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1 Sep 2012 - David Harkin

The Vine were in the wonderful position of visiting Bromley for their final league game of the season as Champions. With Champagne in the fridge at the Vine ready for the evenings celebration, the twos were determine to finish off the season in the form they have demonstrated since the middle of May. Bromley hunting for the runners up spot elected to bowl after winning the toss and the Vine had their worst start to a game in 2 years. The top four all came and went in the opening 9 overs as the Vine struggled to 32/4. Richardson, Parkinson, Adams, Thompson the Vines formidable top 4 all came and went. A frustrated captain, Harkin, joined youngster Oscar King at the wicket with the aim of stopping the flow of wickets and rebuilding a Vine platform. Harkin played patiently (21), while King demonstrated the real potential that he has playing an array of shots under extreme pressure from an experienced and confidently Bromley attack. He eventually fell for a fantastic 50 and Harkin/King got the Vine into a more respectable position of 110/5 at drinks. Julius Cowdrey and Matthew Boardman then look to take the Vine to a competitive position. Boardman showed his form that he has demonstrated all year, scoring boundaries quickly and confidently despite the flow of wickets around him. He eventually feel for a fine 48 off 55 balls in the final over leaving the Vine on a competitive 188. It was a pleasure to see the middle order kick in once (rarely) our top order failed to execute.

The Vine knew 188 was a competitive score and also knew that the had tumbled Bromley over for less than 120 earlier in the season with a fine bowling performance and that this would be needed again. Richardson opened with explosive pace, while Thompson kept it tight from one end. Bailes (47) got Bromley equally off to a good start, before the breakthrough of Bassey by Richardson (2-45) eventually came. The Vines tails then began to wag as they removed number 3 in a flash and began to tighten up the runs with Julius Cowdrey and Mozza Holmes into the attack. Then a critical part of the game where Bromley were 100/2 the Holmes removed Stabbert and Cowdrey removed Bailes and Tooley all with 7 balls and Bromley tumbled to 100-5. A passage of tight bowling then began to shift the tide back towards the Vines side as Wilson and Gurem attempted to take Bromley across the line. A brilliant piece of death bowling from Tim Shaw and Miles Richardson meant that the Winning draw was eventually confirmed and the Vine picked up their last points of the season. A brilliant come back after the first 9 overs and a delighted Harkin got the champagne following in the changing room. The Vine finished top by 17pts ahead of second place Sandwich. Relegation, promotion and now Champions again demonstrate the development of the club and that it is completely back on track. The key will be now building our junior academy, to keep producing top grade club crickets with the potential to push on and play professional cricket. The foundations are there. The Vine continues to welcome new talent into the club to join our journeys to what will hopefully be more silverware across the club in 2013. 2012 will be an unforgettable season where a team grew up, played fantastic cricket and learn’t how to win games of cricket when it counted.

David Harkin – 03/09/2012