the coming Saturday.

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

League Opponents Result
10 July 2010
The Nevill
205 for 8 wkts
204 all out
Hayes CC II XI
TWCC lost by 1 run

   Hayes came to The Nevill and won the toss, condemning the Wells fielders to a second successive afternoon in the sapping heat of a sizzling summer.

   Mark Whetren launched the innings with a brisk trademark half-century, which was made from 99-3 in 27 overs, and this was followed by Rory Allen with 55 while the tempo noticeably fell away as Chris Fenwick and Michael Churchill strangled the batting options. Three wickets fell without addition at 161-3, and, with just six overs remaining, the target total seemed well within bounds.          Unbelievably, the Hayes lower order, inspired by Andy Jackson, fired 44 runs in that time to lift their side to 205-8 as the overs ran out. A marvellous catch by Harry Florry was matched by Chris Fenwick's effort to remove Jackson from the last ball of the innings, but the change bowlers had gone for 22 apiece in that final flourish, and this would come back to haunt the home side when their reply fatally faltered at the very last moment.

   The chase was set up by Mark Alexander and Will Stickler, who posted 45 for the first wicket, followed by Florry and Stickler putting on a further 46 for the second stand. Progress was polished, rapid and commanding, and Stickler played a strategically astute knock that did everything but bring the win that was so richly deserved. Finally and surprisingly bowled at 172, he had made a pathfinding 85 (with 10 fours from 133 balls) which had brought his team to within 34 of the win with just over seven overs to play out or hold on for the draw. A six from Churchill eased the tension as the score rose to 198-6, but, amazingly, Hayes took, or Wells gave away, those four wickets while just six runs came, and Randle's dismissal at 204 brought the game to an end one run short of sharing the spoils and two from the win. The side had twice been on the happier side of close under-ten-run matches, yet having set up the win, they somehow let it slip through their grasp, and Hayes joyously celebrated a 20-pointer gained by one run.

   Visiting dignitaries from Hayes witnessed the astonishing fightback, and skipper Chris Couldrey, with 3-2 from nine balls, was the architect of the achievement, going from zero to hero within just seven days. Such is the remarkable nature of the game of cricket that we all love and play, the glorious unpredictability that can defy all of the odds. Wells remain comfortably clear of the relegation places, but need to play less like millionaires and more like the needy poor.

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

Score

League Opponents Result
17 July 2010
Bickley Park
210 for 7 wkts
213 for 5 wkts
Bickley Park CC II XI
TWCC won by 5 wkts

   The toss was won by Wells at Bickley, and again they preferred to chase and asked the home batsmen to take first knock. By now fully accustomed to the sweltering post-lunch heat, the TW fieldsmen and bowlers enjoyed a predominantly successful session, old adversary Ben Fulton from Bapchild once more showing his liking for the Nevill-based bowlers.

   Bickley reached 100-1 from 30 overs with Fulton (35*) going strongly, although Chris Rainger (4-51) was to have a moderating influence upon the lower order, who were whittled away as they tried to support Fulton in the later overs. Michael Churchill (2-62) and Chris Fenwick assisted in breaking down the batting, the latter catching Fulton for a shrewd and commanding 82 at 201-7. The last few balls were despatched to bring up 210 at the close, and Wells were asked to make 211 for the win.

   Mark Alexander now rolled back the years and played one of his pivotal and decisive innings, recalling his pomp, while batting through the entire innings and displaying a technically impregnable defence for more than three hours of committed batsmanship. An early setback meant that care was required, and Harry Florry (26) provided this as he and Alexander put up 79 for the second wicket, defying everything that the home attack could muster. At 30 overs, the second wicket fell, and a match-turning stand ensued as Brough Cooper (47) helped to add 95 in fifteen overs at better than a run-per-ball to bring Wells to within 36 of the win with five overs remaining, and seven wickets in hand. This was almost a re-run of the previous week's situation, so Alexander, having hit seven fours, now decided to go over the boundary, and despatched two massive sixes to narrow the equation despite the sudden loss of two wickets. Finally Churchill slapped Xavier Darroch's last ball for four to bring up the win and net the 16 points to end the encounter postively for the visitors.

   Now some two wins-worth of points above the relegation places, and tied with their opponents of the day, Wells need to remain competitive through the final seven games in order to be certain of retaining their status in a tight division, where only 23 points separates third and eighth place. Put simply, there is little room for slip-ups.

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
24 July 2010
The Nevill
141 all out
143 for 4 wkts
Blackheath CC II XI
TWCC lost by 6 wkts

   Another hot afternoon at the Nevill and Wells won the toss and chose to bat first. After 19 overs, the score had reached 95-1 and a batting paradise beckoned when quite suddenly the home innings imploded as, out of the blue, seven wickets tumbled for 22 runs. There was no coming back from such a setback, well though the tailenders tried, and the track offered little to the home attack as Blackheath knocked off the runs. The defeat in May at The Rectory Field had been just as convincing, yet it was an extraordinary series of events that unfolded as only cricket can provide.

   A sedate beginning suddenly erupted into life when Richard Cutts cover-drove Riv Monsell's second over for 18 and dealt solely in boundaries until he had reached 38 from 30 balls. He and Will Stickler had started well enough with 36 posted from six overs, but every following batsman now struggled against the visitors' bowling, as though the wicket was beguiled by some devilry. Cutts went serenely on to a swiftly felicitous half-century from 47 balls, the late drive past gully that brought the landmark being of exquisite character, when the seeming ease of advance became a thing of the past with the introduction of Adam Senn (legspin) and Mehdi Abbas (yorkers). After Harry Florry had helped Cutts in a second stand of 59 from 14 overs, Senn broke the partnership, and halted the rapid scoring, to snap up 3-2 in 4 overs while Abbas was even more destructive with 4-8 from 7 overs. Senn's cerebral style of skipping spin-bowling out-thought several of the middle order, deceived perhaps in the air, and with Abbas' accuracy, there was no escape as the total nosedived to 117-8. Stefan Grosvenor stood firm, and tried to bat out time, receiving solid support from Chris Lawrence, but all too soon the innings was over after posting a solitary batting bonus point with the score at 141 and nine overs left for Blackheath to use if required.

   The reply was given an early shock as Matt Green disturbed Seb Slater's stumps at 12-1, whereupon Charlie-Sid Speller (51) and Hadleigh Luff (46) took the game away in a second stand of 88 in 24 overs that did much to settle the outcome. Grosvenor came on and spun out two batsmen in 12 deliveries for just 4 runs, while Matt Shepherd launched a counter-attack to quell any last-ditch fears. Speller was dismissed at 132 shortly after reaching an elegant and stylish half-century, but Abbas decided that the last ten runs were required at once and duly obliged.

   Blackheath trousered 16 points from a match that several times took unexpected turns, but the headlong fall of the home middle order effectively sealed the contest and simplified the anticipated chase. The XI remain outside of the relegation places, but the need to keep winning, or manage satisfactory points returns in defeat stays as the requirement.

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
31 July 2010
The Belmont
230 for 8 wkts
233 for 5 wkts
Whitstable CC II XI
TWCC lost by 5 wkts

   Wells travelled to Oyster Country to defend their narrow-squeak win at Hawkenbury, but. despite a strong and challenging target total, were put to the sword by a forthright and blistering second partnership that struck up 113 runs from just thirteen overs, and transformed the contest.

   Wells won the toss and batted first at The Belmont Ground, but moved uneasily to 54-3 from 18 overs with only Harry Florry showing permanence. Chris Williams (38) now joined in, and the fourth partnership posted a vital 69 from thirteen overs which gave the innings a more solid look. Florry's marathon effort continued to guide the Wells fortunes, and further assistance came from Jamie Baldwin with 51 runs coming for the sixth wicket, during which Florry reached a gallant and unyielding fifty from 81 balls of staunch endurance. Still the effort prevailed, until, at length, after 37 overs of battle, Florry (70) was bowled at 205-8, and there was just time for Peter Ford to rattle up 20 from ten balls to take the final total to 230-8 and provide something for the bowlers to attack.

   Whitstable reached 49-1 from twelve overs when the Richardson-Long extravaganza commenced. Suddenly, Ford went for 30 from three overs, Churchill 20 from two, and the carnage was underway. Skipper Randle also went for 20 in two, and quickly reverted to Matt Green and the briefly-rested Churchill, who had otherwise commanded reasonable respect. The flow was stemmed to a degree, and Churchill removed Long for a pulsating 39-ball 57 (six fours and three sixes), but the score had rocketed to 163-2 from 25 overs, and the complexion of the game had been changed completely. Green (3-53) showed why he is Wells' leading wicket-taker for 2010 in a spell that netted three wickets from eleven balls for nine runs, including Richardson for 99, as the score reached 201-5. But still the boundaries clattered into the fence, albeit at a slower tempo, and the win came without further loss and with ten overs to spare. Richardson, unlucky indeed to miss out on a century, lashed sixteen fours and one six in his remarkable 94-ball effort, and Whitstable atoned for the defeat at the Wells Ground earlier in the seaon. The final 24 runs all came in fours, this time with Williams' figures taking a sharp dent, as the end came at a gallop.

   The visitors remain above the dropzone despite slipping back, and cannot afford to allow the bottom two sides to get closer, which means that victory, or the draw, must be attained in the coming weeks.

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents

Score

League Opponents Result
07 August 2010
Plaistow Lane
182 for 9 wkts
185 for 1 wkt
Bromley CC II XI
TWCC lost by 9 wkts
With rain falling in sudden torrents over much of South London, the match stopped and started but played out in the end to bring a straightforward and crushing win for Bromley. Wells were 118-8 when they came off to allow a second shower to pass by, and conditions were at times not especially pleasant.
   Gregor Paterson (29) and Mark Alexander (23) had been chief contributors to the batting cause after Alan Stickells (2-11 at that stage) had removed numbers two and three in the list, and number four went for a duck to Wasim Hoque. The score went from 59-4 to 118-8 as Craig Peters (3-27) and Jon Froome (2-14) chipped away at the lower order, although Brough Cooper remained defiant and undefeated on 11* when the players came off for the rain-break. Already Cooper had added vital runs with Jamie Baldwin, but, upon resumption, the tail-end batsmen were rallied to good effect, and a new record ninth partnership of 49 was put together with Dominic Trett (11). Cooper had reached 46 not out when the ninth wicket fell at 167, and he now smashed the spinner for eleven to raise his own half-century, and the overs ran out with Cooper not out on a courageous and essential 59 (seven fours and one six from 75 balls) out of a final 182-9.
   The reply, as is the way with Sadiq Hassan, started off with a sudden flurry of strokes, and, before Trett had him caught for a 33-ball 44 (5 fours and a six), the score had raced to 58-1 in just 58 balls. With forty overs to get the remaining 125 runs, there was no immediate hurry, but the Wells attack was unable to break through again, and Stephen Bailes accompanied Alex de Warenne to the win without further alarms. Each of these two players notched a half-century en route to the required target, which was achieved in another 22 overs with much to spare both in resources and balls to play.
   Bailes went on to make an undefeated 77 with 11 fours (99 balls) while de Warenne reached a not out 59 from 65 balls with 7 fours and one six. The stand for the second wicket held as 127 runs were added, and the win was built either side of a third rainbreak at 18.50. Wells managed only three points from the match, which, with The Vine gaining significantly upon them, heightens the requirement to reel in a couple more victories before the campaign is ended.
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League Opponents Result
14 August 2010
Manor Way
190 for 7 wkts
192 for 6 wkts
Bexley CC II XI
TWCC lost by 4 wkts
   Wells were asked to bat when Bexley won the toss, and they struggled fitfully to 100-5, with Gregor Paterson (35) holding the innings together before he, too, perished on a day when long innings were in short supply. Mark Alexander took over at this juncture, and gave an object lesson in taking the score along with a battling undefeated 71 (8 fours and two late sixes) during 34 overs. Help was forthcoming from Brough Cooper (22) as 49 runs came for the 6th wicket, while the unbroken eighth partnership with Michael Churchill realised a precious 43 in four overs as the attempt was made to reach 200 and the fourth batting point.
    The wickets were somewhat shared about for the home attack, although Joe Russell emerged with figures of 3-50 as the innings came to an end at 190-7. Two rain-breaks made conditions treacherous for lengthy periods, and neither side can have much enjoyed the Summer game in such adversity, with one downpour being particularly heavy, and tea was taken after the second interruption at 16.57. The light, too, was at no stage especially wonderful. Play was delayed until 18.03, and, with the last 20 overs due to commence at 19.20, Bexley would have some 40 overs in all to fashion a win.
    At first, the Wells attack dominated, with Matt Green enjoying a spell of 3-7 as the reply slumped to 45-3 after nine overs. Murtaza Abbas now became associated with Chris Pinnock, and a marvellous twentyseven overs followed as these two constructed a match-winning partnership of 123 that completely changed the nature of the match. The bowling was by no means overwhelmed, for it was simply a glorious display that saw these two players reach individual fifties en route to leaving a run-a-ball chase for the final four overs. Pinnock stroked his way to yet another half-century (his fourth) at Wells' expense, finally falling for 63 with seven fours, yet there was still some fun to come. Wells, having broken the long partnership, snapped up two further wickets before Abbas, also with seven fours, guided his team home with just six balls to spare. The almost complete darkness at the end was a novel experience for many of the players, but it was a tribute to the sportsmanship of both XIs, and also the Umpires, that the game went through to completion. Wells managed five points as Bexley trousered the full 16, and the visitors have now not won a League game since June 26, with Sevenoaks Vine breathing down their necks from the dropzone just beneath them.
    The XI must now face both of the sides below them plus Lordswood, and somehow manufacture enough to maintain their Premier IIs status. In fact, the omens are all good, since the batting is due a major resurgence, while the attack simply requires a little more good fortune to turn promising positions into victory. The joker in the pack remains the weather, but nothing can really be done about that, and Wells hold the key to their own success in the closing stages of the campaign.
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League Opponents Result
21 August 2010
The Mote
214 for 9 wkts
204 all out
The Mote CC II XI
TWCC won by 10 runs

   The home side won the toss, and took the option to chase the target, granted conditions that saw some prolific swing movement early on in circumstances that favoured each attack in turn. The Wells batting line-up was, in the event, rather more consistent, and carried the day by just ten runs, while steadying the nerves as the campaign enters the final games.

   Chris Williams set the tone for the innings with a clattering 27 out of 38 from the first fifty-one balls, and the top four, although never quite settling as the ball hooped about, saw the score up to 97-5 after 30 overs had been sent down. Mark Alexander (46) now played yet another pivotal knock for his side, which guided the late order to the brink of a fourth batting point, 49 runs coming in partnership with Theo Burley (22) for the sixth wicket. Michael Churchill (27 in 20 balls with 4 fours) added a quickfire 42 with Alexander which saw the score into the 190s before a late flurry added a vital unbroken 15 runs. The final total asked  The Mote to make 215 for victory. The importance of Alexander's strategic batting was to become plain as the game progressed, while Richard Coles (4-69) and Chris Back (3-59) showed what could be achieved for the bowlers.

   The chase moved uncertainly to 68-3 from 18 overs, with Matt Green snaring a brace of wickets on the way to 3-54, but the fourth partnership that followed for the home batting was to be of enormous value. Back (54) and Rajeevan Raveendran added a booming 98 runs that took The Mote to within 49 of the win when allrounder Churchill finally broke through to snap up 3-52 and apply the brakes as the innings somewhat lost its way. Raveendran smote eleven fours in his 62, the stand spanning 21 overs, but now Wells applied enormous pressure which was rewarded as the next eight overs produced five wickets and just 33 runs. The equation had been narrowed, and, following two catches from Williams, the same fielder ran out the last two batsmen to bring victory with just seven balls to spare in a trademark Wells close encounter.

   The XI pocketed the full 20 points from the game and remain thus in eighth position in the table, some seventeen points clear of the nearest chaser in the dropzone. Relaxation will not be fully possible quite yet as Lordswood and Vine, in that order, hove into view as the last two opponents, and the latter must be kept at arms length during the run-in.

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28 August 2010
The Nevill
182 for 6 wkts
165 for 7 wkts
Lordswood CC II XI
Winning Draw

   Batting first after winning the toss, Wells found the going hard as the visitors put down tight lines to a keen field, but they ultimately did just enough to thwart the Lordswood victory bid with sufficient in hand to complete a winning draw in yet another narrow and fiercely-contested match.

   The innings was fashioned at first by the rocklike steadiness of Gregor Paterson (30), backed up by Mark Alexander (43) and Harry Florry (40), who jointly raised the total to 153-4 from 47 overs. The visitors' attack had kept its shape and proved difficult to get away, while the damp outfield robbed the batsmen of the real value of their strokes whenever they beat the infield. Paterson and Alexander added 60 for the second wicket, Florry and Alexander 46 for the fourth partnership, but the innings struggled to move at much more than three-per-over until a late flourish froim Brough Cooper saw to the final 30 coming from the last three overs. Cooper smote a six and three fours which hoisted the final tally to 182-6 as the overs ran out, and an interesting tussle was in prospect as the wicket continued to dry out in the baking sunshine.

   The Lordswood reply was heavily dependent upon Zack Plews (46) and Laurence Frost (42), who moved the total away from an uneasy 31-2 in a pedigree partnership of 77 from just 18 overs before the former was smartly run out by Alexander. Wells were also able to keep the rate down to just better than three-per-over, although Jamie Gilfillan (32) and Frost were still clearly focussed upon the win until a wondrous caught-and-bowled by Michael Churchill sent back the latter in full flow. Chris Rainger (3-25), who had bowled a tremendous opening spell of 2-16 from 7, now returned for his final 8 overs, and took a further 1-9 with four maidens as the victory effort was fatally stalled. Wells, however, were unable to get past the defensive technique of Jon Prince, and the game ended with the home XI achieving a winning draw, which was enough to keep both sides in the highest echelon for IIs Teams, and marked the culmination of a successful campaign for skipper Giles Randle who had courageously offered to accept the role at the season's start.

   Vine II and Mote II were relegated as a consequence of events here and at the Mote.


Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC

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League Opponents Result
04 September 2010
The Vine
270 for 5 wkts
273 for 7 wkts
Sevenoaks Vine CC II XI
TWCC won by 3 wkts

   Sevenoaks won a good toss at the Vine Ground, and immediately batted first in a match that was to produce 543 runs in all from the 98 overs sent down, being clearly not a game nor venue to delight the respective bowlers involved in the carnage.

   Brett Rogers (65) set the mood with a dashing 79-ball effort that brought five fours and two sixes, and, upon his dismissal at 153-3 from 32 overs, Jono Arscott took over the swashbuckling carefree hitting, running up a 63-ball 55 with seven fours and one six. The score soared past the 200-mark in the 39th over, and a further 70 runs came for the loss of two more wickets in the final session so that a target total of 271 was set for Wells to approach. The remaining batsmen all contributed to the merrymaking, adding nineteen more boundaries, and the end-of-term spirit was carried through into the reply despite a catastrophic start.

   Wells toppled to 2-2, soon to become 51-4, with four major players back in the hutch, but the fightback was total, committed and ultimately perfectly timed as the battle was carried back to the Vine attack in no uncertain manner. Harry Florry (69) and Brough Cooper added an 86-ball 79 with twelve fours and a six, and the recovery was underway. Sam Stickler now joined Florry as the tempo was maintained with 56 from 52 balls. The final eleven overs required 87 runs to be made for the win, and Theo Burley (50* from 40 balls) with Michael Churchill completed the splendid chase with seven balls to spare to round off an often spectacularly successful campaign.

   Wells occupied a final position of equal seventh in the table, with six wins, mostly very narrowly contested, while no-one could say that the season had been uninteresting. The three-wicket win was one of the better ones in a lean season for run-chases, while it was a pleasure to see the strong line-up overcome the poor start and surge to success in what was plainly a batsmen's game. The curious failure to win from bat-first positions had been a repetitive problem, however, and will need to be worked on in 2011, along with the strengthening of the attack generally.

 

 

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