City side come up short in final
Broadstairs are Kent indoor cricket champions after defying Canterbury’s valiant attempt to defend a paltry total in a lowscoring final.
As ever, eight hours’ competition were dominated by East Kent clubs. Along the way, Broadstairs (representing Thanet) knocked out Folkestone (Shepway) and Hayes (Metropolitan) while Canterbury beat Linton Park (Maidstone) and Betteshanger (Dover).
Broads tai rs now meet Wimbledon, the Surrey winners, in the ECB regional play-off at the Spitfire Ground on either February 18 or March 14 (to coincide with the regional finals).
At their Sunday best, Broadstairs set off along the road to Lord’s – where they are no strangers – with a four-wicket preliminary round win victory over Folkestone, dismissed for 41.
At the same stage, Betteshanger totalled 113-4 against Plaxtol and bowled them out for 54.
Hayes beat Folkestone, all out for 108, by one wicket and, in their first appearance, Canterbury made short work of Linton Park, skittled out for 39 by Stuart Drakeley (3-12) and Freddie Hulbert (2-5).
Openers Drakeley and Sam Burt knocked off the runs in three overs.
Broadstairs then began to show their mettle in the first semi-final against Hayes, 16-year-old Isaac Dilkes (36), Elliot Fox (24) and Andy Marshall (18) building a total of 112.
Matt Frewin promptly snatched a Hayes wicket with his second delivery and finished with 2-3 in his three overs.
Dilkes, excelling in every department of the game, took 3-7 in nine balls and Broadstairs won by 48 runs.
Canterbury deal t wi t h Betteshanger in similar fashion. Thanks to Drakeley and Burt, both 36 not out, Ben Cooper (10) and Hulbert (15), they reached 131-4, an imposing score on a day when three-figures were rationed.
Then Max Campbell bowled James Marsh with the first ball of Betteshanger’s reply and, despite Andrew Chambers’ unbeaten 26. Canterbruy won by 54 runs.
And so to the final, a clash of old rivals that had been forecast at the outset.
Dilkes – who, I understand will play outdoor cricket for Canterbury in the summer – struck an immediate blow by running out Burt in Canterbury’s first over. In the next, Drakeley gave Frewin a return catch.
Canterbury were as good as out. Hulbert, Cooper and Macvicar all got into double figures but – unusually for the undefeated Pharon League champions – their batting tactics were puzzling.
Lacking finesse, Canterbury surprisingly drove shot after shot into the safe hands of mid-on and mid-off rather than working the ball into the corners walls at ‘longleg’ or ‘third man’ or placing it into the vacant areas at cover point and mid-wicket.
Three more run outs were to follow and, although Canterbury used up their allotted 12 overs, they brought only 67 runs. After that a miracle was required.
Broadstairs opener Fox was run out cheaply and Canterbury’s economical attack did its utmost to avoid the inevitable – to no avail.
Andrew Bailey and Dilkes both retired on 25 and not another wicket fell.
Broadstairs were taken to the penultimate over but their mix of youth and experience was soon celebrating.
Following in their seniors’ footsteps, Broadstairs’ under-13s are now the only side with a 100% record in the Saturday Pharon League.
Their fifth consecutive win was over St Lawrence and Highland Court A.
Second-placed Chestfield Red Caps lost for the first time to Faversham.
Canterbury’s Stuart Drakeley