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Rain plays havoc with opening week's fixtures in the Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League Premier Division

By Kevin Redsull

The weather played a major role on the opening day of the Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League Premier Division season with only two games reaching a definite conclusion.

At Foxgrove Road, Sevenoaks Vine won an important toss and invited hosts Beckenham to bat first on a wicket offering some encouragement to the seamers. Tom Parsons (4-31) and Miles Richardson (3-27) exploited the conditions to the full as Beckenham struggled to 88 all out with only Max Hall (39) making a significant contribution.

Following a short rain break, the Vine never looked in danger of losing and, with Fabian Cowdrey (36no) leading the way, they cruised to a seven-wicket victory.

At Canterbury, Lordswood began their season with a 20-point victory over the home side. Canterbury invited their visitors to bat first and with Ryan Minter taking 4-33 and Stuart Drakeley 3-31, Lordswood lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out for 149 in the 47th over, Lyndon Lockhart top scoring with 35.

Canterbury's Ryan Minter

In reply Canterbury looked well placed on 82-4 but then Dan Masters changed the course of the game, taking 5-35 as Canterbury slid to 87-7. Paul Steer made 36 but the home side lost their final wicket at 121 to give Lordswood victory by 28 runs.

Elsewhere rain intervened at various stages to prevent any other definite results.

At Bexley, Queensland U19 captain Marnus Labuschagne hit the first century of the season for Sandwich Town.

He made 127 and figured in a second-wicket stand of 158 with Robbie Goatham (69) as Sandwich set a target of 266-6. In reply Bexley were on 124-3 after 39 overs when the rain ended proceedings, with Matt Stiddard scoring 52 and George Wells unbeaten on 45.

At Blackheath, Dan Redwood took 5-36 as the home side were bowled out for just 139 by Premier Division title-holders Hartley Country Club. But there was only time for Hartley to reach 5-1 when the match was abandoned because of rain.

At Bromley, the home side had reached 218-4 in 55 overs against Bickley Park when rain forced the players back to the pavilion for the final time. James Butterfill scored 65 and Miguel Barbosa was unbeaten on 49.

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