Win :: Played on Sunday 28th July 2002
Linton Park are usually one of the hardest games of the season for Knockers and the fact that Linton Park were the reigning Kent Village champions confirmed that their standards had not slipped. Knockers' Captain Lynden Spencer-Allen won the toss and bravely chose to field in the scorching 30-degree heat. The Skipper and Edward Irwin opened the bowling and despite their toil both looked like they weren't going to get any reward for some good bowling. However, the breakthrough finally came in Ed Irwin's 7th over when he nipped one back to clean bowl Linton Park's opening batsman. The wicket brought Thirkell in to join Morrison who had been scoring freely. Guthrie Miller, Paul Seldon and Guy Howe were all brought into the attack but none could break the partnership. Corin Spencer-Allen unusually bowling off-spin showed early promise but was struggling to find consistency. Morrison meanwhile raced to his century with the Linton Park total at only 140. However, having reached three figures Morrison went on the attack but having come down the track Corin Spencer-Allen beguiled him with flight and spin and Thomas tidily whipped the bails off. Thirkell, however, made sure that there was no let up for Knockers reaching his 50 in good time. Once again though Corin Spencer-Allen had the answer and got one through the gate to clip the top of leg stump. The 1999 National Village champions continued to pile on the runs eventually declaring on 228-4 when Corin Spencer-Allen picked up his third wicket having resorted to his more familiar medium pacers.
The ominous run chase began with Corin Spencer-Allen and Paul Styles looking to provide a solid start but Knockers' worst fears were realised when Corin Spencer-Allen chipped the first ball of the innings from Thirkell to mid-on where Harris took a smart one handed catch. The two Pauls, Schofield and Styles, continued to battle but faced with tight bowling were struggling to score. Schofield was caught when trying to up the run rate bringing Charlie Irwin to the crease. Despite some stylish stroke play Charlie Irwin was out when he got a faint edge to the keeper. Paul Styles followed shortly after for 35 when he too was looking to get Knockers nearer the required run rate. Paul Seldon and Andrew Marshall then forged a match changing partnership of 90. Seldon's textbook stroke-play tormented the Linton Park bowlers while Marshall worked the ball around cleverly. Having batted Knockers within range of victory Marshall played around a straight one and was bowled by Thirkell for 28 creating more uncertainty. Guthrie Miller looked solid but was the victim of another good ball from Thirkell. Martin Thomas is renowned for scoring quickly and that was exactly what was required with Knockers needing 6 an over for victory. However, the expected big hitting was replaced by intelligent batting from Thomas who picked the gaps and ran hard. Nerves began to jangle when the sublime innings of Paul Seldon ended with him being bowled for 86. Martin Thomas was out caught shortly afterwards mistiming an on-drive which ironically had been one of his most successful shots. With the wickets beginning to fall Knockers were looking less assured but by this stage only 13 more runs were required. Guy Howe and Lynden Spencer-Allen were determined not to let the chance of a memorable victory slip away and both put in solid performances before the skipper Lynden Spencer-Allen finished the match in style with a flashing cover drive for four.
>> Click Here for 2002 Home Page
228 - 4