Davis and Stickler ensure Tunbridge Wells stay in front

LEADING LIGHT Abi Todd was named Kent League Player of the Year

Tunbridge Wells 223-9 beat Tenterden 184-9 by 39 runs

TUNBRIDGE WELLS showed valiant resolve to post a challenging total against Tenterden at the Nevill.

Kent Premier League debutant Isaac Bepey then picked up two timely wickets with his pace to strangle the run-chase.

Wells were put in to bat and suffered an early setback as home captain Chris Williams was caught behind off the second ball of the innings.

Fellow opener Michael Waller (20) and Christian Davis dug in to forge a careful 74-run partnership to set the innings on the path to safety.

After Waller fell, Davis moved serenely to his maiden Kent League half-century, reaching 58 from 89 balls with five fours.

But the Tenterden attack made the headway as the balance of the game shifted from side to side.

There was turn for the spinners, but Marcus O’Riordan (30) and Will Stickler (34) were well suited to deal with it and the run-rate increased.

Stickler’s fine innings was given solid support from Dave Smith and Ari Karvelas at the end of the innings, with Sam Jones (3 for 52) the pick of the Tenterden attack.

The visiting openers Christoper Vernon (63) and Justin Mosca (28) showed patience and resolve in equal measure, bringing up the half-century.

Spin made the breakthrough, then Karvelas and Paddy Sadler got among the wickets, the former aided by a remarkable catch from O’Riordan.

Sadler also produced an excellent yorker that crashed into Tenterden captain Ben Price’s stumps, removing the chief architect of any likely victory charge.

It was O’Riordan’s spin that ended Vernon’s valiant vigil, which lasted 98 balls and featured only three boundaries – such was the pressure exerted by the bowlers.

That left Tenterden on 124 for 5 with 14 overs remaining, at which point Bepey was brought into the attack and the young paceman soon snapped up a couple of wickets.

The tail wagged, helping the visitors to reach 184 for 9, but it was not enough to trouble Wells.

Smith was outstanding, conceding a miserly 19 runs from his 10 overs, while new boy Karvelas managed another haul of three wickets (3 for 39).

Tunbridge Wells now face Blackheath at The Rectory Field on Saturday [May 26].

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