Vine stay up in extremely tense final day
5 Sep 2017 - Tom Parsons
Sevenoaks Vine kept their Premier League status intact in a thrilling final day win versus Blackheath. The Vine needed other results to go their way as well to have any chance of staying up but their job was to win at Blackheath, which is always a tough place to go.
Winning the toss, skipper Olly Durell elected to bat and was part of a brilliant opening partnership with John Bowden which was over 100 when the first wicket fell. The Vine stuttered a bit in the middle overs after some good bowling from a strong Blackheath attack. Durell ran himself out for a brilliant 82 and a late cameo from Howick, Coldman and the big hitting Barber gave Blackheath a testing 230 to chase.
Meanwhile the game at Hartley was due to start at 4pm as a T20 with the Vine needing Bexley to win for any chance to stay up.
Karl Pearson got a wicket with the first ball of the innings and bowled a top opening spell with Tom Parsons who was managing to get some swing with the Dukes ball. Pearson took another wicket with a half tracker before lots of spin came on to try and slow down the Blackheath charge. A few decent partnerships from the Blackheath batsman made the Vine very nervy but Coldman, Thompson and the evergreen Bowden picked up wickets at regular intervals and meant the Vine won by 52 runs.
All eyes were now on Hartley who were chasing 193 off 20 to beat Bexley. The Vine players waited by their phones and eventually found out that Hartley had been bowled out for just over 100 and therefore the Vine were safe.
Not the season the Vine wanted, but to survive on the last day was a complete shock after being in the relegation zone all season. Commiserations to Hartley on their relegation. They are a fantastic club and we’re sure that it will only be a matter of time before they are back in the Premier League.