Kent inspires Fareham & Crofton win

Tom Kent scored a career-best 105
Tom Kent scored a career-best 105
Fidel Edwards bowled a six over stint of two for 15 Picture: Neil Marshall

Edwards doubles up to leave Hampshire in the hunt

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Tom Kent hit a maiden century as Fareham & Crofton got their Hampshire League division one campaign off the mark with a three-wicket win over Burridge II at Bath Lane.

Kent celebrated the end of his exams at Reading University with a career-best 105 not out, hitting the winning runs in the final over of the game.

Home captain Luke Gould holds vice-captain Kent up as a shining example of the club’s homegrown policy.

‘Tom came up through our colts system, as have all the current members of our senior squad,’ said Gould.

‘He is a lovely left-handed batsman who loves to cover drive and the cut shot.

‘When he gets going he is very elegant and makes batting look very easy.

‘Now he has got his university commitments out the way we are expecting him to score a lot of runs this summer.

‘As a club we aim to get out into the community and develop local talent.

‘We get out into the local schools and run five colts sides across four age groups.

‘Hopefully, our model is a good one as we set out to be a community and family-friendly club.

‘Certainly, our facilities at Bath Lane are second to none.’

After losing their two opening games, Gould recognised it was important that Fareham & Crofton broke their duck.

Bowling first after losing the toss, the home side reduced Burridge II to 70 for three off the first 20 overs.

Seventeen-year-old Oliver Southon (three for 53) – another product from the colts – grabbed a couple of early wickets.

He was aided by fellow teenager Morgan Frost (two for 38) bowling his slow left-arm spin.

For Burridge, Ollie Wright (70 not out) was the leading light as the visitors ended on 232 for seven after their 50 overs.

‘We felt that total was a little below par on our ground,’ added Gould.

‘It didn’t look good, though, when we lost a couple of early wickets.’

Kent, however, remained calm and, along with Matt Gould (33), started to build a solid platform.

When Gould was bowled, the home side were still behind the required run-rate.

The arrival of Southon (61), however, gave the host’s innings a renewed impetus, with Kent continuing to tick over at the other end.

Although Southon eventually departed, Kent and Frost guided Fareham home to a vital win.

The captain added: ‘It is always good to get a first win under the belt.

‘In our first two games we were finding our feet after our pre-season preparations were disrupted by the weather.

‘Our aim is to be pushing at the top end of the Hampshire League and in the next few years regain our place in the Southern Premier League.’