Tunbridge Wells – 20 Points
5 May 2013 - David Harkin
The Vine opened up their 2013 campaign with a super 20 points against a strong Tunbridge Wells. Playing their first game as premiership champions, captain David Harkin took a side mixed with experience and youth to the county ground optimistic of putting in a competitive performance early in May – something we have struggled to do in the past. After losing the toss, the Vine were inserted and openers Miles Richardson (23) and Toby Sheppard (25) got the Vine off to a good start in relatively overcast conditions. Soon both were dispatched and Matt Boardman (24) played a very controlling innings as he was joined by Tom Coldman (36). Tunbridge Wells veteran Nigel Keess (3-35 off 15 overs) continued to frustrate the Vine middle order with his pace as the champions attempted to up the scoring. Julius Cowdrey (17) and David Harkin (11) played some nice shots, but unfortunately after Coldman was bowled by Fenwick, the tail didn’t wag and the Vine posted 152, 20+ runs short of where they were aiming to be. However the runs were on the board!
A positive team talk lead to an aggressive start as Miles Richardson and Tom Nissen lead the attack for the Vine after tea. Nissen made the initial break through (1-23) before Richardson really found his momentum helping to get rid of number 3 and number 4. Tom Coldman (3-23) and Julius Cowdrey (1-21) then started to make the killer squeeze in the middle part of the innings, regularly taking wickets and stopping any kind of rhythm being generated by the middle order of the Wells attack. At 79/8 the game looked done and dusted, but Chris Fenwick (43) batting number 9 had other ideas as he began to play expansive shots and take Tunbridge Wells within spitting distance of a result from nowhere. Skipper Harkin re-introduced a pumped up Miles Richardson who eventually took the final wickets in 2 consecutive balls and bowl out the opposition for 138, giving the Vine a vital 20 points as they focus on initially securing 6 wins before they have an eye on the title again. Man of the match Richardson finished on 5-63 off 13.5 overs and looks a great potential for the season.
The Vine II play the first league game of the season at Home against Bexley this coming Saturday.