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Bryen the hero in European Cricket Challenge

THE French were delighted to make their first final in the European Cricket Challenge at Cheriton on Sunday but came up against a well balanced Kent League Select team led by home skipper Steve Salisbury.

The fourth annual Festival again proved highly successful with strong squads entered by the French, German, Dutch and Belgians who competed in a Continental round-robin with the winners going through to take on the Kent League side in the 35-overs a side final.

This year the splendid Colvile Cup, in memory of Lt Commander Richard Colvile who died in last year, was firmly claimed by the Kent men with Folkestone’s talented all rounder Josh Bryen claiming the man of the match plaudits.

The wicketkeeper batsman was superb for Kent with a cavaliers 84 in a 107 stand with the excellent Neil Dexter (33).

John Smith also played some well crafted strokes to all parts of the ground for a well deserved 56 before being stumped chasing a big hit down the pitch.

It enabled Kent to close with 235 for seven in the glorious conditions and that always was going to be well out of reach of the French side who were surprise finalists after favourites Holland were stunned by Belgium by five wickets.

But it has been a seminal year for the French team who this year took an MCC side close in Paris and are developing several fine young players.

Folkestone spinner John Champion claimed a hat-trick at the close to shut out the French for 125 with four for 19 and set up a 1110 run Kent win.

In the losers' final Holland 158-6 beat Germany by 20 runs after a splendid unbeaten 60 from Asif Khan.

It was a fine end to a well contested weekend with Folkestone conceding their final Kent League to allow the tournament to go ahead.

The event was backed by Shepway Council, Eurotunnel and Saga.

There was also a junior Kwik Cricket competition held between the main matches with Elham Valley winning the Trafalgar Cup with victory over Upchurch. Also in action were Folkestone, Sibton Park Girls and a Dutch Under-12 squad.

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