Impressive Bridges lose at Dartford

Cricket Three Bridges v Ansty. 07-5-16 Matt Blandford. Pic Steve Robards SR1613123 SUS-160905-130515001
Cricket Three Bridges v Ansty. 07-5-16 Matt Blandford. Pic Steve Robards SR1613123 SUS-160905-130515001
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Three Bridges arrived at Dartford for the second round of the national cup with a few changes to their side from Saturday. Keats returned with Adur and Conor Golding making their first appearances of the season.

Batting first, new opening pair Atif Elahi and Dom Keats didn’t start well and Keats went second ball.

Once again Bridges’ top order struggled and nerves over another low score were present.

Conor Golding clearly didn’t have those nerves, though, as he came out and changed the tempo with several stunning boundaries, hitting straight.

But Golding hit one shot too many straight to mid-off, 46-3.

Tom Blandford and Elahi’s 76-run partnership ended as Elahi couldn’t lift over mid-off, and he was out for 39.

A mini-collapse occurred as Walker nicked to Allen and Rose went first ball to Williams. Tom Blandford came out only to run out his youngest brother for 42, a situation set to cause controversy round the dinner table for weeks to come.

Tom and Bellars gave the innings some energy back and ran hard while hitting boundaries, a good knock of 25 from the captain lead to a total of 173 all out.

A competitive score on a slowing pitch and a fantastic tea meant the boys were slightly buoyant at half-time.

Dartford started their innings poorly and found themselves 73-5 after Matt Blandford produced a now-typical attacking spell and took all five, a promising sight for the coming season.

Even with Kent professional Jackson and a strong Kent Premier batting line-up, Bridges were all over their opposition.

However Lewis-Ranwell and Williams came together and started to stabilise.

They batted with control and caution as Rose and Alderman kept it tight.

The longer the partnership went on, the more secure they looked, until a game-changing moment.

Bridges were convinced they had Williams caught behind off Rose on the cut but he decided not to walk and the umpire gave it not out.

That wicket would have put Bridges firmly in the driving seat.

This led to frustration 
from the away side and eventually another gutting defeat.

The pair batted well, to their credit, and saw it home with a few overs to spare.

A defeat from the jaws of victory never feels good, but to push a very strong side so close was an impressive effort, and it could have gone either way.

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