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Kent claim third National Over 60s County Championship title with win over Warwickshire


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By Henry Clark

Kent over-60s rounded off a remarkable season finale for cricket in the county by winning the National Over 60s County Championship.

Victory over Warwickshire at Great & Little Tew Cricket Club in Oxfordshire was Kent’s third since the competition began in 2009.

Kent Over-60s won the Over 60s National County Championship for the third time
Kent Over-60s won the Over 60s National County Championship for the third time

Captain Chris Tarrant, who is also chairman of the Kent Cricket League, said the victory was extra special after a difficult period following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “It’s been a tough 18 months which eventually ended up with a good day and everyone had a smile on their face afterwards.

“We’re not full of what you would call star players but we are consistent and play well as a unit.”

Both Kent and Warwickshire, who beat competition favourites Lancashire to reach the final, were relative underdogs for the title ahead of the season.

After a weather-disrupted group stage, which saw Kent qualify as one of the best third-place teams for the knockout matches, victories over Middlesex, Cambridgeshire and then local rivals Essex in the semi-final led them to within touching distance of the title.

Tarrant said: “We started slowly but gradually things improved. I think it was a bit of a hangover from the previous year in that some of the guys hadn’t played an awful lot of cricket.”

After winning the toss and putting Warwickshire into bat, Kent struggled to force a breakthrough until seamer Rupert Staples took a remarkable five wickets for just two runs in the final three overs of his spell.

Eynsford opening bowler Andy Meaton also proved economical in his nine-over spell which conceded just 16 runs as Warwickshire posted 188-9 in 45 overs.

Tarrant said: “It was a very good, easy paced track and we knew as long as we batted sensibly the run chase didn’t need to be a major problem.”

A steady partnership between Tarrant (34) and Whitstable’s John Butterworth, who top-scored for Kent with 80, set-up a comfortable victory for their side, who reached the victory target with 11 balls to spare.

He added: “We were really happy and it’s been a good time for cricket in Kent with the T20 Blast victory, Kent Women winning the London Championship and Tunbridge Wells winning the National T20 final.”

Most of the squad actively play at weekends for various teams across the county during the summer.

Although Tarrant admits their peak physical days are behind them, performances regularly defy their age.

He said: “The area which does suffer as you get older is the fielding but in the last four or five games we actually fielded very well.

“There’s been guys diving around who are in their sixties so I was very impressed with them and their commitment.

“Some of us can run, some of us can bend over and some of us can throw but doing all three is not so easy when you get the wrong side of 60.”

So what does the future hold for Tarrant, who played his first adult cricket match in 1966, aged 11?

He said: “I don’t know whether I’ll keep going into my 70s. I won’t say no but maybe there comes a time when you (physically) can’t do quite what you want to do.

“The day I get up on a Saturday morning and don’t look out to see whether it’s raining or not is the day I will give up I think.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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