Cricket: Cowdrey are promoted as Fenwick leaves Tonbridge agonisingly short

Cricket: Cowdrey's Fenwick puts Walmer under his spell

Cowdrey 194-9 beat Tonbridge 189 by 5 runs

COWDREY gained revenge for their earlier defeat by local rivals Tonbridge with a narrow win which secured promotion from Kent League Division Four.

Tonbridge skipper Matt Smiles won the toss and inserted the hosts, but openers Ash Borella (27) and Jack Southwart made a promising start.

The introduction of Khurram Shehzad changed the complexion of the game as 57 for 0 became 63 for 3, with Borella dismissed and then Mills and talisman Ryan Addison back in the hutch.

Southwart continued to keep the Tonbridge bowling at bay, playing a masterful innings in tricky circumstances, and he found an able ally in veteran Glen Warner (26).

Their partnership of 56 seemed to put Cowdrey back in the driving seat but Shehzad removed the gritty Warner and keeper Barney Scott to return outstanding figures of 5 for 22 in his 10 overs.

Southwart was finally removed for 58 including three fours and two sixes. It was to prove an invaluable innings in difficult conditions.

Xavier Yeats-Brown struck the ball cleanly and was involved in an important 53-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Stuart Clarke (34).

That allowed the home side to post a decent total of 194 for 9 with Smiles returning 2 for 45 and Mike Jessop 2 for 36.

The Tonbridge response was marshalled by Stephen Hall whilst others looked to be aggressive. But this plan backfired when Chris Fenwick took early wickets to put the visitors on the back foot on 21 for 2.

The innings was rebuilt by overseas star Ben Salt (25) and there was huge relief among the home ranks when Addison bowled the Australian.

With an end open Cowdrey looked to push home the advantage and Warner (2 for 33) picked up two wickets in an over to leave Tonbridge 120 runs adrift with only five wickets remaining.

Hall, however, stood firm and was granite-like in defence. Partnerships with Jessop and Smiles seemed to change the momentum of the game and put Tonbridge within range.

The returning Thom Brown (2 for 36) picked up two crucial wickets clean bowled, which turned the match back in Cowdrey’s favour, and 40 runs were required with two wickets left.

Hall reached his half-century and looked to be nursing Tonbridge home but there was a twist in the tail as opening bowler Fenwick removed the last two wickets to return 4 for 38.

His victims included Hall, the opener being last man out for 66 with five boundaries to leave his side agonisingly five runs short on 189 all out with seven balls unused.

There were wild celebrations when the home players heard that Walmer had lost by two runs, thereby handing promotion to Cowdrey.

They entertain High Halstow on Saturday [August 18] knowing that victory will all but guarantee them the Division Four title.

PICTURE: TOAST OF THE TOWN: Cowdrey celebrate their promotion to Division Three after the Tonbridge derby

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