Broadstairs 1st XI returned to winning ways with a home victory over neighbours Chestfield in what was a must-win for the Seasiders if they were to continue their challenge for promotion.
A sparkling 7th wicket 64-run partnership between Matt Hardy and Alfie Huntley was the X-factor after the hosts, having been invited to bat on a damp pitch in a reduced 45-overs game, found themselves 94-6 and staring in the face of another batting collapse. This was despite another solid start in the early overs, once again followed by the loss of 4 wickets in rapid succession.
Step-up Hardy and Huntley who demonstrated a level of intent in shot-play and running that has been missing from the middle-order in recent weeks. When Huntley (31) and Hardy (57) were eventually dismissed in successive overs, the score was 158 with eight overs still remaining. Bradley Ellison (17) and Oliver Frewin (11) were able to capitalise on the shift in momentum and their final wicket partnership of 23 gave a final boost to the Broadstairs total, finishing on 204-9, a score that looked well out of reach for the first half of the innings.
Any hope on Chestfield’s part that they might get close to this total were dashed before ten overs were up with opening bowler Harry Carter claiming three key wickets in an outstanding spell of bowling. Carter finished his seven overs with figures of 3-18 and with the equally parsimonious Ellison (0-15) at the other end, it was becoming increasing difficult to see where Chestfield’s runs would come from.
With heavy rain forecast, the clouds gathering and the rumble of distant thunder punctuating successive overs, a degree of urgency started to build amongst the host side. Learning from the experience earlier in the season against Harvel, they were keen to avoid having another winning position ripped from their grasp by a downpour. As a result, the drinks break was declined and the bowling quartet of Chris Kidd, Nathan Fox, Oliver Frewin and Geroge Kidd got to work on drawing-out some false shots and prising out the remaining batsmen.
The Kidd combination claimed the seven wickets between them with Chris Kidd (5-18) achieving his second 5 wicket haul of the season and George Kidd finishing with 2-6 off 3.3 overs, with rain starting to fall shortly after the completion of the match.
The victory returns Broadstairs to 4th place in Division 2, setting-up a crucial 3rd vs 4th match at home to Old Wilsonians next week.