It was a tough start to life in Division 2 for Broadstairs. Upchurch had six new recruits in their side that narrowly missed promotion last year.
Broadstairs lost the toss and were inserted on a pitch that looked to offer more to the bowlers after a cold, damp week.
The omens were not good after opener and overseas star, Swaroop Dasari, was back in the pavilion without troubling the scorers. This was the first success for fast bowler, Danny Masters, who was hostile throughout. (4-15 in 7 overs)
Former Essex star, David Masters was soon in the action, picking up the wickets of Chris Flint and Jack Wheeler, and Scott Narraway, falling to Kevin Masters.
Through all of this young Elliot Fox kept a cool head and good technique to put together a useful innings of 55 off 119 balls. He will score more runs, no doubt, but perhaps not in such testing circumstances. Matt Frewin contributed in the only meaningful partnership of 44 in the innings.
The final total of 143 was always going to be difficult to defend unless an early breakthrough was made.
In reply, despite consistently beating the bat, the home attack could not break the opening partnership until there was 101 on the board. Broadstairs’ sixth and seventh bowlers picking up the four wickets which proved too little, too late. Matt Frewin, 3-21 and Elliot Fox, 1-9 being the successes.
Broadstairs can take some positives from this performance. Upchurch will be the favourites for promotion. They have recruited very strongly. Broadstairs bowling was largely tidy but on occasion let down by cold fingers and limbs in the field. On another day the opening bowlers could have bowled with a little more luck.
Next week they will play Sibton Park and hope for a little sunshine too.
Result: Upchurch won by 6 wickets.
In the second team fixture at Upchurch, it was the veterans who contributed to an excellent win by two wickets.
Upchurch batted first and mustered a useful total, despite the usual miserly, masterclass of seam bowling from Bradley Ellison (1-36 off 15). His careful diet and training should be an inspiration to others in the club. With opener Apps scoring 52 and Carlton (batting at 3) hitting 63, Broadstairs would have settled for chasing a target of 206 to win. There were useful bowling contributions from Farjad Yasir and Callum McCormick, who both picked up a couple of wickets.
Veteran keeper and veteran batsman played an excellent opening innings of 69 with good support from Simpson, 27, and Callum Morgan, 36, but it was the captain, Andy Marshall, who guided his side over the finishing line with an unbeaten 28, with just five balls of the innings remaining. A great start to the season.
Next week the Seconds will be at home against Bexleyheath. Start time 12.30pm.
Result: Broadstairs won