Match Reports

Newenden 1st XI v Crowhurst Park, 6 August 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 3 wickets (Crowhurst Park 151 all out, Bradney 2-26, S Piper 2-29, Newenden 155-7, Morris 45, Simpson 36, Smith 21*)

Man of the Match: Jasper Piper

Played: 15 Won: 10 Drawn: 1 Lost: 4

They say that when you cut your birthday cake you should make a wish, well that is what I did at teatime and thankfully my wish came true, but not without a few jitters along the way.

We know from past experience that Crowhurst Park are a strong outfit, and the team we played on Sunday was no exception. They were by far the strongest team we have played this season, with at least six or seven of their Saturday first eleven playing, but that meant little to a buoyant and talented Newenden team. The NCG is fast becoming renowned as the graveyard of reputations, and Charlie Harker's batting average.

Having lost the toss Crowhurst Park opted to bat, mainly as they were waiting for the arrival of their overseas contingent, which turned out to be a Renault Scenic full of hungover Australians (is there another kind?). Collingwood opened up from the top end, and got stuck into their openers immediately, drawing a drive from one that flew into the grateful hands of new specialist first slip, Ben Browning. Smith was bowling his ever dependable line and length from the Pavillion End, putting pressure on the batsmen which forced an array of false shots, all of which were falling into space. Just as Crowhurst were starting to build some momentum, Collingwood struck again, getting the ball to lift off a length, and Bradney doing the rest in the slips. We then were treated to one of the moments of the season, after a muddle between the wickets, Jasper Piper hurtled in, picked up the ball and threw down the stumps from about 30 yards out, leaving their opener floundering attempting to regain his ground, it was a remarkable piece of skill, and one that is becoming synonymous with Jasper in the field. Smith then picked up a couple of wickets, once again courtesy of Jasper with some superb catching in the deep. Wickets then began to tumble on a regular basis, with Bradney bowling a cracking spell from the top end, mopping up with figures of 2-26 from 7 overs. Sam Piper bowled with good control from the other end, picking up 2-29 for his troubles, including a magnificent catch from Smith at long off. There was still time for one more run out, this time down to Sam Piper, and at tea Crowhurst had hobbled through to 151, which with their bowling attack was pretty competitive.

At the break we all enjoyed a wonderful tea supplied by Toby and Nicola, which included an amazing birthday cake for yours truly, which was a scale recreation of the NCG. Thank you so much for all the effort, it was very much appreciated.

The Newenden innings started steadily, against some pretty decent pace bowling. Morris then decided that attack was the only way to go about things, and scored a quickfire 45, before departing with the score at 55-1 off 8 overs. Browning then followed without troubling the scorers, which has pushed him right into contention for the coveted Duck Trophy. Sloan followed shortly afterwards, and things started to look a little less secure, with Newenden wobbling at 65-3. This brought together form pair, Jasper Piper and Will Simpson, who picked up from where they left off last week, with Simpson cracking a couple of huge boundaries to swing things back in our favour. Piper was then bowled off his pads, leaving us at 88-4, Jones Jnr then joined a confident looking Simpson, and saw the score up to over 100 before departing caught behind.Sam Piper dabbled before being dismissed, which brought Collingwood to the crease. He added some calm to the proceedings, flicking his first ball,casually of his legs for four. Simpson smashed a few more before falling, still leaving us perilously close to losing at 122-7, but Smith was having none of it, and marched to the crease and banged a quickfire 21 not out, including three fours off the final over, to see us home.

It was a great game of cricket, and a memorable team performance. Well done to all involved.

Newenden 1st XI v Sissinghurst, 30 July 2017

Venue: Sissinghurst

Result: Newenden won by 66 runs (Newenden 236 for 9 (40 overs), J Piper 71, W. Simpson 68 - Sissinghurst 170 for 9, Bartleet 3-22, Smith 2- 21)

Man of the Match: Alex Bartleet (special commendation to the Piper/Simpson axis)

Played: 14 Won: 9 Drawn: 1 Lost: 4

With the prospect of losing three games on the bounce for the first time since 1642, the Newenden outfit that took the field at Sissinghurst were eleven men on a mission. With the sun beating down on a rock hard deck there was only one option when the coin landed favourably, and that was to make hay and exploit our batting prowess. With Morris opting to kay the eye of the selectors at the Oval, Sloan and Waterhouse strutted out to the middle looking to lay down a marker. Sissinghurst unleashed their league opening bowler with all the ferociousness of a kitten with dysentery, and we handled the opening exchanges with little trouble. However, once he found the edge of Charlie Sloans bat, we started to unravel with all too much familiarity. Quality batsmen (and Harker) came and went, and at 78 for 5, the 250 the skipper demanded in the changing room looked like fantasy. The academy has produced many a fine striker of the cricket ball and the fall of the 5th wicket brought together two of its finest. The combination of Jasper Piper and Will Simpson, not only brought the female spectators to their knees, but soon the Sissinghurst bowling attack were scrabbling for spare balls and counting down the overs. The pair put on 96 with a masterclass of big hitting and sumptuous stroke play, and along with a handy 26 from Piper senior and a not so handy 0 (stumped and run out) from Piper Junior we posted a competitive 236 from the allotted overs.

Tea happened (4/10). Following a brief team talk from our resident mystic meg Charlie Harker and his 'they only have four batsmen' chat we took to field with optimism knowing that we only had to take four wickets (apparently). Justin Bieber was eager to impress given the disappointment of his previous 17 albums, and aptly supported by the metronomic Garry Smith they bowled with great control conceding no more that 2-3 runs an over and picking up 3 wickets between them. With three wickets down, two Sissinghurst stalwarts attempted to take the game to us by eventually finding the boundary and slowly picking up some momentum. Jasper was a little off colour with his lengths and hampered by rolling his sleeves around his ears and cutting off circulation to both arms, and we needed a hero to emerge and put a halt to the deluge of forward defensive strokes from their middle order. Anything Moeen Ali can do at test level, a sixteen year old Alex Bartleet is more than capable of mimicking, and after 3 steady overs the baby faced assassin struck. Hat-tricks are a rarity even at village level and after dismissing their lead batsmen with some keen glove work from Charlie Sloan, Bartleet mopped up his next two first ball victims with a ferocious attack on the timbers. This took the wind out of the Sissinghurst chase and wickets fell at regular intervals to leave Sissinghurst 66 runs short of their target.

A special mention must go to the hat-trick hero Alex Bartleet, but this was a top team effort and a commanding victory over a competent opposition.

Newenden 1st XI v Winchelsea, 23 July 2017

Venue: Winchelsea

Result: Newenden lost by 5 wickets (Newenden 140 all out, J Piper 64*, Winchelsea 142-5, Smith 3-12)

Man of the Match: Jasper Piper

Played: 13 Won: 8 Drawn: 1 Lost: 4

For consecutive weeks a strong Newenden side managed to become the masters of their own downfall, by capitulating with the bat against a decent Winchelsea side.

Having won the toss and opting to bat, things started badly with form man Charlie Sloan guiding one to second slip, Browning followed shortly afterwards, caught out to a mistimed pull, then Morris fell LBW to the next delivery. Rummery then joined in, holing out to mid off without troubling the scorers. Newenden were now wobbling at 27-4. This brought Jasper Piper to the crease, who in tandem with Bourne, who scored the most impressive nine runs of his Newenden career, began to rebuild the innings, mixing aggression with a balanced amount of sense. Bourne was caught behind with the score now at 59-5. Jones Jnr then fell shortly afterwards, which brought Big Dave Gilmour to the wicket. There is always an air of excitement when Dave is involved in the game as you never quite know what is going to happen. He smashed the bowler back over his head for six, but was then unfortunately caught the next ball. Finn Piper scored a nice boundary and was then caught, which left the reliable Smith to partner the confident Jasper Piper through to 139, before Smith fell, and Bradney was bowled for a duck by their returning opener.

The weather was not looking promising, so we turned straight round, and decided to take tea after the game. The Winchelsea openers began well, with one in particular, deciding that he would get this over and done with before the rain came.He had seen them through to 72 before he was run out after a mix up (bear hug) with Big Dave at the bowlers end, after a conference between the umpires, he was given out, much to his dismay. Winchelsea continued to slowly edge towards their target, before the rain came down heavily when they were stranded at 133-3. The umpires called us off for tea. The weather improved enough for us to go back out to finish the game after tea, not before we took another couple of wickets, with Smith picking up 3-12 from a very tidy spell, and Finn Piper sending a stump cartwheeling down the ground.

It was a disappointing game, and could have been so different if our batting line up had performed, but c'est la vie. This week we travel to Sissinghurst, with high hopes of getting things back on track.

Newenden 1st XI v Eridge, 16 July 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden lost by five wickets (Newenden 189-9, R Gutteridge 30, H Gutteridge 25*, Eridge 193-5, Bartleet 3-46)

Man of the Match: Harry Gutteridge

Played: 12 Won: 8 Drawn: 1 Lost: 3

I will begin with happier news of Saturday's fantastic match against the touring Amsterdam Ladies team (please see picture above). Though I did not play myself, I witnessed the end of the game and the party atmosphere in the pub afterwards. It sounded like a wonderful day from start to finish.I hear that both Jasper Piper and Nick 'So you like a bit of spice?' Waterhouse made significant impressions, but for different reasons.

Well done to all involved, and special thanks to Ingrid and Ake for laying on a wonderful tea for our visitors.

I fear that Sunday's game may well have been a little anti-climactic after the revelry of Saturday and the team was not fired up to take on new opponents Eridge. After winning the toss and opting to bat the innings started well, with Harker and Browning both getting a start, but this was to be the tale of our innings, batsmen getting a decent start and not really going on to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The opening pair put on 32 before Browning fell for a quickfire 28. Harker continued to strike the ball nicely, but Eridge ripped out our middle order, with Waterhouse, Jones Jnr and Bourne going cheaply, the latter pair, without troubling the scorers. This brought the returning Gutteridge Snr to to the crease, who after a very nasty coffee related injury in the close season, was making his seasonal bow. He looked as if he had never been away, and began to dispatch the ball to all parts, he was ably assisted by Holland, who chipped in with an impressive 24, which included a couple of beautiful drives. Gutteridge fell for 30, to a decent catch in the deep, followed by the in form Smith, which left Newenden wobbling at 145-8. Morris then joined Gutteridge Jnr, and the pair put on 40-odd off the final few overs, including Gutteridge Jnr depositing one of their bowlers straight back over his head into the gardens beyond. Bartleet joined him for the final couple of overs and saw Newenden through to 189-9 off our allotted 40.

After tea, for which I would like to thank the Gutteridges for a magnificent spread, which included a splendid array of sandwiches and the scones were particularly tasty, the Eridge innings began unusually, with their opener pretty much walking, after being subjected to a couple of quicker balls from George 'Curtley Ambrose' Jones, saying that he wasn't wearing a lid and didn't fancy it. Smith then picked up their number 3 and they were teetering at 10-2, but they began to regroup. Their opener batted well and the others were happy to support him. A decent spell from Bartleet opened the door for us, picking 3 timely wickets, including a supremely confident catch from young Harry Gutteridge, but the opposition were always on top of the run rate and appeared to be in control. A tight spell from Gutteridge Snr was not enough to stop Eridge achieving their target with a over two overs to spare.

This is a game that we would win 9 out of 10 times, but that is cricket for you.

Next week we travel to Winchelsea, where JB will face his nemesis. I hope we can get back to winning ways.

Newenden U12 v Hailsham, 10 July 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 22 runs

Played: 5 Won: 5 Lost: 0

Quote of the day: "Nice Tommy H!! More dots than a Dalmatian!" from Braxton H at square leg.

The U12s continue to amaze. This was the first game where things really looked grim at one point for the NCC boys and our first loss looked imminent. And yet the lads still found a way to turn things round through sheer determination and some intelligent adaption to the way the pitch was playing. Subject to final verification, 5 wins from 5 plus a couple of cancellations puts NCC very much in the frame to claim the league title at first attempt.

Hailsham won the toss and chose to insert. Right from the off the pitch challenged the batsmens' technique and nerve. There were balls that simply had the batsman's name on it. Gutteridge and Taggart A were both bowled by balls pitching on a length and hitting the bottom of the off stump which were virtually impossible to repel. This coach's request for a track in the middle of the square was, in retrospect, a mistake as it meant we played on a pitch that the seniors had used 8 days earlier. However, the glass half full interpretation was that this really gave an insight into the mettle of the team as they really had to earn this W.

Gorman at 3 again hit some invaluable quick runs from the outset figuring that he needed to make hay before the inevitable unplayable ball materialised. Which it did. Taggart H almost decapitated the umpire with a glorious straight drive on his second ball before a wild swipe at his 3rd ball wiffed and the stumps went down. Durtnell and Bottle were then again required to knuckle down and do the unglamorous grunt work in the engine room of the innings. Both showed huge amounts of grit to somehow keep out the deliveries that misbehaved and nurdle the ball around the ground for singles and the odd boundary to keep the score board ticking over and make sure we batted out our full 20 overs. There were further grenades that went off on the pitch in the last 5 overs that claimed batsmens' wickets, a run out or two and by the end of 20 overs NCC had made 92 for 9. However this score looked worth double given the conditions and so it proved.

Taggart H and Gorman opened up the bowling. The pitch rewarded only very full pitched bowling of pace and both bowlers struggled to adjust their radar from the hard bouncy tracks they play their representative cricket on. There were a fair number of byes which began to mount up but this was in no way a reflection on the quality or bravery of the wicket keeping. Durtnell was in a situation as close to hell as it gets for a keeper, balls often hurtling through wide of off and leg stump at shin height from 2 genuine quick bowlers. However Durtnell stuck manfully to this thankless and often painful task armed with a pair of gloves that, given the size of his hands, looked about as big and padded as a pair of Marigolds.

Taggart H obliterated the stumps once in his third over and Gorman took a regulation loopy caught and bowled but the oppo raced to 50 odd for 2 in 7 overs as the pace of our opening bowlers was turned against us. It very much looked like this was not to be our day. The fielding was excellent with the Braxton twins particularly both putting their bodies on the line regularly but the match started very much to get away from us. Enter the talisman that is Master Hall whose bowling was instrumental in turning the tide. Hall immediately rattled the stumps twice and the game was back on with the self-assured oppo suddenly looking rattled. The other bowlers then warmed to the theme of stump to stump bowling. Gutteridge, Dear, and a returning Gorman all knocked the stumps back in a bonkers period where bails flew everywhere and runs dried up totally. Taggart A came on and bowled another offspin spell of great maturity. His first ball was flighted with drift to pitch outside off stump, gripped and turned and hit the top of off - a sublime delivery. In a seeming blink of the eye, the oppo went from being utterly in control to being skittled all out for under 70 with 3 overs to spare as our bowlers ran white hot. And the game was over.

As for man of the match - Durtnell could easily have got the nod for his batting and keeping or Hall for his bowling. But the man of the match this week has to go to Gutteridge for his cumulative excellence at the helm of the side as unbeaten league captain.

This may well be the last game hardball of the season as the players spread to the 4 winds. There will be a season report to sum things up after the Family Day at the end of August.

Suffice it to say that the coaches are amazingly proud to have been part of the league campaign. 99% of the credit needs to go to the boys - they have regularly beaten teams with squads 3 times the size. The NCC juniors, like the seniors, continue to punch massively above their weight. A splendid, splendid effort all round from every one of them. Very well done team!

Newenden 1st XI v Biddenden, 9 July 2017

(Date listed as 9/11 by our writer. Surely a slip of the pen...)

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 3 wickets (Biddenden 113 All Out, Balfour 5-13, Newenden 117-7, J Piper 25*)

Man of the Match: Angus Balfour

Played: 11 Won: 8 Drawn: 1 Lost: 2

Apologies for the delay in releasing the match report this week, it has taken me some time to try and gain some understanding at to what happened at the NCG on Sunday. After the thrashing that Biddenden had received at the hands of Newenden last season, the opposition had done some serious recruitment over the winter and arrived with what on paper, looked a very strong outfit, but as we all know no one has ever won anything on paper.

Having won the toss, Biddenden decided to bat and they started well. Rummery opened up from the top end, and entered into an intriguing duel with James Meddings, each over combined some fantastic batting strokes and some wonderful deliveries that beat the batsmen all ends up. Finn Piper, making his seasonal bow, opened up from the Pavillion End, and it was like he had never been away, settling into a beautiful rhythm. The Biddenden openers gave him a little punishment but this did not dissuade him from sticking to his lines and eventually they paid off, picking up the first wicket following an amazing catch by his brother Jasper, haring around the boundary rope at Long Off and taking a catch at full stretch and managing to tip toe inside the rope and avoid being knocked out by the sight screen in the process. At this point Biddenden were 48-1 off the first seven overs, but that was as good as it got for them. The turning point of the game came when young Angus Balfour replaced Rummery from the Top End, he picked up the dangerous Meddings with his first ball, assisted by a sharp catch by Waterhouse behind the stumps, he then proceeded to rip out the much vaunted Biddenden middle order for next to nothing, with a remarkable spell of 5-13 from just four overs. It was great to see one of our top prospects really fulfil his potential. Biddenden were left reeling and struggled through to 113 all out, with Jasper Piper and Garry Smith mopping up the tail.

After an elongated tea break, Newenden began their pursuit of what seemed a simple target. Things started well enough, with Waterhouse and Browning, another quality recent recruit, making solid progress to take Newenden to 39, before Browning was caught behind off a wonderful swinging delivery from Bradney. Harker followed shortly afterwards, trapped LBW for 4. Suddenly, there was a sense amongst the players and the crowd that this was not going to be so straight forward after all. That was certainly the case after 'Big Dave' Gilmour had come on at the Pavillion End, and picked up Waterhouse, followed by danger man Rummery and Wotton in quick succession. Newenden were now 75-5 and starting to wobble. Cuthbert was then dismissed without troubling the scorers, after receiving a corker which smashed the bail and it was game on. Jasper Piper then came to the crease and kept his head whilst those around him were losing theirs, he batted very sensibly, waiting for the bad balls which he dispatched with aplomb. Another wicket went down, but Biddenden never had quite enough runs to defend and Newenden skipper Smith smashed the winning runs to see them home.

Though a low scoring affair, it was a thoroughly enjoyable game of cricket, played in the right spirit, and watched by a good crowd.

In the meantime, I now have to go and see what Joe Root is doing the first Sunday in July next season.

Newenden U12 v Heathfield, 3 July 2017

Venue: Heathfield

Result: Newenden won by 53 runs

Played: 4 Won: 4 Lost: 0

Quote of the day: "That's a better delivery than Amazon Prime" from Taggart N behind the stumps.

The U12 juggernaut continues to gather momentum as Heathfield were the latest team to be barrelled aside last night.

NCC again won the toss and batted on a belter of a pitch that could have been drag and dropped from the WACA in Perth – rock hard and with tennis ball type bounce.

Captain Gutteridge delivered the type of innings we all knew he is capable of, leading from the front and swatting the opening bowlers for 30 runs with some brutal hitting, before being retired after just 4 overs. Taggart A played the accumulating stability role around which others went after the Heathfield attack. Gorman at 3, a belligerent all-rounder in the Stokes mould, had the freedom to attack from the get go and added some cleanly hit quickfire runs before being caught in the deep. Bottle then fell early, skittled all ends up by a pearler. Durtnell came to the crease and engineered his third unbeaten 30 in a row, caressing the ball to all parts with his signature late cut very much in evidence. Once Taggart had fallen and Durtnell was retired, Hall and Anthony in the middle order added another 30 between them at a decent clip. The run rate across the whole NCC innings was impressively rapid.

At the end of 20 overs NCC posted a total of 154 for the loss of 7 wickets.

NCC then took to the field. Special mention has to go to Taggart N who, aged 10, was thrust into the wicketkeeping role at the 11th hour and put in a spectacular shift. Taggart was keeping initially to Gorman who as a representative bowler hurling it down at 60mph+ was an absolute handful on this bouncy track, attacking the stumps and the batsmen's midriff and carrying through to the keeper chest high a good 15 yards behind the stumps.

This was a case of 'more of the same' excellence from our last match. Heathfield's run rate was strangled at source with impressive bowling from every player on the pitch backed up by an enthusiastic fielding performance. Once again the oppo were not close to the run rate at any point and the result was never in doubt. Wicket of the day was a spectacular catch by Anthony from an appalling Bottle full toss. Anthony shot out a hand to a marmalised drive at short mid-on in a purely instinctive reaction, which parried the ball up for him to then snaffle on the rebound. The look of incomprehension turning to joy as Anthony realised what he had pulled off was priceless.

After 20 overs Heathfield had made 100 for the loss of 4 wickets and another W was in the bag.

NCC will need to attack the stumps more in closer situations because the bowling was at times too good for the oppo to get nicks on and bowled/lbw must become the focus. We'll also need to backup a little better in the field as there were some Pythonesque overthrows towards the end of the Heathfield innings but to be fair to the lads, at this point the game was done and dusted and they were having some fun in the field.

Man of the match goes to Taggart N for leaping around like a demented salmon during his wicketkeeping heroics.

It's crunch time next week. We have Hailsham at home who by all accounts are the other Alpha Male team in the league. I'll be sending out another mail to see if we can drum up some support as a crowd would be fun. It'll be 6pm start Mon 10th July.

Newenden 1st XI v Penshurst Park, 2 July 2017

Venue: Penshurst Place

Result: Match Drawn (Newenden 287-7, Morris 61, Harker 54, Sloan 50, Penshurst Park 131-7, Holland 3-33, I Jones 2-15)

Man of the Match: Charlie Harker

Played: 10 Won: 7 Drawn: 1 Lost: 2

Well you will all be very glad to hear that he did it. Harker scored the fifty he had predicted and therefore did not have to honour his promise to retire if he hadn't. Well done Charlie.

With Benenden calling off at the eleventh hour, unable to raise a side, JB worked his fixture secretary magic and rustled us up a game against Penshurst Park. We have not played them before so were unaware that their ground was set in the most idyllic setting, amongst the rolling hills of the Penshurst estate, with the house as the backdrop.

Having won the toss, Jones Snr decided to bat. Newenden started well, with Morris and Sloan putting on 88 for the first wicket, before Morris fell for 61. This brought Harker to the crease, who was still in mourning at the loss of the Benenden fixture. He gently grew into his innings and started to find the middle of the bat. Sloan fell for 50 after another solid knock, which meant that Bourne joined Harker at the crease. After an eye catching little knock in the T20 last week, Bourne seemed to be in the mood for it, unfortuately he had not counted on the Penshurst secret weapon, their ten year old demon bowler. The little lad was barely taller than the stumps, but with his first delivery he totally out foxed Bourne and bowled him straight through the gate. In all fairness it was one hell of a delivery. Don't worry JB, at least you have your nemesis, the 12 year old girl from Winchelsea to look forward to in a couple of weeks. The Jones boys both played useful knocks, as did young Bartleet who finished on 30 not out, but the biggest cheer of the day (bar JB's dismissal) was saved for Harker as he brought up his half century. At tea Newenden had reached 287-7, a daunting total for the opposition.

It was clear from the off that Penshurst Park had one aim, and that was to survive. Showing no intention of taking on the target, it soon became an attritional game of cricket. Good spells from Bradney and Smith set the tone, with Smith picking up a couple of wickets in the process. Bartleet and Jones Jnr bowled tidy little spells, but were unable to draw the shot to create the chance that we needed. Time was running out, so Jones Snr threw the ball to Holland for his first bowl for the club. Holland told me on Saturday that he had decided to focus on spin bowling and had been working hard all night with some bowling tutorials on Youtube, well that is what he told his wife anyway. He bowled a wonderful spell, bamboozling the batsmen with a wide variety of lengths and lines. He picked up three wickets, one a sharp caught behind, with a delivery that dipped and bounced beautifully. Those wickets opened the door, but the overs were ticking down, so Jones Snr brought himself on and immediately got out their opening bat who had put up stoic resistance for over 30 overs. He picked up another wicket the next over, but it was too little too late, as we were unable to prize out the final few batsmen, with Penshurst Park finishing on 131-7.

It was a frustrating game, but one that we were glad to play, if only to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Next week sees my Biddenden team arrive at the NCG, hoping for a very different result from last year. I have a feeling there may be.

T20 - Newenden 1st XI v Gray Nicholls, 28 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 34 runs (Newenden 182, I Jones 34*, Morris 30, Bourne 30, Gray Nicholls 148, D Gilmour 3-20, S Piper 2-23)

Man of the Match: David Gilmour

Wednesday night saw the first home T20 of the season as Newenden took on Gray Nicholls. The weather had not been kind on the run up to the game, but we managed to squeeze out a match, on a damp NCG.

Having won the toss, Newenden opted to bat. Our innings started well, with Morris taking the attack to the opposition, scoring a quickfire 30 off 14 balls, before falling with the score at 31 after three overs. Wotton and Waterhouse maintained the momentum with some hefty strokeplay before they both fell in a matter of balls. Jasper Piper then fell first ball, with Gilmour and Sam Piper following shortly after, leaving the Newenden innings wobbling at 76-5. Bourne and Bradney began to consolidate, whilst we awaited the arrival of the Jones boys. Bourne and Bradney had put on 40 before Bourne fell for an eye catching 30. Alex Balfour departed without troubling the scorers, which brought Jones Snr to the crease. He set about the Gray Nicholls attack with gusto, and was joined for the final few overs by form batsmen Jones Jnr. They saw us through to a very respectable 182-9 from our 20 overs.

Gray Nicholls' innings started badly, with Bradney pushing one through and Waterhouse taking a remarkable one handed catch behind the stumps.Jasper Piper also picked up a wicket in his first over leaving the visitors floundering at 14-2 off the first two overs. The Newenden bowlers continued to build scoreboard pressure with good spells from Sam Piper and Will Wotton. Then came the masterstroke from skipper Ian Jones, bringing on 'Big' Dave Gilmour from the top end. He bowled a magnificent spell which bamboozled the Gray Nicholls' batsmen. He ended up with 3-20 off his four overs, with two close run out calls, the type of which the NCG have never seen before, with Big Dave taking out the bales, the stumps, the umpire and nearly the church with the first one. Jones Jnr came onto tie up the win, with Alex Balfour bowling the death over to see us home. Gray Nicholls were left 34 runs short of their target and Newenden were left enjoying their first win of the season in this format.

Well done to all involved. A great game and a fun evening.

Newenden 1st XI v Campbell XI, 25 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden lost by 4 wickets (Newenden 209, G Jones 58*, Cooke 50 - Campbell XI 210, A Campbell 56, Rummery 3-20)

Man of the Match: George Jones

Played: 9 Won: 7 Lost: 2

Yesterday,the NCG once again hosted a thrilling match with another very tight finish, but this time Newenden were unable to snatch the result we so badly wanted. Though if you are going to lose a game of cricket you may as well do it when up against some returning Newenden stars of the past.

After a break last season, the annual Campbell fixture returned with a bang, as an even larger crowd than usual were treated to a classic renewal. After arriving to catch the Newenden under 10's chalk up another victory for the all conquering juniors, both teams were set for an early start. The game was reduced to 35 overs per side with lunch between innings. The NCG looked resplendent as always and the conditions were perfect for a great day of cricket. Newenden won the toss and opted to bat. Things did not start well with Morris falling cheaply, followed by Harker, who is in a wretched vein of form and seems unable to buy a run, though he informs us he is very much focused on Benenden this Sunday which is a happy hunting ground for him.The fall of Harker meant the returning Cooke strolled to the crease with Newenden teetering at 25-2, he and Sloane consolidated for a period and then began to accumulate runs taking us up to 110 before Cooke fell for 50, holing out to Long Off. This brought young George Jones to the crease for the final ten overs, George decided it was time that the run rate stepped up a little and began to dismantle the Campbell bowling attack. Sloane was caught for 35, leaving Jasper Piper and Jones to continue the onslaught for the final five overs. 100 runs were scored off the final ten overs, with Jones scoring his maiden half century for the club, much to the joy of the crowd, and perhaps not to George Campbell who he had dispatched to all parts. Newenden finished their innings on 209-4.

After a truly wonderful lunch laid on by Dorian Campbell, which included one of the most delicious coronation chicken's I have had the pleasure to savour, the sides took to the field for the Campbell innings.

The openers set out their stall early, they were going to take on the bowling from the off and knock us out of our stride, and this they did. Angus Campbell smashed a quickfire 56 from the first eight overs, all in boundaries, not a single to be seen, a man after my own heart. This reduced the run rate to such an extent that the following batsmen could bat without pressure. Our bowlers were rattled by the aggressive nature of the stroke play and kept dropping the ball short and were punished accordingly. All of our bowlers produced some decent deliveries, but these were too few and far between to really trouble the Campbell line-up. Rummery came on 2nd change from the top end, and bowled a beautiful spell, probably the best we have seen him bowl this season, picking 3-20 from his 9 overs, but this was not enough to halt the Campbell march to victory, which they finally achieved with 8 balls to spare, with young Henry Cooke knocking the winning runs.

It was another great game, and one which everyone enjoyed being a part of. I would like to say a special thank you to Dorian for laying on such wonderful food throughout the day, not only was the lunch a delight, the tea was exquisite. with some of the most beautiful sandwiches and cakes we have seen this season, and that is saying something. Thank you.

We look forward to welcoming the Campbells back again next year, hopefully with a different result.

Catch the report next week to find out how Harker gets on against Benenden.

Newenden U10 v Cranbrook, 25 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won

Played: 1 Won: 1 Lost: 0

As we drove into the NCC ground at 9:30am, heart rates spiked somewhat. The whole Cranbrook side had arrived and were warming up already. CCC were fielding a strapping looking team of predominantly rising 10 year olds Year 5 kids.

The NCC team we were fielding had precisely zero Year 5s. Based on the makeup of our squad we were fielding a team of 6 Year 4s, 4 Year 3s and even one precociously talented 6 year old from Year 1. So the average age of our side was about 8 and a half years old playing against a team whose average age was 10 which is a huge difference in terms of cricketing development. For most of our team this was their first ever hard ball game in the middle requiring pads, a helmet etc. One would have thought this was to be a very daunting challenge.

However any worry that the NCC boys would not hold their own was misplaced. Every boy seemed to grow a foot in height as they took to the field.

NCC batted first. The format was 5 pairs of batsman batting 4 overs each with a wicket counting as a minus 5 run penalty rather the dismissal sending the player back to the hutch. Every boy did themselves proud against a proper bowling attack. Given their size, some of the boys arrived at the crease looked like a walking pair of pads with a helmet perched precariously on top. Wickets fell but runs scored always outweighed the penalties which was no mean feat under the circumstances. Running between the wickets was remarkably secure given the level of experience.

Taggart and Bottle led the way the top of the order. Preston, Price, Ure and Wellesley struck some fine shots. Every one of the boys showed a lot of pluck and at the close of 20 overs NCC had an incredibly hard earned score of 134 to defend.

NCC then took to the field. Edmondson, Hilman, Baxter and Andrews bowled particularly fine spells. The format required a bowling contribution from everybody and the pressure of the match situation only seemed to bring out the best in all the boys. The number of extras was extraordinarily low which was an amazing effort. Special mention has to go to Freddie Furnival who aged 6 bowled a couple of immaculate overs including a ball which pitched on middle and off and hit the top of off stump.

Cranbrook had some talented batsman and they approached our score with 3 or 4 overs to go at which point the result looked beyond us. However the NCC boys simply refused to let the oppo get past our total. Fielding ultimately won the game for NCC with a superb all-round effort from everybody especially at the death. Furnival, Andrews and Taggart all made wicket taking fielding plays including 2 spectacular direct hit run outs in a nail-biting finale enjoyed by a big crowd gathered before the seniors match.

So the entire team below should take a bow - every one of them performed magnificently. It was an incredibly brave effort with proud coaches and parents with lumps in their throats all round. It would be impossible to pick a man of the match so all 11 players receive the accolade.

Newenden U12 v Robertsbridge, 20 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 62 runs

Played: 3 Won: 3 Lost: 0

Quote of the day: "More misses than Henry VIII" was the shout of the match from Gutteridge behind the stumps as the oppos' batsmen played and missed repeatedly.

The unbeaten run continues with another imperious win.

Rugby coaches on TV bang on about the importance of progression over a season because momentum in team development is key. The NCC boys are ticking all the boxes in this regard. This really was the most complete performance so far against an opposition that was a big step up in quality from the 2 previous games.

Captain Gutteridge won the toss yet again and elected to bat. Winning all the tosses so far and batting first has been very handy to ensure our batsman get a decent hit out.

The openers managed to take the shine off the ball but we were soon 2 down for not many and faltering early. Enter Bottle and Durtnell who proceeded to score at a run a ball without seeming to take any risks whatsoever. Neither boys are big of build or mighty hitters but their timing and placement more than makes up for their diminutive stature. The good balls from a talented and at times pacy bowling attack were very capably taken care of, the strike was rotated and the bad balls were dispatched to the boundary. The partnership was a thing of beauty for the purists. A deft latest of late cuts from Durtnell for a boundary and a blistering cover drive on the up for four from Bottle were shots to live in the memory. Both boys were retired on 30 apiece in a partnership of well over 60 including extras which added another 20 or so based on some excellent running of byes between the wickets. By this point the innings was setup at around 100 for 1 with two retirees.The Braxton twins added a handful of valuable runs too in the last few overs and NCC set a very creditable target of 127 at a strike rate of over 100 for the loss of 3 wickets.

NCC then took the field. Gorman, making his first appearance, bowled a fiery spell down the hill picking up one of the openers and giving away precious few runs. Hall from the bottom end bowled his usual impeccable line and length and was miserly in terms of economy - he is the bedrock around which the bowling attack is built on each week. After 6 overs from our openers the oppo were only on about 15 for 1 and already starting to feel the pressure. Everyone got a bowl and the screw was mercilessly turned and then turned again. Taggart A's controlled flight on his offspinners would have done a bowler twice his age proud, Anthony and Braxton H bowled with bristling aggression and Taggart N, Gutteridge and Morrell mixed it up. Our fielders swooped, dived and backed up in support of the bowlers generating a virtually impenetrable ring of steel in the field. The Robertsbridge batsmen clearly had very solid techniques but they were made to freeze like rabbits in the headlights as the run rate was totally strangled.

Only two more wickets were taken, one by Bottle who bowled a nagging length spell and the stand out wicket was from Braxton A who took a superb caught and bowled snapped up from a full blooded low straight drive.

Robertsbridge were never at the races on the run rate and after 20 overs finished, looking somewhat shellshocked, on 65 for 3.

The spirit in the field was excellent and the banter creative.

There could have been a number of choices for man of the match but the single outstanding moment was Braxton A's catch of his own bowling so he takes the accolade on behalf of the entire team who dominated the opposition.

A splendid all round performance!

Newenden 1st XI v Little Common, 18 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 34 runs (Newenden 194-6, Scowen 83*, F Smith 38, Little Common 160 all out, J Piper 4-39, Wotton 3-41, Collingwood 2-9)

Man of the Match: Harry Scowen

Played: 8 Won: 7 Lost: 1

The sun shone brightly on the NCG yesterday as Newenden continued to build on their burgeoning reputation as one of the leading village sides in the area, with another convincing win over a decent Little Common side.

Little Common were one of the teams to beat us last year, so we needed little motivation to set the record straight. After winning the toss it was a straight forward decision to bat, as we had a line-up that was loaded with runs. Little Common were up for this game too and we knew from the off that we had a game on our hands. The innings started poorly with Morris holing out softly with the score on 16. Sloane and Waterhouse consolidated, but we found ourselves stifled, not only by the heat but the opposition bowling. We had crept through to 58-1 from the first 20 when Sloan was bowled, which brought Scowen to the crease. Playing his first game for the club this season, Scowen was happy to play himself in and build an innings. Waterhouse departed after scoring a decent 20, followed by Collingwood, which meant that Fred Smith strolled to the middle to join Scowen, with the score tittering at 67-4. This was the partnership that changed the innings, and the match. Smith was the initial aggressor, taking on the bowling with some belligerent striking of the cricket ball, then Scowen joined in. Smith finally fell with the score at 164, with the pair nearing their century partnership, which had only taken ten overs to achieve. Scowen continued to knock the Little Common attack about and we ended up on a respectable 194-6 from our allocation.

Momentum was with Newenden going into the second innings, and we made it pay immediately. An outstanding spell of seam bowling from Collingwood set the tone, and he was supported by the ever dependable Smith who settled into a beautiful rhythm from the Pavillion End. Some superb work from Sloan, stumping their opener with incredible speed, seemed to rattle the opposition, and a flurry of wickets followed, with Collingwood picking up two in quick succession, including a very sharp caught behind, leaving them reeling at 10-3. Jasper Piper replaced Collingwood from the Top End and once again proved that he has the uncanny knack of taking wickets when you most need them, he bowled a variety of deliveries in each over, never allowing the batsmen to settle. Little Common were starting to fall behind the required rate, and scoreboard pressure was starting to tell. A tight little spell from Scowen created even greater pressure on the lower order batsmen, which enabled Wotton to pick up 3-41 bowling from the other end, a little wayward at times, when he got it right, he bowled beautifully and took three key wickets, including a wonderful catch by Waterhouse, charging in like a man possessed from the deep cover boundary. Eventually the Little Common innings was wrapped up when Piper picked up his final wicket, finishing with 4-39, and Little Common 34 runs short of their target.

It was another great win, and another great day.

Next week we see the return of the annual Campbell fixture, it is always a fantastic event and promises to be an interesting contest. We hope to see as many of you down at the NCG as possible.

Newenden 1st XI v Tenterden, 11 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 19 runs ( Newenden 166 all out, Smith 63*, Tenterden 147 all out, I Jones 3-18, Bradney 2-9)

Man of the Match: Garry Smith

Played: 7 Won: 6 Lost: 1

They say that lightening never strikes twice, well that rule has been well and truly rewritten over the past few weeks at the NCG, as Newenden secured their third last gasp victory in as many weeks.

Yesterday the NCG crowd were treated to a low scoring but fascinating game of cricket, where Newenden once again showed a true desire to win combined with a never say die attitude. Tenterden had arrived at the NCG hoping to chalk up their first victory over the NCC for three years, and you could see from their team selection that they meant business. Having lost the toss and been put into bat the Newenden openers were faced with the daunting prospect of taking on Tenterden's Saturday first team opening bowler who appeared to be pumped up for the contest. Sloane and Morris played patiently, waiting for the lose deliveries to pick up boundaries. The pair looked untroubled as they took Newenden through to 49 for no loss off the first ten overs. A change of bowling did the trick for Tenterden, as a loss of concentration saw Morris clean bowled, this lead to a flurry of quick wickets with Newenden left reeling at 55-5, with Bourne and Waterhouse departing without troubling the scorer. We have not experienced a collapse like that for some time, and it seemed to be catching, as each batsmen continued to give away their wicket cheaply. That was until defiant number nine Smith strode to the crease at 88-7. Smith batted with a controlled aggression and patience that put the top order to shame. Smith was dispatching the bowling to all parts, but was quickly running out of partners, and at 112-9 we saw young Alex Bartleet join him in the middle. Bartleet batted superbly in the supporting role, and the pair added 54 for the last wicket, with Bartleet finally going to a particularly quick delivery from the returning opening bowler. Newenden had somehow got through to 166, which gave us something to defend.

Once again, I must digress here, and make reference to another absolutely fabulous tea provided by Nicola and Toby Holland, two of our most dedicated supporters.To follow Harker's efforts last week was a tough ask, but they certainly delivered, with Toby's pulled pork tacos, with optional spicy sauce proving to be a particular talking point amongst the grateful masses. If we continue to turn out catering of this standard, it will not be long til we make it into the Michelin guide. Thank you guys.

Once we had managed to turn our thoughts away from the tea, we set about focusing on the job in hand. We knew that we would have to bowl Tenterden out to stand any chance of winning the match. We started well with Bradney bowling a gem of a spell from the top end, only going for 9 runs off his six overs, and picking up one of their openers to boot. Jasper Piper bowled a tidy spell from the pavillion end, but was then replaced by the irrepressible Smith. Bowling 8 overs on the spin, and picking up figures of 2-33 in the process, including a very sharp one handed caught and bowled, the man was on fire. The Tenterden number three appeared to be very comfortable though, and the other batsmen seemed happy to bat round him, as the run rate was still very manageable. A useful little burst from Jones Jnr saw another wicket fall, with Sloan taking a very sharp caught behind, which left them wobbling at 83-5. The game then took a massive turn, we were exerting a decent bit of control on the game and Smith had bowled his allocation, so skipper JB threw the ball to Harker, who had been looking pretty tasty in the nets (according to Harker), what followed next was anything but tasty. A series of head high beamers and full tosses, lead to the over going for 30 runs, which is pretty hard at Newenden as sixes rarely come into the equation. This opened the door to Tenterden in a big way. Unsurprisingly Harker did not receive a second over. By this point Jones Snr was settling into a beautiful rhythm from the top end, and really exerting some pressure on their batsmen, he finished with exceptional figures of 3-18 from his allocation. Bartleet replaced Harker from the Pavillion End, which was an inspirational change, as he bowled an amazing spell of six overs, 2-17, including one of the moments of the match. Bowling at their main batsmen, who was set on 73, Bartleet drew a big shot from him out towards deep mid wicket, the sun was setting so it was almost impossible to see the ball coming, but Jones Snr, leapt high and plucked the ball out of the air one handed, just stopping himself and the ball crossing the boundary rope, it was a remarkable piece of cricket. With that wicket went Tenterden's chance, with the returning Bradney picking up the last wicket with a second catch by the outstanding Piper in the field.

It was a great result, and a really satisfying one.

What a match, what a performance, what a team.

Newenden 1st XI v Ashburnham, 4 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 5 wickets (Ashburnham 210 all out, Rummery 4-31, Newenden 214 - 5, J Piper 59*, Morris 47)

Man of the Match: Jasper Piper

Played: 6 Won: 5 Lost: 1

Matchday Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHskWy2mCp

The NCG is fast becoming the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. Yesterday our growing fan base were treated to another humdinger of a game. The nail-biting win over Northiam was always going to be a hard act to follow, but yesterday's dramatic victory over Ashburnham ran it close.

As the teams arrived the NCG was bathed in sunshine, and the track and outfield looked immaculate. This was a new fixture for the club, so you never quite know what to expect. The opposition looked professional and youthful, which is always a concern, as those are two attributes that few of our more regular opponents possess. After we had solved the conundrum of having three umpires for one game, with Newenden providing two and Ashburnham bringing their own, I said they were professional, the game began.

Ashburnham won the toss and opted to bat. Fielding first would never be our choice, but Newenden set about the task with our accustomed vigour and verve. Our teenage opening bowlers Angus Balfour and George Jones settled quickly into a beautiful rhythm, with the first ten overs flying by, with very few runs being scored and Jones picking up a wicket with his first delivery of the day, following a great catch from a retreating Cuthbert. Ashburnham started to score more steadily but were losing wickets at regular intervals, with Piper picking up a couple and Bradney chipping in with one from his customary tight eight over spell. The opposition then put together a decent partnership for the fifth wicket, which moved their total up towards a decent mark. Rummery came on for a quick burst, bowling a far steadier pace due to a back injury, but still picked up four wickets for his troubles. Sloan was once again impeccable behind the stumps, taking three very sharp chances standing up.Some hefty blows at the end of the innings saw Ashburnham finish up on 210 all out, which was a challenging yet gettable target.

I must now give special mention to Charlie 'Scotch Eggs' Harker, who was making his debut on tea duty yesterday, and what a fantastic job he did too. Making everything from scratch. It was a beautiful tea, with homemade scotch eggs infused with black pudding, bbq spare ribs, a plethora of sandwiches with the piece de resistance being the courgette and lime cake. A triumph Charlie.

The Newenden innings began well, Morris and Sloan were happy to take on what was a pretty decent attack. They were well up with the run rate before Morris fell for 47, attempting to bring up his fifty with an overly ambitious stroke. Sloan and Rummery continued to build, before Rummery was run out to a very close call. Harker smashed a couple a good boundaries, though I feel his mind was elsewhere, perhaps pondering what could have been if the scones had made it through the journey. Sloan then fell caught behind for a defiant 24, which brought Jasper Piper and Nick Waterhouse together. They began to build a steady partnership, keeping the run rate within reach. Some strong hitting from Piper saw Newenden up to 170 with five overs left. Waterhouse went after scoring a very important 25, which brought Captain Jones to the crease. A few more heavy blows from both batsmen saw us home with five balls to spare.

It was a fantastic game of cricket, and a pleasure to be part of. A great day.

The tough games keep coming, with next week Tenterden rolling into town. I suggest you get your tickets early.

Newenden U12 v Herstmonceux, 2 June 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 72 runs

Played: 2 Won: 2 Lost: 0

After a couple of cancellations by the opposition, our match hungry U12s finally got to play their second game.

Friday evening at 6pm was a popular choice for another fixture in the sun. The oppos' parents circumspectly sipped on mugs of tea whilst our Mum's, many fresh from the Riviera leg of their summer tour, tore into a seemingly endless supply of Prosecco.

The match was a rout with NCC dominating Herstmonceux with the bat, the ball and in the field. It was again an excellent all round team effort.

NCC won the toss and chose to bat. Openers Gutteridge and Taggart (A) both got starts as NCC raced to 30 in the first few overs. Gutteridge then missed a straight one and Taggart was run out to by a direct hit from the deep. Bottle and Durtnall consolidated and built the biggest partnership of the innings before Bottle was triggered by his father and Durtnall had to retire on 30. A couple more wickets fell cheaply before Taggart (N) then smote a few boundaries and the innings closed with NCC on 120.

Horstmonceux's batting lineup was then systematically dismantled and were all out for 48. 9 bowlers contributed with 7 of them taking wickets. Bond was impressive on debut and Macdonald bowled a very tidy spell. However the consistently excellent Hall produced the best figures of the day - 2 overs, 2 maidens, 2 wickets for nowt. This earned Hall joint man of the match shared with Durtnall.

The catching was again flawless which is a coaches delight.

Hailsham have cancelled (league teams running scared?) and we are then into exam season so there will be another hiatus before the next match.

Newenden 1st XI v Northiam, 28 May 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 8 runs (Waterhouse 68, Morris 61, Collingwood 6-41)

Man of the Match: Reuben Collingwood

Played: 5 Won: 4 Lost: 1

What a difference a week makes. A pretty healthy crowd enjoyed a fantastic game of cricket at the NCG yesterday. The match swung back and forth like a pendulum throughout the afternoon with Newenden finally taking a very tense affair by a very small margin.

Having lost the toss and being put in to bat, Newenden set about their business efficiently. After a tight first few overs, mainly down some decent quick bowling from Northiam, Newenden began to release the shackles and build what was to be a very decent platform for the innings. Morris started to strike the ball cleanly and Waterhouse was maintaining a healthy scoring rate too, which took us through to 112 before Morris went for 61, caught in the deep attempting one shot too many. The Newenden innings continued to build momentum, with the stoic Waterhouse refusing to give up his wicket cheaply, there were some useful cameos from Jasper Piper (to whom special mention must go for turning out yesterday under extreme pressure - thanks Jasper) and Reuben Collingwood. The scoreboard continued to tick over, and after Waterhouse finally fell for 68 in the 36th over, debutant Will Wotton smashed an eye catching 26 to take our total up to a very competitive 229.

After a wonderful tea from Joy Rummery, Northiam came out to bat. Young Angus Balfour bowled superbly, opening up from the top end, he had their openers in his back pocket, bowling wonderful lines at a pretty sharp pace. His six overs only went for a miserly 11 runs. Smith bowled with his usual consistency, with a tight opening spell from the Pavillion End. The breakthrough came after a mix up, and our run out specialist Jasper Piper did the rest. This brought their star batsmen to the crease and the balance of the game begun to change. He started to take on our bowling and quickly moved through to 50, and barring one tough chance for a caught behind, offered us very little. Their number four started to tuck in as well and suddenly our grip on the game started to slip. We shuffled our pack and tried a few new bowlers, but the result was the same. Then Collingwood came onto to bowl from the Pavillion End and things started to happen, he got the first breakthrough removing their big hitting number four, then started to dismiss the new batsmen at regular intervals. Their main man had now cruised through to his hundred and we knew if we could not get him out, we would lose the game. Finally he holed out to a wonderful catch by Will Wotton at Long On. We still had work to do, as they only need 20 from the last 8 overs. The Northiam batsmen started to pick out our fielders and we all held our catches, with Harker taking a stunner at mid wicket, and George Jones taking a very sharp chance standing up behind the stumps. Finally with 8 runs needed and still three overs to bowl, their captain picked out the exceptional Jasper Piper in the deep and the match was won.

It was a great game of cricket, and one that was thoroughly enjoyable to play in. Once again we showed that we have the resilience to hang in there and turn games round.

Well done to all involved.

Newenden 1st XI v Langton Green, 21 May 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Langton Green won by 57 runs

Played: 4 Won: 3 Lost: 1

In what appeared to be Groundhog Day, Langton Green inflicted the first loss of the season on a below par Newenden side. Having lost to the same opposition last season, one of only three defeats, we were keen to make amends this year. The day started badly, losing one of our top batsmen, Andy Wenman, to illness late in the day, but that was no excuse, as we still had a pretty strong side out.

Having lost the toss, the opposition opted to bat on what proved to be a tricky playing surface, this was due to the amount of rain that we had had in the week prior. Newenden started well, containing their openers with tight spells from both Bradney and Smith. The variable bounce contributed to plenty of mistimed strokes, none of which went to hand. Smith finally made the breakthrough with a decent caught and bowled in the 10th over. The other Langton Green opener decided that he would take on our attack and quickly moved through to his fifty. We finally got our man, when Jasper Piper, bowling his first spell at the NCG since returning from New Zealand, dug one in and the shot ballooned up to mid on, where a retreating Ian Jones took a very decent catch.

Rummery and Piper continued to bowl tight lines, with the odd loose delivery, but Newenden were in the ascendency, especially after Piper took his second wicket, knocking the middle stump clean out of the ground in the process. This brought the Langton Green skipper to the wicket, who very much favours the power game over the quick single. Once he found his rhythm, he started to strike the ball well, twice depositing Rummery back over his head into the gardens behind.

After a quickfire innings, he was finally run out attempting a quick one to Jasper Piper, whose throw left a lot of work still to do, but Waterhouse made it look easy. The very next ball saw a carbon copy run out, once again with some sharp work from Waterhouse. This put Newenden firmly in the driving seat. The Jones' were now bowling in tandem and exerting some much needed control on proceedings , with Ian Jones ending up with 2-18 from his 6 overs. Langton Green saw out the rest of their allocation, just creeping up to 202.

A getable target, especially with the outfield drying out in the afternoon sunshine, Newenden were optimistic that we could chase down their total. Waterhouse saw the side off to a flyer, getting us up to 25 off the first three overs before Morris was dismissed. Unfortunately Waterhouse followed shortly afterwards. Bourne and Rummery consolidated for a period, but never really got going. We began to lose wickets at regular intervals with none of the Newenden batsmen willing to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Rummery fell for 20, Jasper Piper looked assured for his 19 before picking out the fielder at deep mid wicket, but this was the tale of the day. Newenden finally were all out for 145, with Toby Holland the last man standing after scoring his first runs for the club.

These days happen in cricket, and we will come back stronger, as we are used to winning and it is a habit that we enjoy. Next week sees our local rivals Northiam coming to town, let's see what we can do then.

Newenden U12 v Bexhill, 8 May 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 24 runs

The first NCC junior league game took place last night when the U12s played Bexhill at home. The weather all day had been more rugby than cricket season but at about 4pm the sun fought its way through and the game, which started at 6pm, took place in glorious spring sunshine. The ground looked magnificent.

NCC won the toss and batted first. The pitch was an archetypal track for the time of year - slow and low with some lateral movement off the deck. This provided a good competition between batsman and bowler which was great to watch.

Captain Gutteridge got a start as opener but wickets soon fell in alarming succession. Bottle in at 5, and feeling very under the weather with nausea and a headache, steadied the ship laying the foundations to get the innings back on track before a run out dismissal. Pleasingly the tail wagged hard with the Braxton boys pitching in and Hall batting at 10 scoring 20 invaluable runs which was a superb effort. A total of 99 looked eminently defendable given the conditions and the fact that this was the 1st match of the season for both sides.

NCC took to the field with 10 men as Bottle had seemingly succumbed to his lurgy. Bexhill had an impressive opening batsmen who struck a powerful 30 in the first 10 overs before being retired as per the league rules. However wickets fell with monotonous regularity around the mainstay of the Bexhill batting lineup. All the bowlers pitched in with a wicket or two as the innings progressed. The cliche that catches win matches was never more evident as the fielders supported their bowlers with velcro-handed acrobatics - not a chance was spilled. It really was a team effort all round in the field and included tidy keeping from Taggart A. Bexhill never looked like getting over the line and the return of their star batsmen from retirement was not enough as the NCC bowlers cleaned up the tail around him bowling the oppo out for 75 and an emphatic win.

Special (and nepotistic??!!) mention must go to man of the match Bottle who, Lazurus-like, came off his deathbed halfway through the bowling innings to rejoin the field, got a hat-trick in his first 3 balls (although this included 1 no-ball wicket) having also scored some runs. He then went home and straight to bed...

There is plenty to work on with a focus required on not giving wickets away when batting to poor deliveries. And we will face far stiffer competition in the weeks to come. But this was a very promising first effort and the boys should all be very proud of their collective performance.

Newenden 1st XI v Goudhurst, 7 May 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Played: 2 Won: 2

NCC followed on from last week with another resounding win. Goudhurst won the toss but decided to put NCC into bat hoping for some early blood. This never looked like happening with Morris returning as our specialist opener smashing an impressive early season 60, including one wet one. Assisted by Waterhouse and then the ever reliable Sloane hitting his second 50 in 2 games. Rummery fresh back from the Sissinghurst hot house quickly whacked the ball around the ground pushing our total to 244 off 40 overs.

We opened the bowling with 2 of our rising stars, ex contemparies Balfour & Jones. Balfour showing some aggressive pace proving too good for most of their top order. All our bowlers played a part, Jones snr and Cuthbert, but Smith stole the show cleaning up with 3 wickets and claiming the cap from Bourne.

Goudhurst were always on the runrate but just ran out of wickets.

We welcome Wittersham back next week, last chance for a run out before the big league teams join the fray.

Batting Cap : Charlis Sloane

Bowling cap : Garry Smith

Champagne moment: Debut appearance for Hunter, last seen coursing a greyhound across the pitch during the 21st over, just entered him into the Waterloo cup!

Newenden 1st XI v Rolvenden, 30 April 2017

Venue: Home - NCG

Result: Newenden won by 6 wickets - Rolvenden 216 all out

Played: 1 Won: 1

Newenden had a great start to their 2017 campaign, rolling league side Rolvenden over with ease. Rolvenden won the toss and decided to bat. Clearly not party to our youth winter net sessions, and taken by surprise by the juniors, Jones, Bartlett and Cyster all tearing through the top order with class and pace picking up a couple of wickets each. Supported by the old guard, Smith and Bourne with the later laying an early claim on the bowling cap with a 3 for.

Newenden never looked troubled chasing 217, returning top order batsman Waterhouse started to build, then Sloane and Wenman back from training camp both hit half centuries, Sloane unbeaten.

Big Dave coming in at the end to strike some massive blows making it look easy, taking us past their score with overs and wickets to spare. This was a brilliant NCC win, displaying our strength in depth.

For our first game the track played as well as any, hopes are high for some big scoring games. The day was completed with a splendid tea from Holly & Jonathan.

Bring on Goudhurst.

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