By David Fox
Broadstairs 1st XI secured third spot in Division 2 with a straight-forward win at home to OD CUACO in what was effectively a 3rd vs 4th play-off to round-off the season.
Having won the toss, skipper surprised his opponents (and a number of his team-mates) by electing to field first, hoping the early cloud cover would favour the Broadstairs opening attack. As it turned out, the first wicket didn’t fall until the twelfth over when Hogben ran out Webster with a direct hit.
The hosts then had to wait another ten overs before capturing their second wicket, Chris Kidd snatching a slip catch off the bowling of Jamie Dewell. Dewell bowled with excellent control throughout his ten overs, finishing with figures of 1-13. Further wickets were claimed by George Kidd (2-19) and Nathan Fox (1-23) before Chris Kidd (1-23) trapped Parr LBW for his 38th wicket of the season and in the process, finishing-up the top wicket-taker for Division 2.
With the score on 98-6, the match appeared to be slipping away from the visitors but a seventh wicket stand of 48 enabled OD CUCAO to complete their innings with a fairly respectable 162-8, the final two wickets falling to Harry Carter (2-26).
The Broadstairs reply began confidently, with Alex Hogben racing to 43 before he was bowled by Ainger in the tenth over. Ainger would finish with figures of 5-24, finding spin and bounce in a pitch that had looked relatively lifeless earlier in the match. Key additional contributions from Andrew Bailey (32), Harry Carter (19) and Jamie Dewell 32* saw the side home and it was Dewell who scored the winning runs with a boundary, completing an impressive all-round performance.
The side will have learned much from this season. They were in the promotion hunt for much of the campaign but a couple of careless performances contributed to a full-house of defeats against the two promoted teams and this in the end cost them their promotion chance. They will be looking to strengthen the side ahead of the 2022 season and will have promotion to Division 1 firmly in their sights.