2nd XI win over Farncombe

The 2nd XI continued their promotion push with a 46 run victory – with bonus point – over Farncombe at the Rec.

Stoke skipper Malcolm Dickson was an early casualty with just an extra on the board; but substance was given to total with century partnerships, (both exactly 100), between Steve Wade, (39), and Simon Engelen; for the second wicket; then Engelen and Matt Gottschalk for the fourth.

Engelen hit 89 before falling to the returning Kerrigan, (2-39), but Gottschalk brought his good form from the Shepherd Neame 20:20 Finals day to the crease and hit a career best 65 not out.

A late clatter of late wickets in the pursuit of quick runs closed the Stoke innings on 233 for 6 in 50 overs.

In reply, colts products Tom Gudgeon, (2-38), and Will Lander reduced the visitors to 37 for 4 with two wickets each; Johnny Lawes holding a superb slip catch. Diprose and Lamble both hit 24 but the latter was the first of three players to be bowled by Gary Harkett, (3-45) – Lawes chipped in with a wicket and Stoke looked set fair for a comfortable afternoon with the scoreboard showing 118 for 8.

Lower order resistance from D.Patterson, (53), and Bray, (41), ensured a few nervy moments – particularly with a bonus point target of 193 in the home side’s brief; but the returning Lander, (3-22), took Bray’s wicket; then Gottschalk closed the innings on 187 in just the 34th over.

Although Stoke lie 3rd in the table, promotion is still in their own hands as the two sides above them, Brook and Dor