New faces join Old Boys
OLD STACIANS start their Kent League campaign this weekend, the club boosted by a number of new faces all vying for places in the respective 1st and A XI lineups this summer.
Joining the Goat Lea Park outfit are two Australians in Paul Johnstone and Tim Walsh. Both are opening batsmen who also bowl spin,
Johnstone is a 22-year-old who comes from Hobart, Tasmania, while Walsh is a year older and hails from Melbourne.
Both have already made indications of their class in the pre league friendly fixtures played so far.
Another welcome new face is 26-year-old Danny Haxton, who played previously for Streatham Marlborough in the Surrey League.
Other new boys this summer include bowler Rob Beale and a South African with British citizenship Rob Brown, the 31-yearold having been resident in since 2000 and therefore exempt from overseas status under the Kent League rules.
Firsts captain Howard Wooding will be hoping for a good start by his charges as his side travel to Downham & Bellingham for the first Division Three match, having enjoyed mixed fortunes in the two friendly games played so far.
The A XI under the leadership of Darren Cooper host Orpington in Division 2, the side though should be stronger than last term, which saw them after a difficult campaign relegated after finishing bottom of Division 1.
Batsman Daren Hawkes particularly looking in good form, having scored a magnificent 116 not out in the friendly victory over Chestfield.
A remarkable innings saw him joined at the crease with the score on 111 for nine by youngster Luca Sardo. The pair then added a club record of 102 for the last wicket, as Hawkes peppered the boundary with a plethora of fours and sixes.
On Sunday, the side which have made a swift return to the Lords East Kent League play the first match, with a home fixture against Sibton Park.
Neil Hope will lead the side for the first time and will be boosted by having the two Australians in his side this season. The A XI are led once again by long-serving clubman Kevin Hall.
Neighbours Ashford open at home to Rainham while in Division 2 promoted Tenterden visit Hayes.