Match Reports

Newenden 1st XI v Winchelsea, 22 July 2018

Venue: NCG

Result: Newenden won by 185 runs (Newenden 334-6, Piper J 131*, Rummery 88, Winchelsea 149-8, Knowler 2-10, Gutteridge 2-11, Smith 2-25, Boland 2-29)

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

Man of the Match: Jasper Piper

Sunday saw Newenden set the record straight in emphatic style. Having been beaten by Winchelsea for the past two seasons, we turned the tables in convincing fashion, posting our highest score since we started playing the 40 over format.

Having lost the toss, we were put into bat, which would have been our choice anyway. Things didn't start too well with Morris holing out to long off in the sixth over. This brought Browning to the crease, who began where he left off last week and had smashed 41 in no time, before being caught well at mid on. By this point Rummery was constructing a decent innings at the other end, showing a fine balance between attack and defence. Gutteridge came and went, leaving us wobbling at 98-3. Enter Jasper Piper, who was in much need of a decent knock. He was to put that right in no uncertain terms. He and Rummery began to deposit the ball to all parts, before Rummery was dismissed following an incredible one handed catch by their cover fielder, he had scored an impressive 88, and the pair had put on 98 for the fourth wicket. Piper continued the onslaught, and was ably assisted by young George Jones, who chipped in with an eye-catching 37. Piper passed his ton, then carried on to amass 131 not out, seeing us through to 334-6 at tea.

We enjoyed another superb tea, this time supplied by the Gutteridges, which included a delicious range of sandwiches and a plethora of home made cakes to die for. Thank you very much Jet.

Bradney and Smith started well with the ball, the former having their opener dropped from a sharp chance in the slips. Smith then got his man, trapping him plumb in front. He then picked up their number three, who played one shot too many and picked out Piper in the deep, who took a great catch. Knowler then came on from the top end, making his debut for the club, and picked up where he left off in the Biddenden game. He picked up two quick wickets, both clean bowled. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, with Gutteridge bowling a lovely spell which was complimented nicely by Boland at the other end. They picked up a couple each, which saw Winchelsea limp through to 149-8 from their allocation.

It was another solid performance, that was once again played with a great spirit from both sides, an enjoyable day all round.

Next up with have a double header next weekend, playing a touring side on Saturday and then Sissinghurst on the Sunday.

Newenden 1st XI v Bodiam, 15 July 2018

Venue: NCG

Result: Newenden won by 132 runs (Newenden 283- 5, Browning 150*, Bodiam 151 All Out, Boland 4-52)

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

Man of the Match: Ben Browning

We welcomed Bodiam to the NCG for the first time in many years and put in a clinical performance.

Having won the toss and opted to bat, it became apparent that we would be looking for a big total from our allocation. Having lost Morris cheaply, playing all round a straight won [sic], Sloan and Browning set about amassing a daunting total. Browning was in the mood, having been dropped twice before getting off the mark, he certainly made Bodiam pay. He showed no mercy to any of the opposition attack and had raced through to his century within the first 25 overs. Sloan finally fell for 33, with the score at 152-2. Browning continued to smash the ball about, with the other batsmen largely spectators at the other end. He brought up his 150 with 7 overs to spare, and then retired. Our other guys hit some decent strokes and took us through to an imposing 283-5 at the break.

After another wonderful tea, this time provided by Ingrid and Ake, which included a delicious coronation chicken and small glasses of gazpacho, which elevated their offering to a different level. We are fast becoming as notorious for our teas as we are for the success of the side.

The Bodiam innings started reasonably, with their captain determined to play his shots. Bradney bowled a very tidy spell from the top end and was complimented by the ever dependable Smith from the pavilion end. Their efforts were rewarded with a wicket a piece from their spells. Bodiam were struggling to stay up with the run rate and first change bowler Boland, took full advantage of this, drawing several loose shots. He picked up 4-52 from his spell, and dropped a simple caught and bowled which would have got his name on the honours boards. I am sure he will have other opportunities. The returning Wotton bowled a nice spell, as did Jasper Piper, no mean feat considering the state they were in the night before. The final wicket fell, when Holland picked up their top batsmen with an excellent dipping delivery, leaving Bodiam 151 all out.

It was a fun game, played with a great spirit. Next week we welcome Winchelsea to the NCG on the back of two defeats in the past two seasons. Time to right that record.

Newenden 1st XI v Biddenden, 8 July 2018

Venue: NCG

Result: Biddenden won by 142 runs (Biddenden 218 All Out, Rummery 3-21, Newenden 76 All Out)

Played: 9 Won: 6 Drawn: 1 Lost: 2

Man of the Match: Karl Rummery

After two years of hurt, cricket finally came home yesterday, as my Biddenden side dismantled a strong looking Newenden team.

With Biddenden being soundly beaten for the past two seasons, we had to make sure that we chalked up our first win at the NCG.

Smith won the toss for Newenden and opted to put Biddenden into bat. Within the first few overs this was looking like a very shrewd decision. Rummery and Finn Piper opened up and bowled some very tight, disciplined quick bowling. Returning Newenden starlet, James Meddings was first to go, caught behind by an amazing catch from Sloan off Rummery. Finn Piper then got in the act, drawing a loose shot from the Biddenden number three, who was caught at short cover without troubling the scorers.

It continued to get worse when Morris was caught at first slip, with Gilmour taking a wonderful low catch off Rummery. Biddenden were reeling at 28-3 and it looked like the inevitable hat trick was on the cards. Step forward Dan Edwards. Batting within himself, he began to take on the change bowlers, then gradually increased his strike rate. Ably supported, first by Fred Smith and then by Jim Piper, Edwards had charged through to 91 in no time, with some of the cleanest hitting you will see. He had taken a particular liking to Gilmour, who had the last laugh though as he finally got his man after a superb diving catch by Jasper Piper at deep mid wicket.

Biddenden had the momentum now and their lower order continued the onslaught, which saw them through to 218 All Out, without using their 35 allocated overs.

After a delicious tea, thank you Clare. Newenden set about their chase.

Bradney, opened up the bowling for Biddenden, and soon had the Newenden debutant Russell-Vick in trouble. Edwards was bowling beautifully from the other end and was asking a lot of questions without many answers. Bradney then got the breakthrough, clean bowling Russell-Vick with a cracking inswinging delivery. Browning then came to the crease, and hit a couple of nice shots before having his bails removed by a beautiful delivery from first change Angus Knowler. This is where the Newenden innings began to unravel, Knowler had his tail up and picked up a four further wickets for next to nothing, sending Rummery, Jones Jnr, Jasper Piper and Simpson back to the pavilion after brief excursions to the crease. Knowler ended up with figures of 5-9 from 4 overs, a very impressive display.

The Newenden tail were left with too much to do, and after a late cameo from Gilmour, who smashed some eye-catching shots they were all out for 76. The lowest total a Newenden side has posted for many a year.

It was a great game, between two well matched sides, and we look forward to the renewal next season.

Newenden 1st XI v Benenden, 1 July 2018

Result - Newenden won by 84 runs (Newenden 276-6, Morris 100*, Jones Snr 44, Benenden 192 All Out, Gilmour 4-36)

A brief summary of the game. Newenden won the toss and opted to bat.Morris and Jones Jnr put on 52 for the first wicket, before Jones was bowled by a good slower ball. Simpson and Jones Snr made some solid contributions as we amassed 276 from out 40 overs, with Morris scoring his maiden ton for the club.

After a cracking tea from Big Dave and Frankie, we took to the field. Benenden started solidly with only one wicket going down in the first ten overs. Then debutant Stuart Edlin came on and picked up two wickets in two balls and opened the game right up. Benenden continued to hit the ball about but were losing wickets at regular intervals, with Gilmour picking up 4-36 from his spell. Benenden were finally all out for a valiant 192.

It was a fun game, played with a great spirit, which everyone enjoyed.

Newenden 1st XI v Eridge, 24 June 2018

Venue: Eridge Park

Result: Newenden won by 9 wickets (Eridge 206-9, Smith 3-30, Carr 2-2, Newenden 207-1, Browning 101*, Sloan 49*)

Played: 7 Won: 5 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1

Man of the Match: Ben Browning

What a difference a year makes. After being surprisingly turned over by Eridge last season, we arrived with a point to make, and that point was made emphatically.

Eridge's ground is situated in the most idyllic of settings, and with the sun shining down, we were looking forward to a good match. At the toss we were informed that they wished to play a time game, being the home side they have the right to play by whichever format they choose. Morris won the toss, and having learnt from the Tenterden game, opted to bowl first so as to be able to exert some control on the game.

Rummery batting

Rummery working over the opposition ( she was a very good bowler)

Smith and Balfour opened up, and immediately had their openers on the back foot. Smith was dominating the batsmen, bowling his usual nagging length. In his second over he drew their number one out of his crease, striking his pads, and dismissing him plumb LBW. The other opener followed soon after, with Balfour showing far too much pace for him, and clean bowling him. This left the opposition struggling at 7-2. Eridge then started to rebuild with their dangerous number four looking useful.

Bartleet was brought into the attack and bowled a tidy spell which culminated in having their captain stumped, after some electric work by Sloan behind the sticks. The returning Boland was also bowling nicely, and was troubling their danger man, who was put down at square leg when on 20. Boland got his just reward when he got one to turn and bowled their number five. Eridge were now at 115-4. We started to open up the bowling a little and their number four was getting them up towards a decent total. Rummery was finally brought into the attack, and he always makes something happen. He bowled some sharp deliveries, and one was defended out to the off side by the runscorer, who started to run, Rummery grabbed the ball and threw down the stumps, leaving him stranded and out for 99.

The final few wickets feel quickly, with Tom Carr picking up an eye-catching 2-2 from his spell. Eridge were all out for 206.

We knew we would have about the same number of overs to knock off the runs, but this proved to be academic in the end. Morris and Sloan opened up had cruised through to 67 for no loss after ten overs, before Morris was bowled for 37. This brought Browning to the crease and the rest is history. In a hurry to get to the pub, he smashed his maiden ton for the club in about 50 balls. Sloan supported him well, working the stroke nicely. We reached out target within 30 overs, confirming that it was best to bowl first.

Another solid performance by the NCC side, which really showed the depth of our squad. Next up is Benenden at home (fingers crossed they show up). It is also Big Dave's debut on tea duty, a reason to come along alone.

Newenden 1st XI v Tenterden, 10 June 2018

Venue: Morghew Park, Tenterden

Result: Match drawn - Newenden 262-5 (Rummery 112, Bourne 64*) Tenterden 249-8 (Rummery 3-24, Bartleet 2-41)

Played: 6 Won: 4 Drawn: 1 Lost: 1

Man of the Match: Karl Rummery (Tricky One)

Newenden continued to exert our dominance over our far larger local rivals, doing everything apart from managing to actually win the game. We controlled the game from the off and were by far the stronger side across all disciplines.

Tenterden play 'time' games, which is a great leveller for lesser teams against our explosive brand of cricket, as it negates our ability to score rapidly. After winning the toss JB opted to bat and we set off at a decent pace before Morris skyed one to cover after being served up some innocuous buffet bowling. This brought Browning to the crease who never likes to hang around. He dispatched two of his first four balls over the rope, with his first scoring shot being a straight six.

He had put on 42 with Waterhouse, before the latter was run out attempting a quick single, leaving us on 58-2. Skipper Bourne strode to the wicket with an air of confidence that we had not seen this season, and was soon looking comfortable in the middle. Browning fell shortly afterwards, caught at long on, for a decent 43. Enter Tenterden's nemesis, Karl Rummery. His attitude was very much to not only take on the bowling, but destroy their averages for the season. Batting beautifully with Bourne, the pair took total control of the match. The belligerent Rummery was depositing the ball to all parts, whilst the cultured Bourne stroked his way to a very good looking fifty, including the shot of the day, a cover drive that touched every blade of grass on its way from bat to boundary.

The pair had soon put on 150 for the fourth wicket in a little over 15 overs, and taken us through to 211-3 after just 30 overs. Rummery then decided to bring out a couple of his showpiece shots, which included an audacious 270 degree reverse scoop for six, when on 92. He then brought up his ton, his second in as many games at Tenterden, before finally holing out for 112. Another wicket fell, and Finn Piper smashed a four, which was the signal for JB to declare at 262-5, off just 35 overs.

After a lovely tea, almost up to Newenden's standards, we took to the field. Knowing that the opposition could have a potential 50 overs to chase down our target, we wanted to get early wickets. Bradney started well from the Duck Pond end, settling into his customary rhythm, with the openers playing and missing several times, and a sharp chance whizzing passed the slips. Finn Piper was bowling another lively spell from the other end, and cut one of the openers in half more times than a circus magician. Though the breakthrough would not come.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. JB threw the ball to Bartleet who got one to nip back and knock over leg stump, much to the surprise of the batsman. This left them at 84-1. This soon became 86-2, with Bartleet bagging the other opener in his next over. Tenterden regrouped, and their overseas professional, having been put down early in his innings started to look dangerous. Decent spells from Holland and Browning had slowed things down, but we needed wickets. JB then rolled the dice and brought Rummery into the attack, he picked up their number three in his second over and then game started to take shape. They were on the run rate, so we had to decide to stick or twist. Piper came back on from the Pavilion End and picked up the dangerous Australian, with a towering caught and bowled. This brought their big hitting number 5 to the crease, he was not phased by the situation and started to bang the ball about taking them through to 195-5 from 40 overs.

We had to hold our nerve, as losing the game was not an option. Rummery picked up another wicket, as did Piper, leaving them 239-7 with three overs remaining. Bradney came back into the attack and immediately took a wicket, but this was to be the last excitement of the game, as the Tenterden innings finished on 249-8.

This was a moral victory, as we had bowled 15 overs more at them and they still fell well short of our total. Next time I think we will bowl first and the result will be very different.

It was a great day's cricket, with over 500 runs scored and played at a wonderful venue. Now we adjust our focus to Little Common on Sunday, always a tasty little game.

Newenden 1st XI v Chairman's XI, 3 June 2018

Venue: NCG

Result: Newenden won by 4 wickets, Chairman's 210 All Out (G Jones 51, Bradney 3-17, I Jones 2-19) Newenden 214-6 (I Jones 101*)

Played: 5 Won: 4 Lost: 1

Man of the Match: Ian Jones

Another memorable day down at the NCG. The sun was shining, the booze was flowing and the game was cracking.

Following last week and the game that shall not be mentioned, we were all looking forward to the renewal of the Chairman's match, this time with our new figurehead Charlie Sloan Esq leading his troops into battle.

The day could not have been more perfect, as the openers for the Chairman took to the crease, unfortunately for Browning he was only at the crease for one delivery, holing out to mid wicket off the first ball of the innings, much to the delight of Bradney. The same bowler then picked up their number three, leaving the visitors reeling at 19-2. This brought St Ronan's alumnus, George Jones to the wicket, and he was in the mood to make his mark on the game. He batted beautifully, playing the ball nicely around the field, even depositing his father into the road on a couple of occasions. Jones and Kanzig had put on 70-odd before the latter fell to the guile of Big Dave Gilmour. Wickets continued to fall, with Jones Snr picking up a couple, and Holland taking the key wicket of Jones Jnr just as he was looking like getting away. A late cameo from Gutteridge Snr saw the opposition through to a healthy score of 210 from their 35 overs.

We were treated to a spectacular tea from the Sloans, though I think we may owe a little more gratitude to Emma than Charlie. The choice of sandwiches and cakes on offer was astounding, another early contender for the big trophy.

watching the match

Newenden then started their reply. Morris and Simpson began solidly taking us through to 44 for no loss from the first 7 overs before Simpson was bowled by a decent delivery. Morris followed next over to a super catch by Gutteridge Snr, leaving the score at 54-2. This brought Bourne and Jones together, the old guard. Unfortunately Bourne popped one up to Jones Jnr off Collingwood, which left Newenden teetering at 60-3. This would now take a mammoth effort to get us over the line, and the team's hopes rested firmly on the skipper's shoulders. Jones began to build momentum, and after a couple of early reprieves began to make the opposition pay.

Ably supported by Cuthbert, these two put on 62 for the fourth wicket, leaving us at 122-4 off 22 overs, still 90 required from 13 overs. Jones continued to hit the rope, and work the strike, bringing the score up to 170-5 from 30 overs. We needed to get 8 an over from the final five. Gutteridge Snr was bowling some tidy stuff from the bottom end, and Williams, their returning opening bowler castled Bradney bringing young Bartleet to the middle.

Jones continued to take on the bowling, and was not afraid to expose Bartleet to the bowling. Jones smashed two boundaries from the penultimate over, meaning that 6 was required from the last with Bartleet on strike. He struck a solid single first ball, which Jones then followed with a heavy blow towards the river which brought up his ton, much to the joy of the team. He then hit a single bringing Bartleet back on strike with the scores tied. The pressure was on, could they take two wickets with two balls, well that thought never crossed Bartleet's mind, as he took a step down the wicket and planted Gutteridge Snr back over his head to long on. A cracking way to finish a cracking match.

This game epitomised the joy of playing at Newenden. Long may it continue.

Newenden 1st XI v Glynde & Beddingham, 27 May 2018

Venue: Glynde & Beddingham

Result: Newenden lost by 118 runs - Glynde & Beddingham 269-5 (F Piper 2-50) Newenden All Out 151 (F Piper 34, B Browning 33)

Played: 4 Won: 3 Lost: 1

Man of the Match: Finn Piper

Lords will have to wait. Our dream of making history this season will have to be put on ice for a year, as we were beaten convincingly by a well-drilled Glynde & Beddingham side on Sunday.

We arrived full of confidence that we could have a real tilt at winning the National Village Cup, but by mid-afternoon our hopes lay in tatters, strewn across the picturesque East Sussex countryside.

Having lost the toss, we were put into the field. We started well with Gutteridge and Rummery exerting some decent control over their openers without managing to nick the breakthrough that we so badly needed. The home side had steadily progressed to 42-0 from the first ten overs. It was a hot afternoon and the bowlers were working hard, and this work paid off when Rummery had their opener caught at mid wicket in his final over of his spell. The other opener then started to open his shoulders as did the number three, who deposited Collingwood for a straight six into the site screen in his first over. Piper was bowling well from the other end, and got his deserved reward when he clean bowled the opener, then followed this up by bowling their number four a couple of balls later. Glynde were having a little wobble at 133-3, from 24 overs.

This brought their number five to the crease, who was a fine hitter of a cricket ball. He punished anything on a length and began to grow into his innings. Bradney picked up a couple of wickets in the final ten overs and Smith was bowling a pretty tidy spell from the pavilion end. Things were not looking too bad at 210-5 off 38 overs. Then their batsman decided to show us what he was all about, he dispatched Smith for 28 from the 39th over, then did the same to Bradney in the last, taking them through to 269-5 from their allocation. He had scored 116 not out off 58 balls. It hurts just to write that.

We were up against it from ball one, and the situation only got worse with Rummery and Morris falling in the first 3 overs. Browning and Collingwood looked good, and were cruising along until Collingwood mistimed one to deep cover, leaving us at 41-3. Browning continued to attack, but could do little but watch as Simpson was pinned in front of his stumps. Browning himself was then out in a similar fashion the next over, leaving us reeling at 60-5. Gutteridge came and went, which left the returning Tom Carr and the immovable object that is Waterhouse to start a mini-recovery. They had put on 30 before Carr was caught, this brought form man Piper to the crease who looked in great touch. He started to pick off boundaries at will and build an innings. Waterhouse finally fell for a valiant 7 from 38 deliveries, then Smith was out caught and bowled without troubling the scorers. This brought Bradney to the crease. Still flying high from hitting the winning runs last week, these two gave us all something to cheer about, as they tucked into the bowling, playing some very impressive and orthodox cricket shots. They had put on 49 by the time Bradney holed out, taking us through to 151 all out, which gave us an air of respectability.

It was a tough afternoon, and one that we can only learn from. We have been such a dominant force in local cricket for the past few seasons that we have not experienced a feeling like that for some time. This will not deter us, and as Robert The Bruce said as he watched the spider in the cave " If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again."

Newenden 1st XI v Langton Green, 20 May 2018

Venue: NCG

Result: Newenden won by 1 wicket, Langton Green 184 All Out (Smith 3-55, Piper F 2-31, Gutteridge R 3-34) Newenden 188-9 (Browning 67)

Played: 3 Won: 3

Man of the Match: Finn Piper

What a day, what a match, what a result. The NCG saw her first action of the season yesterday, and a record crowd were treated to an absolute cracker of a match.

After the wettest April on record, Peter Bourne had worked tirelessly to get the NCG fit for purpose, and what a great job he had done, as she looked magnificent in the Sunday sunshine. We were also able to use our newly refurbished pavilion for the first time, which looked fabulous following some shrewd negotiating with insurance adjusters by our esteemed treasurer Nicola Holland.

We were playing Langton Green, one of our bogey teams of the past couple of seasons, who had turned up with a strong looking side. JB lost the toss and it proved to be a good toss to lose, as Langton Green opted to bat first. Bradney started brightly from the top end, bowling his usual consistent line and length, beating the bat several times in the first few overs. His opening partner Smith was struggling for his usual metronomic rhythm, but then he did what he does best, take wickets. He drew a shot from their opening bat which looped up to Cuthbert at mid-off, who snaffled it at the second attempt.

Langton Green then began to build a partnership, with their number three playing some expansive shots whilst riding his luck a little, but had taken them through to 85 in 15 overs before Gutteridge Snr finally had the opener caught behind following some very tidy work by Sloane behind the stumps. This then exposed some less competent batsmen, but who were still willing to throw the bat at things, and Langton Green started to build towards an ominous total, reaching 120-2 at the halfway point.

We needed the drinks break to regroup, and this is where the game changed. Finn Piper was in the middle of a very impressive spell of fast bowling from the Top End, and in the first over after the break he had their number four caught behind, then clean bowled their next man, leaving them reeling at 124-4. This opened up an end, and the ruthless streak that NCC now have took over, as we clawed our way back into the game. Browning came on picked up his customary wicket, and Smith returned to finish his spell from the top end, and picked up another couple of wickets, including the set batsmen for 66. Gutteridge Snr returned and pocketed another couple, including a sharp stumping from Sloan and a very athletic caught and bowled. Langton Green's last men fell when Bradney knocked over his leg stump leaving the visitors All Out for 184.

Here is where I must digress, as for a surprise for Winston's birthday, his lovely Italian fiancee, Manuela, had offered to lay on the most exquisite Italian feast you have ever seen, all home cooked and beautifully presented, to call it tea would be to do it a disservice. Manuela also provided over 30 bottles of champagne and wine, which also corroborated JB's toss loss, as it meant we were free to enjoy the fayre for the rest of the afternoon.

The Newenden innings started solidly, with Morris and Sloan taking the sting out of the openers, who were both useful cricketers. Having seen them off with the score at 37-0 after the first ten, the Langton Green skipper mixed up his attack and brought on possibly one of the slowest bowlers to ever grace the NCG, that is barring Harker, but that is a different kind of slow altogether. He soon accounted for Morris who changed his mind so many times that the ball just ending up trundling into the stumps. Sloane followed in similar fashion a few overs later, leaving us teetering at 63-2. Welcome Ben Browning to the crease, who decided that he had quite enough of the this type of bowling and started to dispatch him to all parts, batting nicely with Bourne, the pair put on 60 for the third wicket, before Bourne fell to the returning opening bowler. Gutteridge Snr then followed without troubling the scorer, which left us looking a little shakey at 124-4.

After bringing up his half century, Browning then fell, dancing down the track to the slow bowler, who worked on the basis of 'You miss, I hit'. This left Finn Piper to try and steer us home from 139-5. Each of our lower order batsmen chipped in, young Gutteridge Jnr, played very well for his 9 before being run out to some sharp fielding. Finn was batting very sensibly and keeping us on the run rate, but wickets were falling at regular intervals at the other end. Cuthbert and Smith came and went, after hitting a boundary, leaving Newenden on 170-8, still needing 15 for victory. Holland joined Piper and looked solid, the late night sessions with JB have definitely paid off, demonstrating a forward defence that our very own Tavare would have been proud of. Piper then smashed a couple of boundaries to bring the scores level, then disaster struck, he was clean bowled trying to win the game with big drive.

This brought our incumbent duck trophy winner, Bradney, to the crease. Having played and missed at the first ball he faced, the crowd were on tenterhooks, knowing one wicket or one run would swing it either way. Then, BANG, Bradney stepped down the wicket and smashed the ball over the long on boundary, for the most memorable of victories.

We partied long into the evening, celebrating a great win and a great day, finishing off Manuela's bottles and singing Happy Birthday to Winston and Charlie, who shared the most wonderful cake.

This gives us great momentum going into our big match next Sunday, the Sussex semi-final of the National Village Cup, I hope the report is as happy next week.

Newenden v Staplehurst, 13 May 2018

Venue: Staplehurst Cricket Club

Result: Newenden won by 26 runs, Newenden 207-9 (Collingwood 49, Rummery 36, Browning 32) Staplehurst 181-7 (Jones 3-12)

Played: 2 Won: 2

Man of the Match: Ian Jones

Sunday saw NCC move a step closer to Lords without having to hit a ball, after Hadlow Down were unable to fulfil the fixture. It seemed a shame to not give the cup side a much needed run out so we managed to arrange an emergency fixture with Staplehurst CC.

After a very wet Saturday, an early morning ground inspection gave the green light to the game and we arrived on a beautiful sunny afternoon to an immaculate Staplehurst pitch. The joy of having covers. Skippering Staplehurst for the day was JB's old nemesis George Perry, who seemed a little disappointed that JB could not make the game himself. Having won the toss, Newenden opted to bat.

Morris and Sloane opened up, and started well before Morris fell for 12, guiding one straight to Perry at slip. This brought Browning to the crease, who set off like a steam train, he had rattled through to 32 in no time, but was then given out LBW to Perry, which left us 50-2 after ten overs. Collingwood and Sloane consolidated, with Collingwood in particular demonstrating some lovely stroke play on both sides of the wicket. Sloane then also fell LBW to Perry, which brought Jones Snr to the crease for his first knock of the season. They put on 62 for the fourth wicket, before Jones was bowled for 23. Collingwood followed shortly afterwards, another LBW victim for Perry.

Patel looked out of sorts and fell cheaply to their young leg spinner, which left Rummery the job of finishing the innings, and this is what he did. Taking on the straight boundaries, he smashed 36 in six overs, and put on 44 with Smith, before they both fell in quick s uccession. A useful 13 not out from Finn Piper saw us through to 207-9 from our allocation.

After a beautiful tea, the Staplehurst innings began. Bradney and Piper settled into a decent rhythm, before the first wicket fell after a sharp piece of fielding from Collingwood, chasing the ball down to the third man boundary, he picked up, turned and threw down the stumps directly from about 40 yards, leaving the batsmen stranded half way up the wicket. This brought their dangerous number three to the crease to join Perry, these two settled into a strong partnership, and had steadily progressed to 100-1 from 20 overs before Smith finally had the number three caught behind when looking set. Jones then came on from the top end, and carried on his remarkable form this season, snaring Perry, following a superb catch by Browning, a skier taken over his shoulder.

With these two wickets went the Staplehurst hopes, their other batsmen played solidly but never looked like reaching the target. Jones picked up another couple of wickets, taking his tally to 8 for the season, while Patel and Browning pocketed one each. The Staplehurst innings finished on 181-7.

Langton Green are next up us, our first home game of the season. Then the big one, we take on Glynde and Beddingham in the National Village Cup on May 27th. The dream continues.

Newenden v Goudhurst Gentlemen, 6 May 2018

Venue: Big Side, Cranbrook School

Result: Newenden won by 127 runs (Newenden 207-4, Morris 83, Browning 47) Goudhurst 80 All Out, Jones Snr 5-4, Browning 2-11)

Played: 1 Won: 1

Man of the Match: Ian Jones

Newenden started our rain-delayed season with an emphatic win over the Goudhurst Gentlemen. The NCG is still in need of a lot of drying out, so after high level negotiations had taken place, we managed to secure the use of the Cranbrook School pitch, which very much lived up to its name of 'Big Side'.

After JB had won the toss and opted to bat, Newenden set about their work effectively if not extravagantly. Morris and Waterhouse began to accumulate runs as the sun beat down. Boundaries were hard to come by, as the outfield was particularly slow, much to the dismay of Morris, as all run threes are not his forte. Goudhurst shuffled their pack, but they were only able to break the opening stand after we had reached 104, with Waterhouse departing LBW for 20. This brought Browning to the crease, who looked sharp for his 47, playing some stylish shots on both sides of the wicket. Morris fell for 83,when the score was 168-2, which brought a lively looking Bourne to the crease. These two put on a few more and we ended up on 207-4 from our allocated 40 overs.

After a bring-your-own tea (we had no access to the pavilion) the Goudhurst innings began. Bradney set the tone, with a cracking first over, trapping their opener LBW with his fourth delivery. Then Smith joined the party, picking up the other opener in his second over. These two were then replaced by two of our leading young players, Jones and Bartleet, who both bowled tidy spells against the best batsmen that Goudhurst had to offer. After putting on nearly 50 for the third wicket, Bourne threw the ball to Jones Snr, and that was that. He bowled three overs of class swing bowling, taking 5 wickets for four runs, including a stunning caught and bowled that was travelling. It was a class performance. Browning and Bourne mopped up the tail and Goudhurst were all out for 80.

It was great to get a game under our belt, and get some confidence going into our National Village Cup match next weekend. We are now in the second round, with only six games left til we get to Lords. To quote the great Bon Jovi 'Keep the Faith'.

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