Neale holds nerve in victory quest
Ali Neale proved Tenterden’s matchwinner as the Shepherd Neame Kent League Premier Division newcomers ended Beckenham’s unbeaten start to the season with an exciting two-wicket victory at Morghew Park on Saturday.
Needing 202 to win, Tenterden looked well placed at 173-5, only to lose three wickets for six runs, with 27 still required when No.10 Tim Curteis walked to the crease.
However, Neale took charge hitting four fours in his 24 not out off 29 balls to see his side home to their third win in four starts.
Earlier, Will MacVicar’s 98 helped rescue the visitors from 82-7 to 201 all out, adding 86 in an eighth-wicket stand with Peter Walters (32).
Tenterden captain Tevis Knight said: “Ali played a crucial role, hitting the bad ball for four and taking singles off the good ones, while Tim’s five not out was also valuable.”
Wicketkeeper Ben Price’s 60 off 52 balls with 10 fours and two sixes had spearheaded Tenterden’s reply, with Andrew Crawford and Knight both making 27.
The skipper added: “We were cruising when Ben and I were together.
“He then misjudged one and I was leg before to a ball that nipped back into me, although I thought the decision was questionable because it seemed to be slanting down the leg-side.
“It was a good wicket but having them 90-7 didn’t reflect that, which was down to poor shot selection by them but we were good in the field and bowled with great discipline.
“Will MacVicar batted well, he is a class player and good to watch.”
Knight insists Tenterden’s first objective is to preserve their hard-won Premier Division status.
He said: “It is our one goal for the season and we want to do it as soon as possible. Once we are safe, we can look at other possibilities in the league.”
Knight also believes introducing win-lose cricket for the whole season has had a positive effect, having been brought in halfway through the season in previous years.
He said: “Everyone is enjoying it, rather than playing 100 overs only for games to end in draws.”
Knight’s brother Ryan took 4-21 in his first game back after knee surgery as Division 1 leaders Tenterden 2nds made it four wins out of four with a six-wicket success at Beckenham.
JamieBristow-Diamond, a new recruit from Bexhill this season, finished with the same figures in Beckenham’s total of 128.
Skipper Tim Russell made 49 before Jimmy Collins (33 not out) and Reuben Collingwood (32 not out) added 76 for the third wicket to complete the victory.