The Wells Flagship XI completed their SIXTEENTH consecutive outright Kent League victory today when they beat The Mote CC at The Nevill, once again avoiding weather interference. This run further extends a newly attained KL record, and rounds off a campaign that saw the XI reach 305 points from all KL matches played. At the same time, the side won ALL NINE of their back nine Win-Lose contests, which is now known to be without parallel. Promotion was guaranteed after Week 14, and the Championship was clinched after Week 16, and thus a wonderful season was completed, and a serious ambition was fulfilled. Fittingly, celebrations ensued as a result of these marvellous accomplishments, while talisman in so many successes, Nick Selman, returns to Queensland on 10 September after a memorable maiden summer in the UK; his runs, catches and even wickets were of inestimable value to the welfare of his team and a more popular player would be hard to imagine.
Very well done to all concerned, in particular new skipper Alex Williams. Plans will be afoot now to deal with life back in the Premier Division.
Congratulations are also due, belatedly, to opening bowler Chris Lawrence, who has passed 200 wickets in First Team league cricket since 2002, his 200th victim being Ben Leale Green of Linden Park. He completed a rare double against The Mote when he reached 100 wickets in Division One cricket, to go with his 108 wickets attained in Premier Cricket.
David Smith, with 38 wickets, topped the 2014 Division One wicket hauls for his new Club, and also scored 324 runs, taking as well a dozen catches, many quite brilliant. Nick Selman hit 882 runs at 75, with 2 centuries and 5 fifties, coming second in the year’s aggregate lists for the Division, followed by Alex Williams third with 706 runs at 39.
A further plaudit goes to Will Stickler, whose fielding stats have brought him to equal top with Richard Cutts, now recuperating after shoulder surgery, on 102 victims (catches and run-outs combined).
The Flagship XI recently (on 28/6) equalled Mark Smith’s six-wins-in-a-row from ten summers ago in 2005, coincidentally also in Division One, and in his first year as captain, as was Alex Williams’ achievement in 2014. Alex made his maiden year as leader equally memorable, but then took his team one step beyond to a record seventh consecutive victory, at The Mote, (on 5/7), marking the day with a splendid century in the process. Further (on 12/7) at home to Sibton Park, another win took the run to eight.
Carl Openshaw, the Club President, was present in person to witness the feat, and he went on to explain just how good the accomplishment was, saying “It is a very impressive achievement and I can confirm that this has never been done before by the Club in the history of the KL”, which refers back to the start of the Kent League in 1971 when TWCC was a founder member.
It should be noted too that the odds of attaining eight or more completed matches in an English Summer are not especially good, and the chances diminish greatly when talking of outright victories, with no winning or losing draws. It is additionally significant that the first seven successes all occurred in the tougher Win-Lose-Draw format.
Craig Williams (83*), Chris Williams (75) and David Smith (66*) helped to hoist the flagship XI to a declaration at The Nevill, against Tenterden Town CC, on 299 for 5 wkts (52 overs), leading to a bat-first victory despite weather interference. The feat was previosuly performed in this Division on 6 May 2013 against St.Lawrence CC, and in the Premier Division on 14 May 2011 to secure a bat-second record KL chase off the Lordswood CC bowling, also at The County Ground.
An U13 side won a 4 team T20 competition at Tonbridge School on Friday 30 May thanks to strong batting performances in both games. Firstly, after being 38 for no wicket from 10 overs against Leeds and Broomfield, T Wells powered to 156 for 2, with Julian O’Riordan reaching an outstanding unbeaten century in the last over to herald a comfortable win. In the final, with O’Riordan pushed down the order, 36 from Tom Nicholls and 49 not out from Matt Allen enabled T Wells to reach 137 for 2, which proved 39 too many for Bells Yew Green.
Following the feats of TW I and TW II, TW IV made it a trio of the KL XIs on 13 July v BWCoL and have now done it again in the home match v R A C S at the Upper Ground. BJ Allatt (54) and Jorge Ehren (83) posted 108 for the opening partnership, with Kelvin Hill notching 53* to round off the achievement.
In addition, the IIs almost saw a fourth new record opening stand in 2013 when Jamie Baldwin (112) and Will Stickler (127) put on 228 against Tenterden II before a wicket fell : the 242 set by Mark Alexander and James Meddings on 13 July thus escaped eclipse on this occasion, whilst nonetheless a second double-hundred start in one season is quite special, and very likely without precedent.
For the first time since 2006 (TW II v Gore Court II 17 June at The Nevill), three individual half-centuries were scored in a single innings for the Second Team as a total of 277-5 was racked up in the fifty overs. Mark Alexander led off with 65 from the number one spot, with Will Stickler at three notching 63, followed by Richard Cutts who batted five and came off not out on 60*. Balls faced, respectively, were 89, 87 and 56. Dartford chased hard faced by some buffet bowling but closed out the draw when the target reached ten per over.
Mark Alexander (150) and James Meddings (102) posted 242 at Whitstable to notch the third record stand of 2013 for the same (first) wicket, Meddings adding 5-61 to emphasise his all-round status as TWCC took a bat-first win with just 32 balls to spare. The 1962 stand of 285 (Frank Clarke and Mike Willard) vs Mitcham was recalled, along with the STL Record of 287* in 2003 between Ashley Jackson and Roger Kerrison vs Old Colfeians.
Elsewhere on the first day of the year when Wednesday selection actually matched Saturday playing personnel, TW IV had three half-centurions against BWCoL II but were left with a winning draw as the Opposition declined to chase the target. For TW I, another bat-second win, from the opening Win-Lose game of the back nine, was blessed with a second luxuriant century from Ryan Bailey, whose 539 runs have come at 89.8 per innings with two tons and four other fifties.
Tom Elliott, TWCC’s hero of the 2012 Premier Division match vs Beckenham CC, added to his laurels with a second-innings maiden First-Class century in the famed meeting of the two historical University XIs held in 2013 at Cambridge. This outstanding achievement will no doubt be welcomed here at his KL Club notwithstanding that his innings came during a follow-on that led on to defeat. Sam Agarwal, who dismissed Elliott after his 131-ball century, became the first player to hit a triple-hundred in this series (313*), hoisting the Oxford total to 550-7. Elliott posted 162 for the fourth partnership with Cambridge opener Philip Hughes (92) but this was not enough to avert the final outcome.