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Kent Seniors - Season Report

on Monday, 13 January 2014. Posted in Kent Seniors

Kent Seniors - Season Report

For those of you who read my Annual end of Term Reports no doubt you remember them verbatim and are no doubt disappointed with the similarity from year to year. However on the off chance that I might get a new reader this year's Report is somewhat different from the results point of view.

Sadly Shepherd Neame have stepped down from sponsoring the Seniors National Championship and I know all the County's were indebted to their earlier generous support.Kent 60+/70+ Teams still play in what will be now known as Seevent National 60+/70+ Championship and as a County in 2013 at 60+ level we conquered the Country.Both our A Team and B Team won their respective finals,a double unlikely to be repeated. As a County we played 50 matches including friendlies which was ten more matches than last year. An administrative nightmare but with the help of a number of Kent League clubs,to whom we are extremely grateful,we found grounds and more importantly tea ladies that saw us through the season.

Our three skippers,Graham Roake,Dave Piper and John Phipps were extremely busy especially with cancellations. Unlike Saturday cricket where if a match is cancelled by inclement weather it is not replayed,in the Seevent Championship all cancelled matches must be replayed.Both A and B Teams topped their respective Groups and progressed to the next rounds.

In the last 16 the A Team beat Gloucestershire,in the quarter finals Devon and having scored 129 in the semi final against Essex were looking down the barrel. However they bowled and fielded well and sneaked home by 12 runs.The final against Wales (a Country not a County) was played at Oakham C C and having been asked to bat first we amassed 195 - 5 which was felt to be getable and maybe 20 runs short. However Wales who reached 100 after receiving half their overs imploded and Kent won by 13 runs with Chris Swadkin being nominated as Man of the Match.A fine achievement as we were without the skipper holidaying in Bournemouth,our strike bowler pulled up after 2 overs with a strained fetlock but our one bit of luck was having a substitute fielder,Ray Stringer,who came on and took the first wicket with a fine catch which started the collapse.

The B Team however play one less match and in the quarter final beat Cheshire when all seemed lost scoring 44 in less than the 5 remaining overs,then beat Hampshire in the semi final.The final,played on a beautful day on a beautiful ground at Dunstabkle C C in late September saw Kent inserted by Yorkshire and sadly only amass 129 - 9. However once again the bowlers became Kent's saviours and Yorkshire also imploded with Kent winning in the final over by 11 runs.

Sadly at the time of writing this rivetting report the ECB and Play Cricket have completely ruined the stats pages so I'm unable to give you details of how our players fared in the National averages. Suffice to say we did really well. The one disappointment was that neither Trophy was there on the day to be presented to our winning teams. Hopefully one day you will see the details on the following websites;
www.60cc.co.uk (Fixtures,Results and League Tables)
www.hcc60.play-cricket.com (Scoresheets & Statistics)
www.kentover50.play-cricket.com (Kent 50,60 & &0 Results)

Our 70+ Group once again was oversubscribed with players but not always available at the same time which meant changes from week to week. John Phipps having got the 70+ team up and running,well walking anyway,stepped down as Captain and Derek Birmingham is now running the show.They played 12 League Fixtures winning two but also saw three players awarded their International Caps against Australia in three Tests. Derek,Phil Kennard and Barry Smith were the deserved recipients,congratulations to them all.

The KCCC and Kent Cricket Board have kindly included our results and photo's on their websites for which we are extremely grateful and would also thank the KCB for their support.

We also amongst 10 friendlies, played three matches against Australian touring sides which for the first time stretched our tea ladies as an evening meal was thrown in if you know what I mean! In fact all our matches,home and away,are played on excellent grounds with great facilities,teas and bars. We also have a group of excellent umpires and scorers to whom we are indebted.

Our end of season Dinner was particularly successful this year and we were delighted to welcome Giles Hilton of Shepherd Neame and his wife as our guests at The Plough,Langley. Having mentioned Giles,once again Shepherd Neame have kindly agreed to sponsor the Kent 60+ Group for season 2014 and we are once again delighted with their generous support.

Our recruitment programme goes on through the winter and we have already recruited new members who have joined our ranks.We only pay to play so no annual subscription is charged but all our skippers are of a competitive nature and select on ability and merit. So if you fancy prolonging your already successful careers then contact Howard Smith on (H) or e mail;  .You will be assured of a friendly welcome and hopfully meet up with old friends.

There is of course a downside to success. Our Manager,motivator and coach who has overseen this successful season, has now pushed his name unwittingly to National notice and it may be that with Andy Flower on perhaps his final Tour of duty, that the suits from HQ,ECB may approach the Kent man as his successor. Failing this the KCCC must of course have noticed the Countrywide success of the seniors and feel they may have something to learn from their leader.However on a positive note it would take a large salary to persuade him to leave his current post!

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