The delightful seaside town of Sandwich welcomed Hayes to the last remaining fixture of the first half of the season.
The Folk & Ale Festival was in full flow in town, but the payers managed to dodge the crowds and arrive in good time.
Skipper Beau Couldrey failed with the toss and the opposition invited us to bat first on a slightly windy, but warm afternoon.
The opening bowlers proved a handful – the Australian overseas bowling 4 straight maidens but it was at the other end that wickets fell. James Bamber unluckily chopped one onto his stumps, Liam Buttery edged a snorter and Gareth Severin fell to one that not only kept low but nipped back too.
The old adage of bowlers hunting in pairs was never truer and Hayes had struggled to 15-3.
Alex Blake, fresh from an undefeated 50 for Kent at The Oval, the previous night, set about repairing the damage and he was ably accompanied by Tomas Gallagher.
Alex & Tom batted sensibly given the state of the game and took the score to 132, before Alex was adjudged LBW to one that looked to have pitched outside leg. Alex scoring 65 with 8 4’s.
Stuart Eddicott then entered the fray and took on the bowling in his inimitable style – one 6 clearing the clubhouse!
Tomas was next out for 58, another great knock and someone who has taken well to the rigours of the Premier League.
Stuart (27) soon followed but a nice partnership of 37 between the Couldrey Twins (Beau 22 and Joel 21) took the score to 206.
A flurry of runs and wickets saw Hayes take the score to a respectable 220-9 in the 50 overs.
With 3 of the main bowlers missing, it was left to Alfie Peck to take the new ball and despite being hit for 4 boundaries in his first over, he bounced back with a wicket in his second.
Sandwich however took a liking to the weakened Hayes attack, despite a good spell from Stuart Eddicott. It wasn’t until Alex Blakes introduction hat some control was put on the run-chase – Alex bowling 10 overs, 1-38. Stuart bowling his 10 and recording 1-42.
The batsmen played excellently and with wickets in hand, the home side raced home inside 39 overs for a comprehensive 7 wicket victory.
The first hour probably proved crucial as the ball didn’t seem to move around as much after, certainly not when Hayes bowled.
Thanks to Kevin Ringham for making the long journey to score the match.
A chastening loss to mark the end of a great first half – Hayes still top the table, by a point from fellow promoted side, Minster.
The 2’s hosted Sandwich as they attempted to build on last weeks win at Bromley Common.
Sandwich lost the toss and Hayes elected to bat.
Liam Vallois and Grant Sheen started well and despite an early injury to Grant – who did bravely come back – pushed on.
Rory Low, back from University, batted sublimely with Liam in a partnership of 197 as Hayes piled on the runs.
Liam fell with the score on 240, having made a terrific 103. Rory went onto score 110.
Hayes took the total to 290 in their 50 overs.
In reply Jason Thompson struck 2 early blows, followed by Colin Couldrey also taking 3 as Sandwich stuttered to 47-6, with Dammika Silva joining the fray.
The later batsmen outshone the rest as they batted sensibly but the damage had been done early and the innings came to a close on 204. Colin Couldrey taking 4-56 in his 10 over spell.
A great win for the 2’s and they will now look to speed up the table in the 2nd half.
The Meadow was the setting for the 4’s fixture against Streatham & Marlborough.
The visitors won the toss and invited Hayes to bat first, and The Browne Twins put on 72 for the first wicket – well perhaps not twins, father & son! Jeremy being first out for 15, quickly followed by son Marcus for a breezy 56.
Jesse Rowson (61) & Harry Clarke (44) then took up the mantle as Hayes piled on the runs, Leo Webster with 29 ensured the visitors faced the daunting task of chasing down 266 – scored with the loss of only 6 wickets.
Olly Patterson with a fierce opening burst ensured the bowlers wouldn’t let the batters down as he took 3 early wickets to leave the visitors reeling at 19-3.
Sam Carter with a brace ensured that there would be no fightback and when Olly returned for his second spell, he picked up 2 more wickets to finish with 5-27.
There was even time for Jeremy Browne to get in on the act – perhaps the unluckiest batsman of the season – falling to a Sam Millard stumping!
Hayes bowled Streatham & Marlborough put for 139 and a comprehensive 127 run win.
Sunday saw 3 sides in action, with the Women’s 1st XI hosting Hampstead.
Hampstead lost the toss and Hayes opted to bat first – a decision vindicated by a powerful batting performance.
Chelsea Rowson (72) and Jesse Jackson (15) put on a century opening partnership before both fell with the score on 102.
Zeena Billal then chipped in with a brisk 55 as Zoe Hainsworth also put the opposition bowlers to the sword – Zoe finishing on 77 not out at a strike rate of 128.
Hayes finished on 260-3 in their 45 overs.
However, the visitors also batted well – another road prepared by The Shoe – as they also put on a century opening partnership.
In fact, at 170-1 it looked likely that Hampstead would emerge victorious but then a second run-out – both openers were run-out – saw a spectacular collapse as Hayes took the remaining wickets for the addition of 50 more runs.
Beth Egan with 2-26 and Lottie Hayward 3-43 were the successful bowlers.
Hayes now trail Canterbury at the top of the Championship table – the points system uses a complex algorithm and I will invite the Women’s team manager, Mike Askew, to write separate column about.
The Development side kicked-off their season, under the captaincy of Fin Baker, at Sidcup.
Hayes lost the toss and were invited to bowl first.
Luxan Sureshan, took the first wicket to fall in a tidy spell of 8 overs, 1-26, as the Hayes bowlers were on top – Ted Wilkie taking 2-31 and left armer Johnny White also picking up a wicket.
However it was left for the skipper to be the star of the attack – Fin taking 5-30 in a devastating 8 over spell.
Sidcup succumbed for 151 in the penultimate over.
With Sidcup neglecting to tell the Hayes side that they would not be supplying teas it was left to Wilkie Senior to pop out to Dominos and feed the side – Pizza’s seemed to go down better than a traditional tea!
Despite losing Alfie Peck (11) with the score on 30, the Hayes batting dominated the Sidcup attack.
Liam Buttery found his touch and punished some wayward bowling as he found form with an undefeated 81, at a strike rate of 137.
The skipper, undeterred by his fine bowling and Pizza, found the energy to keep Liam company and was only denied a half century by the Sidcup bowling conceding a free-hit to bring the game to a conclusion in the 22nd over – Fin finished on 49 not out.
A fine 9 wicket win to start the season.
The Sunday 2’s made a rare trip to The Meadow as they hosted The Waggoners.
The opposition won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on another fine strip – The Meadow is getting s fine reputation as a magnificent batting track.
Despite an early success for Iain Gauld (1-62), the batting proved too hot for the Hayes bowlers as skipper Rob Taylor used 8 bowlers in an effort to contain the runs.
Ronnie Buddin with 1-29 and Alex Stirling (1-35) had some success – Sam Carter taking the only other wicket to fall – as The Waggoners made 332-5 in their 40 overs.
The Hayes reply got off to the worst possible start as Harry Stevens fell to the 2nd ball of the innings.
This, however, bought Oli Clarke to the crease and he produced a marvellous innings of 140 as he carried his bat – 25 boundaries ensured he didn’t have to run too much!
As wickets fell at regular intervals, it was left to Sam Stealey to keep Oli company – Sam making an excellent 46 before being run-out.
With skipper Rob being the only other batsman to make double figures, the Oli & Sam show managed to get Hayes to a respectable 249-8 in their 40 overs.
A lot of runs scored on The Meadow this weekend.