Dragons lose by 7 wickets
Dragons 151-8 (M. Tavare 25; W. Downes 33*; R. Davies 25. Smyth 3-17)
Sevenoaks Vine 155-3 (Proctor 54. J Peck 7-2-21-1)
After the excitement of an inaugural fixture against the MCC on the Wednesday and a lively night in Headcorn, playing at the Vine was always going to test the stamina the following day. However, there can be no excuses – the Vine produced a strong outfit befitting their expectations of the Dragons over recent years. There were familiar faces from the games at Sutton Valence and most notably a spin attack that proved to be particularly challenging.
Although Dragons made a steady start to their 40 over innings, reaching 42 before the fall of the first wicket, they failed to establish any partnerships of substance when confronted with the turning ball and sharp fielding. Will Downes played a superbly patient knock to hold the innings together as wicket fell steadily around him. However, as partnerships splintered at cheap rates (18;4;6;0;12;19) acceleration in the latter overs was particularly difficult. 151 always looked to be well below par.
The President spoke warmly of the Vine’s fine hospitality and took the opportunity to present the President’s Cup following the morning’s golf. To the delight of all, Jes Page won the trophy showing fine form as he recovers from illness.
The Dragons took the field after tea needing early wickets or a dramatically frugal run rate to impose some pressure on the Vine batsmen. Despite the best efforts of Joe Peck, neither happened. With Dragons spinners not finding significant turn to trouble the batsmen, the Vine steadily accelerated to reach this undemanding target with consummate ease. Our hosts were very deserving of this easy victory with a quality outfit producing a level that the Dragons will need to aspire to in 2018.
Report by Mike Davies