Cricket: Sevenoaks Vine in tatters after losing points for rule breach

    SEVENOAKS VINE went into their local derby at Tunbridge Wells under a cloud after they were docked all 18 points from their first match of the season for fielding an unregistered – and therefore ineligible – player.

    The Vine had made a strong start to the season by recording a thumping six-wicket victory over Lordswood in the pipe opener.

    They arrived at the Nevill ground in determined mood but they came up against much stiffer opponents and found themselves heading back down the A21 very early.

    Tunbridge Wells put them in to bat on a track which had showed some life early on and the visitors were reduced to 73 for 7 before the halfway mark.

    The home captain Alex Williams brought Paddy Sadler on at the Pavilion End instead of his customary Railway End, and he responded by grabbing 3 for 26.

    He and Dave Smith (2 for 31) ripped out the top order, while Chris Williams picked up 2 for 14 and his brother Alex 2 for 27.

    Only the veteran opener John Bowden put up any early resistance with dour 20.

    Ollie Howick, newly restored to the Sevenoaks side, top-scored with a vital 30 as the wicket eased, but the final score of 124 all out was an insufficient target.

    Wells’ new recruit Christian Davis fell to the new ball and his fellow opener Chris Williams was dismissed for 25 to give the Vine some degree of hope at 35 for 2.

    But Alex Williams batted carefully and hit the ball hard while Michael Waller dug deep to support his captain, and the pair added 87 before Waller miscued to square leg for 27 off 73 balls.

    The skipper romped to his second successive half-century – 53 not out off 76 balls with eight fours and six – and wrapped up the win by seven wickets with 21.2 overs to spare, which placed Wells equal sixth in the table.

    It was their first victory over the Vine since 2011. Their next opponents are Beckenham, who are level with Wells on points, at the Foxgrove.

    In Division One Linden Park were defeated by 95 runs at Bickley Park. The home side were bowled out for 224 in the final over after winning the toss.

    Carl Hopkinson had made 42 and Harry Hovey 34 at the top of the order.

    Then Falzalm Nizamdeen chipped in with 45, adding 67 with Gordon Darroch (29) for the seventh wicket to boost the total, while Usman Sahar took 3 for 21.

    Opener Scott Newman proved the mainstay of the Linden Park innings but no other batsman managed double figures as the innings tailed off at 129 all out from 37.1 overs, Phil Browning picking up 4 for 24.

    Newman, remarkably, scored 91 off 103 balls – contributing more than 70 per cent of the runs.