New faces join Old Boys

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SPORT -

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.

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