City side come up short in fi­nal

In­door cricket

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Sport - By Alan Ben­sted

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.

Pic­ture: Tony Flash­man

Can­ter­bury’s Stu­art Drake­ley

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