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Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League Premier Division round-up

By Kevin Redsull

Hartley Country Club increased their chances of successfully defending the Premier Division title with a nail-biting victory over current leaders Sevenoaks Vine on Saturday.

In a match reduced to 30 overs-a-side because of rain, Hartley won a low scoring game by one run to move into second place in the table, just three points behind the Sevenoaks side.

After Hartley were put into bat James Hockley (41) and Dan Stickels (40) put on 70 for the first wicket but once they had departed the home side slipped to 153 all out.

Hartley's Jack Laraman celebrates taking a Sevenoaks Vine wicket with his team-mates. Picture: Richard Eaton FM3342841

Sevenoaks Vine, however, found run scoring equally difficult and collapsed to 113-9 before they were almost carried to an unlikely victory by an unbeaten last-wicket stand of 39 between Lorne Burns (28 not out) and Tom Parsons (11 not out), with the visitors finishing on 152-9.

Hartley leapfrogged Blackheath who went down by four wickets to Bexley at the Rectory Field.

Chasing a target of 185-9, Bexley were given an important start by George Wells (45) and Adam Riley (43), who put on 96 for the first wicket, and then Wesley Fernando (49 not out) carried them over the finishing line. Earlier Jahid Ahmed had topscored for Blackheath with 46.

Bexley’s victory lifted them out of the relegation spots at the expense of Sandwich Town, who went down by seven wickets at Lordswood in another match reduced to 30-overs-a-side.

Sandwich made 143-8 after they been put into bat, with Robbie Goatham making 66, and Lordswood then eased to victory with over four overs to spare thanks to an unbeaten 55 from Lyndon Lockhart.

Canterbury also eased their relegation fears with a 128-run success over basement club Bickley Park. They piled up 308-9 batting first, with Paul Steer (80), Sam Burt (70) and Graeme Francis (59) leading the way, and then dismissed Bickley Park for 181.

In the day’s other match Beckenham recorded a three-wicket victory at Bromley. The home side recovered from 65-5 to set a target of 159-8, but it wasn’t enough as Adam Senn (46 not out) and William MacVicar (43) led the visitors home.

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