Town surrender top spot with defeat to title rivals
Sam Kennett made no excuses after Ashford Town’s Kent League Division 4 title hopes suffered a blow with a five-wicket defeat at top-two rivals OD Cuaco at Park Langley on Saturday.
Town’s only second loss of the season saw them surrender topspot to their Beckenham hosts, who overturned a four-point deficit at start of play to lead by eight with four games remaining.
One boost for Town was thirdplaced Offham’s surprise home defeat against Betteshanger Colliery Welfare, which leaves Kennett’s side still 26 points ahead of the Maidstone villagers.
He said: “Winning the league was always going to be a bonus, finishing in the top-two and getting promotion was our main aim.
“The defeat was all of our own making, our batting and catching let us down.”
In-form South African batsman Mat Smit proved Cuaco’s match-winner with 65, surviving two chances as the home side got home on 151-5, after Town, put into bat, had been dismissed for only 150.
‘The defeat was
all of our own making, our batting and catching let us down’
Kennett added: “They were better than us on the day.
“The wicket was a little bit damp, and Cuaco had the better of conditions with ball and bat, as it dried out quickly.
“We didn’t bat particularly well, several got starts, but didn’t go on to get a decent score.
“We needed somebody to get 60 or 70 – 200 would have been a decent score, but we came up short.
“We knew if we got Smit early we might have a chance, but a couple of chances went down, and we dropped a few more as well.”
Liam Tegg top scored with 38 and took 4-38 for Ashford.
Kennett confirmed the ankle injury which has troubled him for most of the season, has been diagnosed as a grade two ligament strain.
He said: “I shouldn’t really be playing, and still feel it when I bowl.
“We were short on seam on Saturday, so I put myself through the pain barrier.”
Chris Senior took his wicket tally to 19 in four matches with 4-22 as Town 2nds lost by nine wickets at home to Bromley Town.