Leaders given scare by Town
A fifth-wicket stand of 92 between home pair Keiron Burrett and Daniel Birch dashed Ashford Town’s hopes of upsetting the Shepherd Neame Division 3 formbook at leaders Nonington on Saturday.
Mohsin Raza and Peter Shields shared the first four wickets to fall as the home side stumbled to 43-4, chasing a target of 178 but Burrett (65) and wicketkeeper Birch (57 not out) changed the course of the game, easing the hosts home on 177-6.
Town’s five bonus points did at least keep them ahead of bottom side Hythe by the same margin.
Town skipper Sam Kennett said: “We were probably 50 short with the bat – 220 would probably have been a decent score on a good pitch. Luke Reeves and Simon Taylor both got good start but we needed one of those to go on if we were going to get a big score.
“Mohsin got his first wickets of the season – he has bowled well in four games since coming back from university, without any luck
“All four wickets came in six overs, we knew then we had a chance but needed a couple of more.
“Burrett was the man we needed out but he and Birch played well.”
The Nonington pair moved the score to 135 before the stand was broken and although Raza returned to remove Josh Tutton ( 15), with the total at 169, Birch saw the job through, inside 45 overs.
Raza finished with 3-51 in 9.4 overs, while Shields took 2-29 in eight.
Town’s innings of 175 was built around Darren Bailey’s 52, the innings fading after a promising start, after skipper Sam Kennett had won the toss.
Openers Reeves ( 33) and Taylor (26) put on 54 for the first wicket but the middle and late order struggled against Josh Tutton, who finished with 5-47.
Ashford 2nds went down by six wickets against Nonington at Stacians Park. ON ITS WAY: Mersham’s Matt Ealham puts plenty of effort into this delivery against Kennington’s Ian Hughes during their Kent Regional League clash