8 Jun 2013 - David Harkin
The Vine took their youngest side this season (average age 21) away to play an experienced Bickley Park eleven on a scorching June Saturday. Winning the toss, Bickley Park had no hesitation in batting first, on what they openly called a 240 wicket.
However that decision proved to be incorrect as Vine openers Piers Robinson and Ed Goodworth immediately put Bickley Park under pressure. Goodworth made the two early breakthroughs, supported by keeper and captain Harkin taking his first catch of the day. Bickley Park looked to re-build from a their position of 11/2, but a suicide run out and another catch by Harkin standing up to Goodworth quickly turned the emphasis on the Vine rolling Bickley Park rather than Bickley Park scoring anything competitive. Julius Cowdrey (3-37) then took the heart out of the middle order, supported by John Gethins (1-15), with some impressive fielding from the Vine and Harkin taking his third catch of the day. At 70/7 the Vine hoped to skittle Bickley Park for under 100, but some late tail end batting proved how good the track was as the tail wagged passed 100. Ed Goodworth (4-35) came back to complete the job and was supported by debutant David Leach (2-12) who gave us a glimpse of what he could do. A fine performance by the Vine in the field, with our bowlers on form and some impressive wicket keeping to back it up meant Bickley Park were bowled out for 134.
The Vine decided to put themselves under a little pressure with the chase, as opener James White and number 3 Matthew Boardman went cheaply with the Vine on 20/2, but determined Alex Kirk Patrick (65*) and Julius Cowdrey (62*) had the focus and the drive to see the Vine home without giving Bickley Park a single bowling point. They batted with experience and intelligence, both scoring their maiden Kent League fifties and made sure the Vine didn’t have to call on the middle order to finish the job.
For the second week in a row, Julius Cowdrey received a well deserved man of the match for his 3 wickets and his 62 not out.
The Vine are now second in the Kent Premiership, winning 3 games so far this year.