Broadstairs suffered their first defeat of the season in a match that they will look back on as one that was there for the taking.
Dartford won the toss and chose to bat in conditions that were still damp from overnight rain but would dry out during the course of the afternoon heat.
Despite losing an early wicket, the visitors made rapid progress, reaching 71-1 by the 17th over when opener Chapelhow was caught by George Kidd off the bowling of Bradley Ellison for a quick-fire 56. The combination of Ellison and Chris Kidd, followed by 10-over spells from Jamie Dewell and Callum Morgan put a stranglehold on the Dartford innings and they eventually were all out for 187 with wickets shared between Ellison (2-30), Chris Kidd (3-28), Dewell (2-25) and George Kidd who claimed 3 wickets from 3.2 overs to finish off the innings.
As in previous weeks, the Broadstairs opening partnership of Alex Hogben and Nathan Fox got the hosts’ reply off to a sprightly start, the pair putting on 35 before Hogben was caught behind in the seventh over for 18. This precipitated a succession of cheap wickets with incoming batsmen giving themselves little chance to adapt to the conditions before getting out. When Fox was eventually dismissed for 31 with the score at 70-6, Broadstairs were staring at a heavy defeat and some stern resistance from the middle/lower order would be required to turn the tide. The combination of Chris Flint (43) and Alfie Huntley (28) batted together for 17 overs and brought the target within touching distance. However, when Huntley was out caught-and-bowled, the challenge was too stiff for the remaining batsmen and the hosts were all out for 163 in the 48th over, still 24 runs short of the target.
The match was a stark reminder that whilst the side has plenty of bowling options, the solidity of the batting throughout the team needs to improve if Broadstairs’ challenge for promotion is to be sustained. Next week, they travel to Nonington hoping to learn from this disappointment and to get themselves back into winning ways.