Saturday First XI Results 2018

  

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier Division)
Result
05 May
2018
The Nevill      214 all out 121 all out 
Bromley Common CC I XI 
TWCC Won by 93 runs 

   The Summer began in hot sunshine, masking the long, cold Winter, with hardly any intervening Springtime, plus weeks of heavy rain. The Upper Ground was still waterlogged, and it was thanks to the sterling efforts of Jon Buddngton that the game was playable at all. Newly-promoted Bromley Common set out on their maiden Premier campaign by winning the toss and asking the home batsmen to go in on a drying surface that would prove to be difficult for much of the afternoon.

   It came as no surprise that Wells lost four good wickets in the opening hour of play, and a tally of 63-4 from 17 overs was exactly what the visitors had hoped would follow. At this stage, Alex Williams embarked on a solo crusade to save his side, showing untold depths of discipline and commitment as he and ‘keeper Graeme Francis, on Premier debut for his new club, gradually wore down the rampant Bromley Common attack. It was perforce attritional warfare, with Williams reining in his usual open strokeplay in order to build a total that could be safely defended; Francis was no less secure, and the pair slowly began a long road to recovery. At length the fifty arrived, and Williams began to seek out the boundary in more familiar fashion, while all the time both men were watchful and impenetrable; at this point, a mis-hit pull from Francis was heart-stoppingly spilled at mid wicket, but this was the sole indiscretion as the long partnership endured, when, suddenly, the stand was ended after 124 deliveries with the score at 157-5 and some twelve overs remaining. Williams’ great effort continued as he neared three figures, and he had added four sixes to his five fours in a wonderful display before falling lbw, agonisingly just four runs light of a richly-deserved century; Francis had batted 50 balls for his 29 (3 fours), and Williams 124 for his 96, begun when he had dropped anchor so successfully that his first fifty had taken 87 deliveries. Bromley Common now surged through the tail, and the innings slipped from 210-7 to 214 all out with three overs unused, and a target of 215 was required by the visitors for the win. Matt Taylor came away with a five-wicket-haul (5-44) for Bromley Common from his nine outstanding overs; meanwhile, Will Stickler reached his one hundredth First XI appearance in this game, a fitting tribute to a long and distinguished career.

   Ari Karvelas, another making his League debut, was given the new ball at the Railway End, and struck twice in his fiery first three overs as the reply tottered to 24-3 from 33 deliveries; he was assisted by Francis with both wickets as the ball jagged from the surface. Bromley Common fought back nevertheless, but two further wickets brought down the score to 60-5 with 18 overs gone before the late middle order brought some grit and self-respect to the effort. David Draper (30, with 3 fours) was joined by James McGruer (24, with 2 fours and a 6) in a valiant riposte that saw 53 runs come for the sixth partnership at a relative gallop as the runs came in just 33 minutes from ten overs. Spin from Marcus O’Riordan and Fred Florry had the last laugh, however, for, after Dave Smith had broken the stand, the slow bowlers, plus the returning Karvelas, combined to rout the remaining batsmen for a mere eight runs, and the home attack almost all had decent figures; Karvelas came away with 3-24 from 8 attacking overs, O’Riordan 3-33 from his 8.4 overs, and a stunning fourth catch by Francis behind the wicket will linger long in the memory for its brilliance as it gave AK his third victim. Chris Williams thus enjoyed a win on his maiden Premier outing as League skipper, emulating his brother Alex who did the same back in 2015; Wells will visit Manor Way, Bexley, for their next League encounter, billed for Saturday 12 May.

 

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier Division)
Result
 19 May
2018
The Nevill  223 for 9 wkts 
184 for 9 wkts 
Tenterden CC I XI 
TWCC won by 39 runs
   Wells entertained Tenterden at The Nevill, on the day of the Royal Wedding at Windsor, and the weather suited both occasions, with warm sunshine all day over Southern England. The ground looked a treat, with a lush, green outfield, and Isaac Bepey, the young left-arm pace man, was handed a Premier debut as the main team change. The toss was won by the visiting skipper, who asked Wells to take first knock, and this immediately paid off as the home captain was caught behind after just two balls, leaving the second pair to dig in and so avert further peril.

   Michael Waller and Christian Davis were equal to the requirements, and each man played carefully yet safely as a 74-run partnership from 104 deliveries was fashioned, which set the innings on the path to safety. Waller was the man to go, but Davis moved serenely to his maiden KL fifty out of 124-4, notching 58 from 89 balls with five fours, although the Tenterden attack made the expected headway as the balance of the game shifted first to one side and then to the other. Spin was successfully employed, and the ball did turn, however Marcus O’Riordan (30) and Will Stickler (34) were well suited to counter this threat, and the runrate increased as the lower order pulled away, leading to a score of 166-5 as the last ten overs commenced. Stickler’s fine innings ended at 217-8, but he had done enough, given solid support from Dave Smith and Ari Karvelas, to set a challenging target, given that conditions and the bowling never allowed much more than four-per-over to be attained. Sam Jones (3-52) and Chris Vernon (2-38) were the pick of the Tenterden effort.

   Set 224 for the win, the reply showed patience and resolve in equal measure, bringing up the half-century before the first wicket fell; Vernon and Justin Mosca occupied sixteen overs of watchful progress before spin finally broke through. Karvelas and Paddy Sadler now got among the wickets, the former aided by a remarkable catch from O’Riordan, who next ended Vernon’s valiant vigil to leave the tally at 124-5 with some fourteen overs remaining. Vernon had had a splendid all-round game, and his 87-ball innings had brought him 63 with only three fours, such was the pressure exerted by the home attack. Indeed, Wells successfully held back the Tenterden chase so well that their own tempo was barely challenged, let alone surpassed. Earlier, a wonderful yorker from Sadler had smashed into captain Ben Price’s stumps, removing thus the chief architect of any likely victory charge, and the equation now required 100 runs from 84 deliveries and only the lower order left to come in. 

   Bepey was brought into the attack at this point, and he soon snapped up a couple of wickets, but ironically the tail, in the persons of Tom Richards and Harrison Wells, made brisk progress while a couple of catches went begging, and Wells thereby allowed the Tenterden innings to hold out on 184-9, albeit with victory assured. It is unusual to record that both Williams brothers had little impact on the course of the game, however two important catches did go to the skipper, a renowned ball-magnet, while Alex sent down five lively overs for just 18 runs; Smith’s ten overs were simply outstanding, going for a miserly 19 runs, while Karvelas had another haul of three wickets from his ten. Overall it was a gutsy team performance that brought home the win, with all phases of play otherwise looking well; in the end, the margin of victory was 39 runs, and the side will face Blackheath at The Rectory Field on May 26 in their next encounter.

 

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
26 May 2018 The Rectory Field 109 all out
110 for 5 wkts
Blackheath CC I XI
TWCC Lost by 5 wkts

   Wells made the journey over to The Rectory Field, Blackheath, where they encountered a dry surface with the sun soon out, bathing the ground in needful warmth; the toss went with the home skipper who straightaway asked the visitors to bat first. Early indications were that stroke-play was not especially easy, although there was a sprinkling of wides which kept the scoreboard ticking over. Both openers were necessarily watchful, but, when the first wicket went down at 23, it heralded a quick succession of dismissals and the score slipped to 29-3 after twelve overs. 

   The fourth wicket provided some resilience as Christian Davis and Marcus O’Riordan buckled down to some stern defence, but Tanweer Sikandar and Jahid Ahmed merely gave way to Dipayan Paul who ripped out the middle order whilst snapping up 3-19, and suddenly the innings was in freefall. O’Riordan (M) batted until the score had reached a desultory 74-6, but he had lasted for 52 deliveries for his fourteen, demonstrating, as though it needed showing, how hard it was to break out from the bowling stranglehold. Finally, Ari Karvelas guided the score past the century mark with Paddy Sadler assisting, and he struck two fine sixes en route to the innings’ top score of 21, which was to remain joint match top score on a day of low scores. Suddenly it could be understood how The Mote had inexplicably succumbed at home for 33 all out on the same day and on as fair a deck.

   The reply struggled too, and Karvelas added to his laurels with a spell that brought him 2-33, meanwhile the tally slid to an unhappy 65-5 before sanity took over and a winning stand took the Blackheath side home. John Adcock (21*) joined Richard Fleming (16*) to post an unbroken 45* for the sixth partnership and bring down the curtain on an afternoon of bespelled mischief on the cricket field. The visitors even managed to concede five runs for a penalty. Wells took a mere two points from their performance while the home team netted 18, and Wells will travel to The Foxgrove for their next match against current Champions Beckenham cc on June 2.

 

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
02 June 2018 Foxgrove 227 for 8 wkts
90 all out
Beckenham CC I XI
TWCC Won by 137 runs

   Following their dismal visit last weekend to Blackheath, Wells journeyed to The Foxgrove, HQ of 2017 Premier Champions Beckenham CC, with much to achieve if their form was to carry them forwards. Once more, the visitors were asked to bat first, given a track which, although covered, was excellently prepared, but, as was the way with most grounds in Kent during this thundery week, a lot of rain had fallen, and conditions might tend to favour the bowlers; otherwise the Ground looked wonderfully well with a glorious lush outfield.

   Chris Williams, accompanied by the obdurate Michael Waller, raced to a whirlwind fifty out of a belligerent opening partnership of 65 before the pedigree expertise of Junaid Nadir allowed him to break through with deadly impact, as four wickets tumbled for just four runs and the early order lay in ruins; the skipper had gone in this spell, and there was scant recovery as the home attack continued to whittle away at the middle order and a low point arrived, with 28 overs gone, of 94-6. To some surprise, Nadir was then rested after he had snapped up 4-15 from seven incisive overs. Emerging from this wreckage was the sole figure of Marcus O’Riordan, who, against the play, managed to rally enough support for a gutsy reversal of fortunes, as he survived for 93 deliveries in an unbeaten and hugely plucky knock of 65* which took his side through to the end of the 50 overs just when this had looked distinctly unlikely. Brother Julian O’Riordan (27) assisted in a game-changing seventh stand of 67 from 91 balls, and the tempo was suddenly on the increase; Ari Karvelas now blasted 29 from 13 deliveries, with two sixes and three fours, which damaged the hitherto superb figures of Nadir as the tally passed 200, and still the recovery had something left; Dave Smith and O’Riordan (M) added a final 23* as Wells passed 225 for the first time in 2018, at length setting a home target of 228 for a win which was no longer looking so certain.

   The Beckenham innings began confidently enough, but soon felt the impact of Karvelas (3-18) and Alex Williams (3-15) as the score slid to a disappointing 38-5 from the first 13 overs of the innings. The stars of the line-up had all gone, and Wells now pressed home their unexpected advantage despite a valorous 22 from Jason Bilimoria, whose all too brief sixth stand of 23 with Ross Piller halted the progress of the visitors while the fast men rested. Suffice to say that the remaining four wickets were captured while 29 runs were added, with O’Riordan (M) wrapping up a fine all-round game as he grabbed 2-11 to end the innings at ninety after just 29.2 overs of varied yet conclusive penetration; Nadir was last man out, exacting a small revenge as he hit O’Riordan for six before being castled comprehensively next ball in a six-and-out interlude. This was a sensational win for Wells, whose previous games had not indicated such dominance, and the 18 points gathered in served to raise the XI up to fourth place in the Table, still in touch with the leading pack, as the sides begin to settle into their new rankings. The next contest, at The Nevill on 9 June, sees high-flying Sandwich Town visit West Kent to do battle with the home team.

 

Date Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
09 June 2018 The Nevill 191 all out
193 for 3 wkts
Sandwich Town CC I XI
TWCC Won by 7 wkts

   On a perfect June Saturday, the County Ground looked hazily resplendent in the hot sunshine, and guests Sandwich Town arrived, ready to do battle; the visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, with the dangerous Zack Fagg partnering Ben Chapman as Ari Karvelas warmed up to provide his customary welcome. All went well for the openers, who settled in to post a comfortable 30 runs from five overs when Karvelas got one to take the edge and the stand was broken; wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva took over, and the innings proceeded calmly with a sprinkling of driven boundaries while the score rose without further bother to reach 90 after twenty overs when the pace men were replaced by the spin of Marcus O’Riordan, assisted by Fred Florry.

   The game changed from this moment on, for O’Riordan, looping his offies with a good rip at a fair pace, broke through at once, sending Chapman (B) on his way for a brisk 37, then snaring Tom Chapman at 137 before a brief stand interrupted progress. Alex Smith (37) had shown resolve and a will to survive, but a slick stumping saw him gone at 162-3, and O’Riordan now swept away the middle order, taking three wickets for nine runs from nine deliveries as the innings capitulated to mistimed aerial offerings. His tenth over brought O’Riordan a sixth scalp, a rare feat in these days of limited overs, producing the exceptional analysis of 10-0-42-6, and now it was time to bring back Karvelas whose first spell had brought him 2-28; the fiery speedster snapped up the last two in two deliveries (a hat-trick awaits on his next appearance) to send Sandwich reeling to 191 all out with one over unused. Curiously, there were three sets of brothers in the TWCC XI, not to mention several related Smiths in the visiting side, but a hamstring pull removed Sam Stickler from the arena, and Hugo Williams, revising for PE Exams, got a Practical Test when he subbed for the injured man, meaning that all three Williams brothers were on the field in the same League match, which may be some kind of record. Karvelas ended with 4-35, so just the two bowlers did all of the damage, and Wells were left to make 192 for the win.

   The skipper opened with Michael Waller, and these two put on a steady 35 before another lbw removed the latter, to bring the cultured Christian Davis to the wicket. Davis and Chris Williams settled into their respective roles, and the score went on without mishap to 75 when the opener missed a yorker which otherwise might have gone into Mars orbit. A rattling 41 with seven boundaries had pleased the crowd, meanwhile Davis was progressing securely and was timing his strokes elegantly while dismissing the ball from his presence six times to gather fours in a fine, pathfinding effort. Alex Williams struck some delightful blows, the shot for six being exquisite, but, after too short a span, he holed out at 127 to a well-taken catch in the deep, and the push to the win was left to Will Stickler and Davis. These two added a trouble-free 66 from 81 balls to take their side home, and the fourth partnership was marked by sensible running and calm stroke-play, during which time Davis moved to his second fifty of the campaign with a princely flourish, ending up undefeated on 69* as the points were hauled in. All told, there were eleven overs left in hand, and, it may be noted, 29 extras were gifted to the chase, which was unusually generous, while the home tally in this respect was rather less, with neither wicket-taker conceding any wides at all. Wells therefore moved up into second place in the Table, four points behind Blackheath, and they have a game away against Lordswood upcoming on 16 June; it is early days yet in the Championship, but victory can sometimes become a habit, and the hope must be that this is so for this youthful TWCC side, who do not often start off quite so dominantly.

 

Date Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
16 June 2018 Lordswood 267 for 8 wkts 210 all out Lordswood CC I XI TWCC Lost by 57 runs

   Wells travelled over to the newly-named Peter Edmonds Ground where Chris Williams won the toss and chose to field first; Linden Lockhart and Jack Laraman quickly settled in and the fifty arrived in the 13th over as the attack struggled for a breakthrough. Lockhart went first at 67, but this merely brought in Chaitanya Bishnoi for his debut KL innings, and what a start he made. Laraman (54) was no slouch but was shaded by his partner’s strokeplay as boundaries cascaded from his bat while Bishnoi raced to a memorable 117 (13 fours and 4 sixes) from just 94 balls faced. Skipper Chris Piesley (20) helped as the fourth wicket produced a coruscating 71 in under seven overs before the bowlers suddenly snapped up five wickets while 26 runs were added, leaving Wells a target of 268 for the win; boundaries (26 fours and 5 sixes) made up just over half of the tally. Alex Williams (4-62) performed nobly in the face of the onslaught to net the best figures, backed up by 3-56 from Marcus O’Riordan.

   The reply suffered an unexpected setback with the run-out of Michael Waller, but Williams (C) showed that he too could attack the bowling, and the half-century was reached at a handy tempo; however, Laraman (2-29) and Dan Masters now broke back for the home side, and the score slipped unhappily to 82-4 after 17 overs. Williams (A) and O’Riordan set about the needed recovery, but Bishnoi (3-36) showed true all-round versatility as the middle order fell to his guile and the chase was stalled while the home side began to scent victory. Nevertheless, from 157-7, Graeme Francis (33*) found an ally in Dave Smith (24), and a belated rearguard assured the visitors of some batting bonus points as the score topped 200; the Lordswood win was never in serious doubt, and the game ended with the home skipper removing the tail to bring about the desired result. His opposite number had top-scored for Wells with a briskly entertaining 38, but a game of importance to both sides served to even up the two chasing packs as Blackheath alone reached a fifth victory in the 2018 campaign. Wells journey over to neighbours Sevenoaks Vine on 23 June where they will want to return to more propitious circumstances.

 

Date Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
23 June 2018 The Vine 229 all out 303 for 5 wkts Sevenoaks Vine CC I XI TWCC Won by 74 runs

   With the almost unexpected Fourth Day at The Nevill County Week taking up much local interest, the TW flagship XI journeyed over to Sevenoaks for an always popular encounter with their local rivals; a blazingly hot day welcomed them to The Vine, where Chris Williams won the toss and straightaway opted to bat first. The habitual early wicket quickly fell, but Christian Davis joined his skipper in a second wicket stand which restored the position with a stabilising 73 from the next twenty overs. The visiting side had been weakened by absences, but the next two phases of the match scarcely allowed for this to be noticed as they accelerated while the home attack wilted, and a fiercely challenging total was soon to emerge.

   The dismissal of Williams (C) at 93-2, once more just short of his half-century, brought the powerhouse batsmanship of Davis and Alex Williams together, and these two did not disappoint; a scintillating partnership developed which moved in a dazzling crescendo as 137 runs were collared during the afternoon heatwave. Davis reached his fifty first, followed soon after by Williams (A), and the pair scorched along with the bowling going to all parts; at 230-2, Michael Thompson (3-51) induced a return catch from the latter, and a further wicket soon fell, although this gave the signal to Davis to go through the gears, with Graeme Francis also adding rapid runs, and the fifth wicket produced 59 as the 300 approached. The last nine overs saw 97 runs blitzed as fours and sixes tumbled from willing bats, and 112 boundary runs (16 fours and eight sixes) were struck after over number 36. Williams (A) had reached a glorious 73 from 63 balls, Francis a dashing 39 from 24, but above them all stood Davis who surged past his century as the target was finally set at 304 for victory; in all, Davis batted for 128 deliveries, returning unbeaten on 114*, which included 8 fours and 5 sixes, in a blistering maiden KL hundred coming from a rich current vein of form. A veritable fusillade of shots endangered the Seal Hollow Road side of the Ground as the innings went along.

   Undaunted, the Vine batsmen gave chase, although they too lost a crucial early wicket; former Wells skipper, Evert Bekker (73 with 9 fours), provided the basis for the reply, posting 53 for the second stand with Michael Cowdrey, before partnering Luke Schlemmer (54) in a potentially decisive 79 for the third wicket which saw the score rise to 150-2. Paddy Sadler persuaded Bekker into an indiscretion at this point, that man Davis holding his second catch of the innings, and the batting now began to falter; all-rounder Williams (A) snapped up 3 wickets in one over while the fiery strike-bowler Ari Karvelas chimed in with 3-21, and the heart was ripped out of the innings. Two other fielders took a brace of catches, the skipper plus Dave Smith joining Davis in this feat, and all told, the remaining eight wickets fell for 79 runs. Karvelas rearranged the stumps of the home number eleven to bring Wells the 18 points and an unprecedented third consecutive victory for his team against these opponents. Marcus O’Riordan (2-49) also featured in the wickets column, but Isaac Bepey and Hugo Williams, on full debut this week, were not needed, and so looked on as the win came with 19 deliveries to spare. The TW First XI will entertain Bickley Park at The Nevill on 30 June, where there could be three brothers representing each team on the day, a most extraordinary, if not unique, occurrence; the win at Sevenoaks took Wells up to third position in the Table, a single point below second-placed Sandwich Town.

 

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
30 June 2018 The Nevill 198 for 7 wkts 200 for 5 wkts Bickley Park CC I XI TWCC Lost by 5 wkts

   TWCC bade welcome to Bickley Park, back in the Premier Division, for the first contest between these two Clubs since 2012, when both were in the mix for relegation as a nail-biting finale then unfolded. The June 2018 heatwave at The Nevill continued to bathe the County Ground in breeze-leavened sunshine, meanwhile the toss was won by the home skipper, who chose to bat first; the track was lighter in colour than one generally sees, and was soon to give evidence, somewhat unusually, that it was suited to the slower bowlers, and this will have pleased the visitors, whose spin quartet do not often get promising opportunities on tour.

   The opening pace salvo, from Oliver Robinson, was exactly what Bickley wanted, and he obliged with the wicket of the home captain with his fifth delivery, the ball feathering an edge to the ‘keeper, who was in action a little later as the score slumped to 20-2 with just eight overs gone. Michael Waller (33) was now joined by Graeme Francis, promoted following several solid contributions, and this pair began the work to repair the damage in a sensible third wicket stand that went untroubled for 48 runs from 96 deliveries; once again, Mitchell Renwick was into the action, this time with two slick stumpings, which removed the resolute Waller and then the prolific Alex Williams while the score meandered without conviction on to 97-4. At this stage, real turn, of the legspin variety, was being purveyed by the evergreen Adeel Malik, who took over from Phil Browning at the Railway End, in a clear recognition that this was the way forward; Francis too was playing very tidily by this time, and, being joined by Marcus O’Riordan, there was more certainty to the scoring as the tempo rose. A maiden KL Premier fifty was laudable reward for the Wells ‘keeper, but, on 60, he too was undone by Malik with the score on 133, and the bowler added a second wicket in the over to reduce the tally to 133-6 with just nine overs remaining in the allocation. Remarkably, Malik had put in a key ten-over spell to take 4-24, and Bickley were poised for a simple chase; fortunately for the home supporters, O’Riordan (39*) and Ari Karvelas (37) laid about them with the first real show of urgency as they put together 65 for the seventh partnership, which was marred only by the oversight in missing a third batting point when the stand was ended from the final ball of the innings.

   Set 199 for victory, Bickley knew they needed a steady start, and the opening pair of Sussex man Robinson and ‘pinch’ opener Browning, was better than they would have dreamt; the fifty came up without loss from the first 14 overs when it was decided to try the home spinners, and the game abruptly changed. Fred Florry picked up two wickets with his first two deliveries, altogether snapping up 3–3 from 15, and at once the batting task looked twice as difficult; Robinson, however, was unperturbed, and continued to accumulate in a clinical, nigh robotic, fashion, as the chase was put back on target from 60-3. O’Riordan clean-bowled Dan Magin at 109, as he and Churchill were briefly tried before pace again reappeared, along with a sudden burst of wides, but ominously Robinson had now passed fifty and the target was less than a hundred away. Hereabouts the fielding and groundwork became somewhat ragged, allowing Warren Lee (28*) and Robinson the freedom to take six singles per over at will, with the result that the fifth wicket partnership prospered to the extent of 87 runs at a run-per-ball, which took the Bickley score to within a whisker of the win. Robinson reached a rock-solid century at this point, and then, to general surprise, holed out on the midwicket boundary, to return after a stay of 121 balls (with 13 fours) to concerted applause after a match-winning effort; Malik and Lee tidied up the outstanding runs required, and Bickley took the 18 points with more than ten overs to spare, as they rejoined the chasing pack who are all now a noticeable way below half-term leaders Blackheath. Indeed, only 29 points separate second from ninth place in the Table, so that the back nine matches promise battles galore as the sides all sort themselves out. Wells remain in joint second position alongside Sandwich Town, with all to play for, and they look forward to visiting a resurgent Bromley Common on 7 July, which, like all such games, will be no pushover.

 

Date Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
07 July 2018 The Grove 360 for 8 wkts 176 all out Bromley Common CC I XI TWCC Won by 184 runs

   The Wells flagship XI journeyed over to The Grove, home to Bromley Common, where Chris Williams won the toss and batted first as the Summer heatwave continued for a further week into July. The afternoon temperature was gruelling for the fielding side, and the skipper himself ensured that the innings went at a fearsome tempo as he returned to his best form with a wonderful, attacking century, almost 150, which set the tone for a day of superlatives. Jay Mannall (4-49 from ten testing overs) showed that the deck offered some help to the home attack, but Williams was in devastating form from the word go, masterminding the pace and direction of the innings by his own example, and scarcely allowing the bowlers any respite as he bombarded the boundary with 22 fours and two sixes in a fusillade of scoring.

   The opening stand was relatively short-lived but the second stand added 55, and Williams was on his way with 64* out of 89-2; the third wicket partnership, with brother Alex, was crucial, and as many as 107 runs cascaded in under fifteen overs to disarm and overwhelm the Bromley bowlers. Williams (A) smashed 5 fours and 4 sixes during this association, which saw the skipper reach an amazing hundred while contributing a quick-fire 53* of his own; the attack took some heavy punishment in this phase, but came back to remove the centurion at 258-4, only for Graeme Francis to pick up the assault at an even greater speed. Francis raced to a pulverising 73 from only 47 deliveries, studded with 7 fours and 3 sixes, as the relentless barrage was maintained into the final few overs. Jorge Ehren guided the tail as the momentum lasted to the bitter end, and a total of 360-8 was reached when the allocation ended, meaning that, for the entire fifty overs, the run-rate had been kept at better than seven runs per over. Williams (C) scored his 147 from just 117 balls, by some distance a personal best, and of course the record books were rewritten as Wells handsomely beat their previous record Premier total (333 against Gore Court back in 2010) by a good margin. Bromley, to their credit, succeeded in taking eight wickets, yet the onslaught had been quite savage, and a huge target total lay before their batsmen for the second innings.

   The reply featured an opening stand which raced along to 66 from just eight overs, with Leigh Walker and Toby Finzel giving chase as each man rapidly got into the twenties; the visiting bowlers, meanwhile, were switched about, and quite suddenly the tally had slipped to 93-4 after a second eight overs. Isaac Bepey, Ari Karvelas and Marcus O’Riordan all tasted success, and the skipper too fancied a bowl, snapping up 3-28 as the innings faltered, but there was resistance yet to be described. The fifth wicket held up the victory charge as Matt Taylor (42) and James McGruer fought to add 43 and keep the bowlers at bay; this was a deceptively short period overall however, and it was not long before the combative Karvelas was recalled for the kill to follow up on the inroads made by Williams (C). As it happened, Karvelas took, in all, five wickets for just eighteen runs over two spells, his maiden 5 wicket haul for TWCC, which took him to the head of the Premier 2018 bowling aggregates with 24 victims, the final three coming from a mere five deliveries at a personal cost of four runs. The end came mercifully quickly for Bromley Common, since, following the middle order resistance, the last five wickets went down for 25; the win came by 184 runs, and the 18 points sent Wells up into second position in the Table, lying in the wake of leaders Blackheath CC, who are ahead by thirty points. The next game will feature VPs day at the Club on 14 July, when Wells will host Bexley CC at the County Ground, and the sweltering weather is expected to continue for at least another week yet.

 

Date Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Division) Result
14 July 2018 The Nevill 171 for 9 wkts 174 for 5 wkts Bexley CC I XI TWCC Won by 5 wkts

   On a day especially designated for the local Club VPs, Wells hosted longstanding rivals Bexley CC at the County Ground, where, intriguingly, the local XI had not been successful in the KL against these opponents since 2009 when Geoff Paulsen was in his pomp. There were many friends in attendance from both Clubs at the Ground, covering many years, and no better sunny afternoon could have welcomed the spectators and their families than that of the extended heatwave still blessing the famed venue. Bexley won the toss, and elected to bat first, and the customary attritional match was soon into its various phases, but progress for the batsmen was somewhat laboured as the Wells bowlers found some life in the surface and restricted the scoring and the freedom of play of the early order.

   Chris Laas and Stanley Wells carefully took the score towards fifty, but so miserly were Ari Karvelas, Dave Smith and Marcus O’Riordan that the tally had only reached 78 after the opening 25 overs for the loss of Laas. The attack gave little away, extras were not wasted and the fielding was keen and incisive with both Karvelas and Stickler taking two fine catches, the latter additionally contributing an important run-out. O’Riordan was also involved in a crucial run-out, as he touched on a fierce drive to the non-striker’s wicket, thereby ending a busy 30-ball knock of 31 from Matt Stiddard, and still the innings was held back and progress was stifled at every turn. The second 25 overs saw the score struggle to 149-4 with 44 overs gone, and the bowlers continuing to strangle the run-scoring potential that was so vital to the Bexley prospects. Five wickets now tumbled during the final six overs, and just 22 runs accrued, suggesting that the chase would find conditions equally as restrictive, and praise was due to Karvelas (2-7) from the ‘death’ overs, plus the skipper Chris Williams and O’Riordan (M) who allowed just 43 runs from their last eleven overs. The groundwork and catching was almost ideal, and the consequence of a cohesive team effort was that the home lads needed to make 172 for a well-worked win.

   The reply featured a characteristically brisk start from the skipper (37 from 41 deliveries, with 6 fours), but an early setback brought the in-form Christian Davis to the wicket, who was to fashion a delightful fifty as the visitors threw everything they could at the batsmen in order to save their honour. The score reached 83-2 after 19 overs, with Davis at the helm, driving sweetly on both sides of the wicket, despite the persistent attentions of the Bexley bowlers; two wickets went down before the 120 was reached, but now O’Riordan (M) joined with Davis in the critical partnership that took their side on to the very brink of victory. The fifth wicket held for a tense but vital sixty runs, coming from 95 balls, and maintaining the required tempo, but the 20 overs from Adam Riley and Jasdev Bassan made this a tremendous struggle, and it was fitting that, during this phase, Davis went to a truly meritorious fifty, with no let-up in his concentration and effort as he went on to head the Premier run aggregate after week eleven as the landfall neared. With six needed, a wonderful caught-and-bowled from Sam Barton removed Davis for a memorable 76 (132 deliveries with 6 fours), but a four from Stickler to match another from O’Riordan brought up a fine win with an appreciative crowd fully enjoying the ebb and flow of the battle. Little changed for Wells in the Table, although other results may have marginally assisted them; it is still too hard to foresee how the back nine will arrange matters, while harder still to pick who might go down, although one candidate is clearly marked. The XI is away to Tenterden Town at Morghew Park on 21/7 with all to play for.

 

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21 July 2017 Morghew Park 201 all out 205 for 6 wkts Tenterden CC I XI TWCC Won by 4 wkts

   The Wells flagship XI travelled to Morghew Park as second-placed XI in the Premier League, a single match win behind long-term leaders Blackheath, as the Summer heatwave entered its seventh week, recalling the famed 1976 event; the toss was won by the home skipper, who chose to bat first on the excellent Tenterden surface, set in the delightful, historical Smallhythe Road estate. Openers Justin Mosca and Chris Vernon steadily put together a fifty partnership for the first wicket, but at 56-0, a double strike removed both, and the next pairing had to start over with rebuilding the innings. Andrew Crawford supported captain Ben Price as the score again progressed, with Price (43) in ominously fine form, striking 4 fours and 2 sixes as the third stand raised an energetic 59 before the visiting attack again broke through. Dave Smith, having just been despatched for ten in two balls, removed the perpetrator Price plus Ranjit Singh in successive deliveries, and so the tally slipped to 141-5 with just fourteen overs remaining. Wells wrapped up the remaining five wickets for 60 runs to leave themselves needing 202 for a third successive victory, with Marcus O’Riordan starring with 3-40 although the skipper, Chris Williams, was easily the chief architect of the home demise as he snapped up a decisive 4-25 from all but nine overs. Overall, this was a telling performance from Wells, whose all-round skills and penetration left the Tenterden batting well short of their best expectations, but there was still the little matter of the target to be overhauled.

   Tom Richards and James Rand quickly hit back for the home bowlers, knocking over two of the top three while the score inched along to 37-2; with the match clearly in the balance, the third partnership was of crucial import, and the Williams brothers did not disappoint their supporters. Captain Chris was in his best attacking mode, crashing seven fours and six sixes in a glittering assault that brought him 75 from 49 balls, whilst Alex was equally destructive with seven fours and a single maximum from 39 balls, and the score rocketed skywards as the stand brought a buccaneering 114 from 69 deliveries that left fifty runs to reel in with 33 overs available. Graeme Francis and O’Riordan (M) made light work of most of the requirement, despite further intervention from Richards plus 2-20 from Vernon, but the result was never in doubt and the total was passed with 21 overs in hand. Richards joined Ari Karvelas and  O’Riordan (M) on 26 wickets to head the Premier aggregates for bowlers, whilst the latter added two more catches to his tally to lead the fielders list; Williams (C) comfortably restored his place at the top of the Premier batting totals, and so there was interest for everyone in the peripheral statistics. Wells netted the full 18 points to remain in Blackheath’s slipstream, following their narrow win over Bickley Park, but a head-to-head meeting with the top XI will resolve some of the leadership questions when the two meet at The Nevill on 28 July; the run-in is a notoriously tricky passage of play, especially if relegation is at issue, and so predictions are futile at this stage. Nevertheless, the 28 July encounter promises to be a tremendous game. Wells had only once previously recorded three consecutive Premier wins, and that occurred in the front nine games of 2016, so it may be justly said that this young side are beginning to show their paces at the top level.

 

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28 July 2018  The Nevill 275 for 8 wkts 218 for 9 wkts Blackheath CC I XI TWCC Won by 57 runs

   The long-time Premier Division Leaders, Blackheath CC, journeyed down to the County Ground in order to consolidate their position, and the visiting skipper won the toss, asking Wells to take first knock on a surface still looking fine but there had been a quite heavy overnight downpour, although the covers and groundsheets protected the playing area. Indeed, the long heatwave was finally taking a break as a cool, blustery wind swept over The Nevill all afternoon, rustling the tree leaves and causing extra layers of clothing to be added for the first time effectively since May.

   The Blackheath attack was very accurate and probing, for, in the opening dozen overs, two wickets fell, including that of the prolific home captain, while the score slowly moved to 29-2 as new pairing Christian Davis and Alexander Williams took over the rebuilding. Williams was welcomed with a huge shout for lbw first ball, but gradually, amid much watchful care, the third partnership evolved albeit that progress was difficult. Survival was vital but eventually the bowling was changed, and the association developed as the opportunities to score more freely began to appear. Miserly spin gave way to nagging medium pace, yet onward went the batsmen as the landmarks came and went; the fifty stand arrived, and then the one hundred, and finally the individual half-centuries were reached. Davis was first to his fifty, soon followed by Williams (A), who was surprisingly caught out in the 33rd over after a remarkable recovery that had added 127 runs from 158 deliveries, and the fightback was on again for both XIs. Graeme Francis now brought his special brand of aggression to proceedings as the tempo rose, with Davis also freed up, and the fourth stand produced 44 from 51 balls in spite of a tricky period through the 170s; the arrival of Marcus O’Riordan set the run-rate alight as he drove fours and ramped sixes with Ari Karvelas hitting out in an effort to smash their way to a winning total, and the fifth stand added 46 from 33 balls as the shackles were finally broken. Davis had unselfishly perished at 196-4, having struck 9 fours and a six from 112 deliveries faced, but without his massive effort, and that of Williams (A), with an 81-ball 63 plus 6 fours and a six, the push towards 300 would not have been possible. O’Riordan (M) blazed his 37 from just 21 balls, and the late order added vital runs, setting a fearsome 276 as the target total after an epic struggle for supremacy on the field between bat and ball. 

   The reply began with a fusillade of boundaries as Dipayan Paul and Shahzaib Hassan peppered the open spaces, but somehow it could not last, and quite suddenly, strike-bowler Ari Karvelas produced a spell of 18 balls in which he took three wickets without cost, including the star number three Tanweer Sikandar, and the scoreboard showed 54-3 with 12 overs gone. A fourth wicket soon fell to the skipper, however George Wells (33) and Joe Kerridge (46) battled it out as wickets had to be saved whilst runs accrued; the fifth wicket held until 97 when Paddy Sadler prised out the former, then O’Riordan (M) removed the sixth at 106 and the contest seemed to be heading towards the home side. Captain Chris Willetts (34) had other ideas, as he and Kerridge posted 74 in 19 overs for the seventh partnership, but just six overs remained with close on a hundred still required. Sadler accounted for Willetts while two run-outs hastened the end, although the final wicket remained elusive; Wells took the 18 points and narrowed the gap at the top to merely bonus points, but the game ended with Blackheath nine down and still 57 runs behind. The run-in for Wells is quite substantial, and first up will be Beckenham CC at The Nevill on 4 August before Sandwich Town away, and then Lordswood and Vine consecutively at The Nevill before the curtain falls with a visit to Bickley Park; victory in such games would confer Championship status on any contender whomsoever could beat such a tough collection of opponents, but undeniably there is much fine cricket yet to unfold before the story is eventually resolved.

 

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04 August 2018 The Nevill 253 for 7 wkts 222 all out Beckenham CC I XI TWCC Lost by 31 runs

   The 2017 Champions, after some dire vicissitudes, visited The Nevill, where the home skipper won the toss, and asked the visitors to take first innings. Oliver Robinson, whose Bickley namesake had earlier scored a hundred on this same Ground, gratefully emulated the feat as the opening batsmen tucked in to some wayward offerings from the Wells attack. Ari Karvelas was his usual incisive and inexpensive self at the Railway End, snapping up 2-11 from his first five overs, while the Pavilion End saw 37 runs pillaged during the same period. Robinson raced to 26* before his partner opened his account, but then the wickets intervened.

   There was no relief for Wells as Robinson was joined by Kent star Alex Blake, the resultant partnership bringing a comfortable 87 runs from 124 deliveries to maintain a strong tempo, until eventually a grand boundary catch by Mike Waller ended Blake’s work on 38 at 135. Johan Malcolm (37) and Robinson now toed the throttle with a fourth stand of 66 from 57 balls, in which Robinson went to his century, and the two hundred was reached with ten overs to go and a tall total in the offing. Finally the home bowlers enjoyed some success, with Michael Churchill, whose best spell brought him 2-7, pegging back the runaway scoring, and the finale brought 52 runs while four wickets fell, so that the target was set at 254 for the win. Robinson made, all told, 115 from 117 balls, with 12 fours and one six in a commanding knock marred only by two missed chances.

   The reply was quickly rocked, as, almost at once, Chris Williams chased a wide one and was well taken in the slips, and the rebuild was undertaken perforce by Christian Davis (23) and Waller (37) who played some excellent cricket. The second stand brought a melodious 48 runs, and the third 37, yet the chase really developed when Graeme Francis (28) and Marcus O’Riordan posted a rapid 55 for the fourth wicket. A drinks break brought a wicket immediately afterwards, thereby ending this association, and the tally reached a high point of 169-6 with 85 still required from the last ten overs. O’Riordan moved serenely to his fifty in partnership with brother Julian, but two batches of wickets falling made the task get all the harder; O’Riordan perished at length for a delightful 71, made from 107 balls with 4 fours and a six, and it was left to the tail to pursue an unlikely win. Dave Smith (35) provided some late thrills, nevertheless the bowlers gunned down the remaining batsmen to close the innings just short of a fourth batting point; this achievement enabled the visitors to reel in a needful victory that lifted them out of the relegation places. Pick of the bowlers was Beckenham’s Will MacVicar who returned figures of 4-51 from his ten overs. For Wells, the run of four wins was rudely interrupted, and a weakened XI fought hard, but was unable to overcome a poor start where too many runs were conceded too rapidly; even so, the side remain in second place in the Table, and will visit Sandwich Town on 11 August in a game that both sides very much need to win.

 

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11 August 2018 The Butts 162 all out 164 for 6 wkts Sandwich Town CC I XI TWCC Lost by 4 wkts

   The TWCC flagship XI journeyed out almost to the Kent Coast for their game at Sandwich Town, where they lost the toss, and found themselves batting first again; it was déjà vu for the skipper as he departed in the opening over, leaving Michael Waller and Christian Davis to pull away with whatever recovery they could manage. The heatwave had certainly been interrupted, although there was still warm sunshine, but a cooler atmosphere perhaps gave help to the seam bowlers; nevertheless the home attack made headway as the scoreline sank to 29-2 with the fluent Davis (22, with 2 fours and a lordly six) the man to go. Waller and the returning Alex Williams (38) now embarked on a face-saving third partnership of 36, but disaster struck in the form of Ashleigh Cox, who snapped up 4-31 to wipe out the visitors’ middle order. The scoreboard went from 65-2 to 117-6 during this phase before the seventh pair of Will Stickler (39) and Julian O’Riordan (17) pulled away in a crucial stand of 39 which simply had to repair the innings. The bowling again was inspired, however, with Ben Smith (3-15) effectively wrapping up the effort at 162, which left the Sandwich batsmen to make 163 for a key win. The last four wickets had tumbled for the addition of just six runs, but, by failing to bat out their fifty overs, Wells failed to make the best of their opportunities; in all, seven overs and five deliveries were left unused.

   The reply began even more poorly as the visitors struck back at once with two wickets for one run, led as usual by the belligerent Ari Karvelas, with assistance from the recovered Dave Smith, as the home batsmen found conditions equally as awkward as had their opponents. The third partnership featured Finlay Beaman (26) and Jordan Cox (26*), who posted a stabilising 61 runs to rescue the innings and stem the bowling inroads; however Williams (A) now entered the attack with immediate effect as a triple strike brought him 3-33 while the tally slipped to an uneven and wayward 100-6 with plenty of overs left in hand. This was the turning point in the encounter, with strong opportunities beckoning to whichever side could best use them; special praise was due to the home number four who now held his nerve, despite the enormous pressure, to lead his team to a less-than-straightforward victory. Unbeaten on 50* as the century came up, Cox (J) found a staunch ally in Jan Gray (20*), and these two worked hard in adding an unbroken 64* which eventually brought up the win; there was no particular hurry, and both men played carefully to maximise their chances as the score steadily approached the target. Try as they might, the Wells bowlers could not part the seventh pair, and the game slipped away as the evening drew near. A victory by four wickets propelled the Sandwich XI up to fifth place in the Table, just behind their opponents of the day, being two of four teams now on nine wins in a frantic run-in. Jordan Cox, the hero of the hour, came in undefeated on 84*, taken from 123 deliveries with nine fours on a day he may long remember. Wells will entertain Lordswood at The Nevill on 18 August in what could well be a decisive contest, since several teams can still tilt at leaders Blackheath who remain at the top of the Premier Division with the last few matches left to play.

 

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18 August 2018 The Nevill 221 all out 225 for 8 wkts Lordswood CC I XI TWCC Lost by 2 wkts

   Wells hosted Lordswood for a game which both sides needed to win in order to further their ambitions for 2018, and a tense, committed encounter was played out; the overcast conditions suggested early assistance for seam bowlers, on a surface which would probably last well all day. The visitors won the toss and straightaway asked Wells to bat, with helpful results at once as the early order found the movement off the pitch very hard to defy; there were three ducks recorded, at 6, 15 and 23, but skipper Chris Williams showed admirable technique as he overcame the wiles of Palash Joshi from the Railway End, who picked up 2-24 during this phase. Marcus O’Riordan (34) briefly stopped the rot in company with his captain, but the fourth stand was worth just 31 carefully-made runs when Williams (C) went lbw at 54-4 after 14 overs, and Graeme Francis joined O’Riordan (M) with more hard work to be done. The ensuing fifth partnership posted 43, which used up a further ten overs, when James Anyon (2-29) removed both batsmen to reduce the tally to 116-6 after 175 deliveries, leaving some 20 overs to bat out and raise a decent target. Finally, the batting held firm, as Julian O’Riordan and Dave Smith took root, and fought out a crucial rearguard for the seventh wicket worth 93 runs from 106 balls as each man built a steadying half-century; first to the landmark was O’Riordan, but Chaitanya Bishnoi ended his vital innings at 209, and the last four wickets went down for the addition of just 12 more runs, and a useful fourth batting bonus point was narrowly missed. Bishnoi snapped up 3-2 from his final 6 balls (it was his last appearance in the KL for 2018), leaving Lordswood to make 222 for the win in conditions that still offered plenty to the bowlers, of both pace and spin. O’Riordan (J) and Smith had each hit up 55, the former striking 3 fours and a six from 81 deliveries, the latter 6 fours from 60; no praise could be too high for the way they battled to get their side back into the game against fearsome odds.

   The reply was rocked by the early loss of three big wickets, as Smith removed Bishnoi, and a tremendous spell from Paddy Sadler brought him 2-9 to remove Jack Laraman and Joshi from his first 3 overs; Linden Lockhart remained from the top order, and he now found a staunch ally in Chris Piesley (30) as the recovery was mounted and 98 runs came for the fourth partnership spanning 110 balls. For the second time, Wells had shifted the odds in their favour, and it got better still when Lockhart was narrowly run out going for a needless second run at 174-6; he had dropped anchor for a determined and vital 79 (5 fours) from 121 deliveries, but now the home side had two ends to attack. There had been a price to pay however, because the customary ‘death bowlers’ had used up almost all of their overs in the all-out effort, and there were still four wickets to capture. Alex Williams snapped up 2-3 in a key nine ball spell, and the equation meant that Lordswood needed a testing 40 from the last five overs with just the tail to get them. The home spectators settled back to watch Michael Churchill and O’Riordan (J) increase the pressure in a dual spin approach – O’Riordan (M) was unable to bowl owing to a side strain – with the field brought in as the light faded. Instead, pace was continued, and the restraint was eased as the nerveless ninth pair of Anyon and Adeel Hussain struck out; Wells now had their third chance to win the game, and three were all the chances they were going to get. Extras mounted (there were 43 in all with 26 wides) in the last, tense moments, and then the skipper went for ten from his last over; Ari Karvelas had one over left but could not break through, and so joined Sadler and Smith, who were also bowled out. Anyon (26*) and Hussain (14*) each hit two boundaries during this hectic run-in, and the last over began with three runs needed. The first ball provided a quick single which induced a second through an overthrow, and the scores were tied. The next ball went for four to conclude an epic chase, with four balls unused, and Lordswood, with their 18 points, leapt up to second spot in the Table as news came in that Sandwich Town had lost while Blackheath continued to hang on to their lead at the top. Wells dropped to fourth place, but were haunted again by failure to take full bonus points as Sevenoaks are now one point ahead of them in third place; the top four all retain at least a mathematical chance of the Title, and it will be The Vine who visit the County Ground on 25 August to play out the penultimate episode of this campaign in a popular local derby encounter.

 

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25 August 2018 The Nevill 287 for 8 wkts 190 all out Sevenoaks Vine CC I XI TWCC Won by 97 run

   The Premier encounter at the Nevill brought Sevenoaks Vine to face their current nemesis, who lately have struggled despite a strong July showing; the toss went with the home side on a cool, late Summer day, and Wells elected to take first innings on a fine surface in the customary sylvan setting. Karl Pearson opened the attack for the visitors with a wide, and little went right for them from this moment on. Chris Williams and Marcus O’Riordan set off at pace, with the skipper racing to fifty from 38 deliveries as the first wicket stand put up 99 from 18 overs. O’Riordan was first to go, but James Madgwick now settled in to play a major innings, having been brought in as a late replacement for Christian Davis; Williams (C), on 70, holed out at 130, however Madgwick and Julian O’Riordan promptly saw the tally on to 177, when Alex Williams (37) replaced the number four to help post a dashing 48-ball 54 for the fifth wicket. Williams (A) struck 5 fours and a six in a 33-ball assault, meanwhile Madgwick had reached an untroubled half-century as the score moved on to 227 with some 8 overs left in the allocation. Graeme Francis (26) and Ari Karvelas (22) further belaboured the Vine bowling in a merry interlude which brought 5 fours and a six as 49 runs were crashed from 32 deliveries before 3 wickets tumbled at 281; the last rites took the target to 288 for Sevenoaks to contemplate attacking. Madgwick made his 61 from 83 balls with 6 fours, and pick of the attack was veteran star John Bowden with 3-53 from his ten overs.

   The reply would depend heavily upon the two Kent men in the line-up, but at 16-0, Zak Crawley was wonderfully well taken at slip by O’Riordan (M) off the warlike Karvelas, and Bowden himself went to an astounding one-handed catch by the ‘keeper at 26. Evert Bekker, not unfamiliar with his surroundings, and Adam Rouse now began the work of repairing the innings, as 40 runs were ground out with care from the next nine overs; both men hit well when opportunities arose, but the tempo sagged somewhat as the reconnaissance took shape. Rouse struck 6 fours and a huge six in dynamic defiance, but Bekker perished at 66 when Paddy Sadler broke through in a sharp spell that gave him 2-6 from 7 deliveries, and spin was tried as Michael Churchill was handed the ball. The Vine kept out this new threat while Rouse and Michael Cowdrey (28) put on 47 for the fifth wicket, but the pressure was building as Churchill and Michael Waller began to spin out the lower order after Williams (A) had crucially intervened to remove Rouse for 60 at 121-6. Cyrus White and Karl Pearson helped Cowdrey delay the finish, but Churchill’s second spell (3-0 in 4 balls) settled matters clinically, and the score collapsed to 190 all out, and defeat by 97 runs, with just 3 balls remaining. Thus it was that Wells did ‘the double’ over their neighbours for the second year running, and so kept up a mathematical chance for Honours from third place in the Table, ascribing further emphasis on to the final week of the campaign, as is usual at this level.

   NB: The maximum struck by Rouse actually landed on the shiny red car owned by well-known local benefactor and cricket spectator, Robert Lancaster, whose vehicle unfortunately suffered some unwanted extra ventilation.

 

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01 Sep 2018 Bickley Park 254 for 4 wkts 258 for 4 wkts Bickley Park CC I XI TWCC Won by 6 wkts

   The flagship TWCC XI completed their campaign with one final visit to the Metropolis, this time to BR1 and the pleasant Bickley Park Ground, where they won the toss on a hot early September day, and chose to chase on a fine-looking wicket which promised many runs. The home side again fielded the three brothers Darroch, with Gordon skippering, whereas Wells had only two Williams, led by Chris, plus two O’Riordans. Of equal interest was the fact the the first three home batsmen were all named Alex, and each one dug in and made fifty or more, surely another unique occurrence.

   Alex Moen and Alex Fullarton led off for Bickley, and proved more than equal to anything the visiting attack could produce; by careful yet productive batsmanship, the first pair worked their way to one hundred for no wicket from the opening 26 overs, and it was Fullarton who reached fifty first in a busy effort which took him 78 deliveries, meanwhile Moen was stability itself as the partnership grew. Dave Smith finally broke through at 135 in the 36th over, and Fullarton was the man to go; Alex Darroch arrived to join the opener, and he at once injected a note of aggression, racing to a 37-ball fifty to join Moen who had already gone to his own half-century having received 114 balls. By now, the allocation was running out, and the score had rattled on to 240-2 with just a couple of overs remaining with Warren Lee (29 with 2 sixes and a four) striking more quick runs; the bowlers suddenly enjoyed a two-wicket burst of success, but the last over went for ten, and the target was set at 255 for the win. The second partnership had been worth 60 runs, and the late acceleration was neatly organised, granted that there was plenty of batting still waiting to prosper; Moen hit a pathfinding 81 with 8 fours and a six from 141 balls, Fullarton 62 with 8 fours from 93, and Darroch (A) crashed 51 from 39 with 5 fours and a towering six. Ari Karvelas ended his maiden KL year with 34 wickets, which placed him second in the aggregates for Premier bowlers in 2018, and he was value for every one of them; Smith ended with two wickets but at a blushing cost, and the visitors were shortly to begin their quest for a daunting 255.

   Unexpectedly, the reply was soon in serious disarray as Xavier Darroch bowled out two men, and Lee added a third, all within the first four overs, and with a strong total laying before them; 11-3 was the nadir of the innings, however, as Christian Davis and Kent U17 Julian O’Riordan now came together to set a new Club record partnership for the Premier fourth wicket, just when it had become most sorely needed. Slowly but ever confidently, this pair struck the ball cleanly and safely as the long association developed; the fifty stand arrived from 16 overs, the hundred and the one-fifty came from seven overs apiece as the run-rate rose, and the home attack had to find some method of restricting the scoring. Davis at this point reached his personal century, which took 106 deliveries, but the fourth fifty was indeed slower, taking 11 overs, while the target was now just 44 away. At length, Davis was undone by Andrew Harriott, caught for a wondrous 130 (16 fours and one six from 124 balls) out of 221 scored in the stand, and O’Riordan (J) was undefeated on 82 with the victory now clearly within their grasp. Nine overs remained in the game, and Alex Williams joined the tired youngster in taking their side over the line for a six wicket success, when O’Riordan came in on 97* to a deserved ovation; he had batted for 130 balls, stroking six fours in an epic knock. No words could overstate the work done by the fourth pair in turning the game around, and the fruits of their endeavour kept Wells in third place in the Table, their joint highest Premier placing, achieved just twice before, in 1998 and 2009; the Title fell to Blackheath by a single point from Lordswood, who have been the revelation of 2018, but how vital was their narrow win over Wells earlier in August. Blackheath were last the Champions in 1984, exactly one summer after Beckenham, in another historical synchronicity of note; for both teams at the Bickley ground, the season ended happily in bright sunshine in South London.