The delightful setting of the county ground at Tunbridge Wells welcomed the 1st XI on Saturday.
Beau called wrong but TW obliged by opting to bat first – however with the score on 92-0 after 14 overs it looked like they had made not only the right call but were on target for a 300 plus score.
The Beast, Andrew Eddicott, had other ideas. He has been the sides secret weapon this season and Saturday was no exception as he took the first 3 wickets to leave the home side on 115-3.
A small partnership was brought to an end by Beau Couldrey and 150-3 quickly became 173-9 as Will MacVicar, Stuart Eddicott, Connor Byrne joined The Beast in taking wickets – a late flurry was ended by Will and TW were stunned to be dismissed for 183 after such an exciting start.
With 2 Ex-Presidents in Stuart Whitehead and Garth Cooper in attendance, alongside Vice President Peter Askew, the Hayes bowling fought back strongly and demonstrated our strength in depth.
Gareth Severin has been a revelation since a mid-season break in Italy – maybe a Papal blessing helped? – and took 3 catches behind the stumps.
Gareth opened the batting with James Bamber. Another fast start ensued before James fell for 11 with the score on 42 – Gareth and Will took the score to 91 before Will fell – this led to a minor collapse and at 96-4 the match was finely poised.
Rory Low is well known for a Goweresque approach to batting but Saturday saw him adopt the Boycottian approach and he played a fine foil to Gareth.
Gareth went onto score his maiden century for Hayes in a beautiful innings encompassing 13 fours and 2 sixes before he finally fell in the 45th over.
This bought the skipper to the wicket – however minus his helmet!
With only 8 needed he fell and when his brother Joel needlessly ran-out Rory, TW saw an inking of an unlikely win, but Connor Byrne and Joel made sure there would be no more palpitations and Hayes bounced back to a 3-wicket win.
Minster, who had beaten Hayes last week, were themselves beaten and so after Week 13, Hayes are a point behind and there’s 5 to play!
Liam Vallois and Alfie Peck put on 33 for the opening wicket – Alfie out for 15 and this saw Fin Baker stride to the wicket.
Clearly enjoying the warm weather, Fin took the game to the bowlers amassing a fine 101 before being dismissed just before the interval.
Sam Davis (19), Matthew Baker (12) Leo Webster (13) and an excellent 34 from Jo Cotton saw Hayes move the score to 250.
The wicket at Hayes has earned the groundsman rave reviews and it proved to be an excellent batting track.
Jo Cotton had one of the openers caught behind of the 5th ball, but this was to be a rare success as the batsmen flourished.
Fin and Alfie took a further wicket each, but the visitors coasted home in the 46th over for a 7-wicket win.
The Meadow hosted 2nd placed Hayes 3rd XI against table topping London Knights.
Marc Wheatly and co. was invited to bowl first and Olly Patterson and Will Hadley opened with tight spells, but it wasn’t until MD Belal was brought int the attack that Hayes made the breakthrough.
MD having the Knights skipper leg before, with Will Hadley removing the other opener.
Graeme Morrison’s nagging line and length ensured scoring wasn’t easy and with the Hayes fielders on top form, runs were hard to come by.
A middle order rear-guard action saw the Knights finish their innings on 181-6.
MD was the pick of the bowling with his 9 overs picking up 2-26.
Olly had bowled tightly and fielded excellently as Hayes went to tea the happier of the 2 sides.
Marcus Browne, promoted for his 3’s debut, opened with Connor Daniel, facing an attack that has bowled most sides out for less than a 100.
However, The Meadow is challenging the Main Square as a batting paradise and Marcus made a fine 45 before his demise – with the total over 100, victory was in sight.
Connor Daniel was next out for a great 88 as Hayes showed signs of a slight wobble – certainly the opposition felt they were back in the game.
A couple of close leg-before shouts were turned down as Dave Cross (22) and skipper Marc (21) steered Hayes home to a fine win.
The 3’s remain in 2nd place in a tightly contested league.
The 4’s travelled to Loring Hall to play Bexley and invited the opposition to bat first on a wicket that bore no resemblance to the beauty at Hayes.
All the bowlers took wickets with Ronnie Buddin and Ben Manners taking 2 each – Oliver Molsher, David Tappenden, Edward Wilike and Sam Aylwin ensuring the home side were dismissed for 167.
Batting wasn’t easy but Jeremy Browne with 26 dealt well with not opening with his son, but it was an excellent innings from Sam Aylwin that nearly got Hayes an unlikely win.
Sam fell for 85 in the final over with Hayes being dismissed just 10 runs shy of victory!
No other Hayes batsman got into double figures so credit to Sam & Jeremy for nearly getting home.
Sunday had the Development side in action at Home, playing local rivals, Old Wilsonians.
Ow’s won the toss and elected to bat, something Oli Molsher found to his liking as he took 2 early wickets – Lucca Baker chipping in with the other opener.
Jo Cotton proved to be the pick of the bowlers with a spell of 3-17 as Hayes took wickets regularly.
202-9 in 40 overs looked a good score but on another fine batting wicket, Hayes recovered from the early loss of Alfie Peck (16) to rattle off the runs in 23 overs – Finlay Baker (72*) and Liam Buttery (77*) entertaining a fine crowd who could then enjoy the Women’s Football match.
Five matches left of the league season and all sides have much to play for – can the 1st XI prove to be History Makers!
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