Vital win encourages skipper
Ashford Town skipper Sam Kennett is eyeing a mid-table finish this season after a moraleboosting seven-wicket win over fellow Shepherd Neame Kent League Division 3 strugglers at Stacians Park.
Opener Luke Reeves returned from holiday to hit an unbeaten 80, sharing a match-winning third wicket stand with Jordan ReedAshton, before the latter was out one short of his half century.
Town reached 171-3 to record only their second win of the season and claim 20 crucial points, swopping places with their local rivals at the bottom.
Earlier, Ashford’s Ashley Cook derailed Hythe’s good start with a decisive second spell, finishing with 5-39 as the visitors slipped from 100-1 to 168 all out.
Kennett admitted: “It was another must-win game for us because had we lost, we could have been down already. We have played pretty well this season but have lost some close matches.
“Hopefully, we can push on and move up the table but we have got a tough one at leaders Nonington on Saturday.”
He added: “Luke was in brilliant form again, batting in pretty controlled fashion, nothing extravagant, punishing the bad ball.
“He and Jordan, who also did well, scored at three and four an over.
“Ashley came back and got Christopher Slee thanks to a great catch at mid-off by Darren Wood, and then Steve Tanner pulled off a fantastic one-handed effort at mid-on – one of the best I have seen all season.”
Hythe’s Sam Butler hit 42 of the first 55, while Slee went for 22. Matthew Richardson and Tim Pichowski (33) both then fell with the score at 111.
Skipper Andrew Maurice watched wickets fall at the other end, Hythe losing five for the addition of only 17 runs.
With Maurice last man out for 32, Hythe were dismissed for 168 in the 49th over.
Openers Andrew Harcourt (48) and Neil Tegg (38) top scored as Ashford 2nds won by two wickets against RACS at New Eltham in Division 5.
Jonah Diedrick (4-30) and Chris Senior (3-21) starred with the ball as RACS made 166 in a match which produced a combined extras total of 68 – 42 of them wides.
WICKET TO WICKET: Ashford’s Mo Raza sends a delivery down during his wicketless opening spell against Hythe
CUTTING LOOSE: Hythe opener Tim Pichowski on his way to 33 against Ashford