By Micky Garner and Brian Butchers
After a long drawn out discussion on wages, the Committee decided to employ a new groundsman in Mr Wright for the coming season. There were grand celebrations in May when Tony Cummins and Sheila Constantine were married at St Elphege’s Church Wallington and a fine reception for the couple when they arrived at the Beddington Cricket club. Tony Cummins like his father was later to become the Club President himself, after producing a cricketing son and daughter.
The wedding day of our future president Antony Cummins and Sheila with Cliff Richards, Terry Lees, Robert Cummins and Antony Ward.
The Beddington 1st XI enjoyed their best ever season in the Championship finishing a creditable 3rd behind East Molesey and Spencer. A disappointing start with the first four games being drawn was followed by a purple patch over the next ten fixtures, which resulted in eight victories and a draw which took the club to the top of the table with four games remaining, with a win in the final game to make sure of the title, but this was not to be.
Newcomer to Surrey Cricket David Laitt had taken over as club Captain. He had appeared in the John Haig Cup Final for Reading in 1979. He had also represented Oxfordshire in Minor County Cricket and had played Sunday Cricket for Beddington during 1979 while still playing at Reading on Saturday. He has taken over from Graham Brown who had given up the club Captaincy after three years. David Laitt shouldered the main burden of the bowling attack taking 47 wickets, his best performance was 8 wickets for 54 runs against Epsom. Excellent support came from Martin Bamber who topped the bowling averages with 19 wickets and Mike Willett, whose 29 wickets was just reward for some accurate off-spin bowling, with Tony Cummins and Tim Alcroft with 26 and 18 wickets respectively a valuable contribution. These performances led to the taking of no fewer than 162 wickets with the opposition bowled out on 10 occasions.
The success of the side was to a great extent due to some excellent and on occasions brilliant out cricket. The close catching of Antony Cummins and Tim Alcroft in the slips and Roger Laitt at short leg sharing 30 catches, added to the fine out-fielding always keeping the batsmen under pressure. The wicket keeping of Andy Tibble was efficient and his sixteen victims were a fair return. The team were also indebted to Sid Rhodes (umpire) and Carol Farr (scorer) who contributed to a most enjoyable season. Antony Cummins completed the championship double, scoring 399 runs with 102 n.o. in 86 balls against Cheam the only century scored this season. Both Robert and Antony Cummins topped the Sunday Whole Day batting averages this year.
The 2nd XI runners up in the previous two seasons, were slightly disappointed to finish 5th in the 2nd Division, the Captain Geoff Knight missing seven matches through injury. The team played under three captains. Nonetheless some excellent bowling and catching saw some fine victories recorded eight in all, especially the defeat of eventual champions Purley. The performance of the season however belonged to the evergreen Ron Dolby who scored 378 runs opening the innings and whose 31 wickets cost 7.39 runs apiece. Finally the team were indebted to Arnold Cummins and Pat Smyth for their competent work as Umpire and scorer throughout the season.
The 3rd IX for this year captained by Mike Terry with B King as Vice-Captain. In their first match against Sunbury. Stewart took 7 wickets for 23 runs in 12 overs, Sunbury being bowled out for 118 runs, in reply Beddington scored 119 for 5 wickets with Roy Collins 61 runs and J Southgate 27 runs. By June, the Third XI had won four of their first five games until the Old Whitgiftians spoilt the fun in the sixth. In August Beddington declared against Mitcham at 150 for 5 wickets with R Collins 58 n.o. and K Dolby 37 runs. Mitcham in reply were bowled out for 22 runs with P Pepper 5 wickets for 6 runs and D Robson 5 wickets for 9 runs. In September they had another fine win over Bromley by two runs with D Robson taking another 6 wickets.
This was a good season for the third XI with R Collins topping the batting averages in great speed, with D Robson, P Pepper and C Dolby sharing the wickets. Mike Terry must have been pleased in his first year as Captain. The 4th XI had started the year without a Captain until a true veteran of the club Mr Ted Hill was asked to Skipper the side and he accepted the challenge. Ted Hill a Barnardo’s Boy, had been adopted as a boy by a Wallington builder, he had flown as a rear gunner for Bomber Command in the RAF, and also helped the club to restore the Pavilion in their hour of need, after the second Pavilion fire (1969-70).
After the success of last season 1981 was very much an anti-climax for Beddington 1st XI, when they recorded only four wins and finished as low as 16th in the league. The reasons were fairly clear neither batsmen nor bowlers achieved the same level of performances as the previous season. David Laitt finishing the season with 41 wickets, including 26 in the last five games. Roger Laitt established himself as one of the Championship leading batsmen, with his first 100 runs against Streatham and a total of 460 runs at an average of 32.85. Robert Cummins although perhaps not scoring as heavily scored 407 runs at an average of 29.7 runs and played several good innings including a century at Maldon Wanderers.
The find of the season was Malcolm Sales, a local Beddington boy who came into the first XI half-way through the season and proceeded to the top of both the bowling and batting average with 32.40 runs. He may improve the performances of the side next season. Useful contributions came from Tony Cummins, Jon Rix and Tim Alcroft. The fielding as ever was of a high standard with R Laitt, T Cummins and T Alcroft sharing 34 catches between them, in a disappointing season.
The Beddington 2nd XI under a new Captain in Jonathan Rix were still the most consistent side in the club finishing in 5th place, fairly reflecting a season in which the side looked very good at times, but at others very ordinary, the side was unusually short of available spin bowlers causing an unbalanced attack at times. Jonathan Cummins taking 25 wickets in 8 games and Farrh Zaman went one better. Peter Pepper was the most consistent seamer, with 20 wickets and Ron Dolby although only playing seven games through injury topped both the bowling and the batting averages. Martin Seymour who scored 101 n.o. in a disappointing draw against Streatham.
Graham Brown in a brief visit from the first XI scored 113 n.o. against the Old Whitgiftians and Malcolm Sales contributions soon attracted the attention of the 1st XI. The wicket keeping was mainly in the hands of Tony Ward whose 18 victims included 5 stumpings, the fielding was somewhat lacking and not up to the standard of previous years.
The team recorded six wins, three draws and three defeats finishing in 4th position in the table. The batting was almost a replica of the previous season and was generally disappointing, K McLagen (209 runs), Roy Collins (188 runs) and D Sturt (188 runs) were the most consistent batsmen while A Hicks (114 runs) contributed to the score at times. Jim Holtby behind the stumps also had moments of inspiration. John Stewart was by far the best bowler taking a remarkable 32 wickets, followed a long way behind by the Captain Mike Terry and D Robson.
One of the most remarkable performances unfortunately came from a member of the opposition. Not to put too finer point on it. Beddington 3rds were “Bothamised” by a chap from Malden Wanderers who scored 100 runs in 68 minutes to win the game. Bit of a liberty really, he not only spoilt the game but got everybody into the bar earlier than expected. It was pleasing to see that several colts appeared in the side this season showing extreme promise as well as keenness in the field.
At the General Committee 1st September 1981, D M Brewer was elected to the playing membership. David Brewer played at Beddington for two seasons in the Surrey Championship he was very friendly with David Laitt and his son Roger. Others in the side included D Southgate, J Cummins and Malcolm Sales. David Brewer who in a letter to his friend, considered Beddington CC to be great club.
A V A Cummins was in his third term as President, his son A G Cummins would be skippering the 1st XI for the first time. A full playing member subscription now stood at £25, (£20 if paid by May) Juniors paying £10, (18-21) under 18 years £5. Ron Dolby proposed and K McLagan seconded, that match fees should be 50 pence per game for all playing members. The 2nd XI Captain, Martin Seymour with J Cummins as Vice-Captain. 3rd XI Captained by J Stewart the 4th XI by H Jordan. Captain of the Sunday Whole Day side being Cliff Richards with A Tibble as Vice Captain.
In February, one of the giants in Beddington’s history Sydney Cooper a Life Member, had passed away. Apparently he had upset Alf Gover of Surrey by standing up at the wicket when he bowled. Sydney Cooper was a very jovial person, until his stumping was given n.o. by the Umpire, he would flatten the stumps and leave them for the umpire to pick up. He told me he would buy several local newspaper each week and leave them on the park benches, opened at the appropriate pages, so supporter could see how well he had played that weekend. He was always great fun to have on the club tours. On tour he once objected to the room he had been given in a hotel at Ockley, because women could see into the room from the top of buses that stopped at the hotel entrance.
In 1982 it was proposed on Committee this year, that Leslie Cozens should be offered Life Membership of the club. This truly gentle man had given the club and the visitors so much joy with his piano playing over 25 years, he also remembered every members favourite song and would be at the club every weekend playing them, come rain or shine. This year the club had also lost their long serving President Mr J K Gass, a man with a deep love of the game and the club that he was proud to be a part of. We had also lost our Treasurer Eric Harding, another stalwart of the club as a Committee man and social member. Jack Izard was voted onto the management Committee as Chairman with Peter Hancock as the new treasurer.
Beddington 1st XI had a disastrous year in the Championship, it was not until 18th June that the side registered their first Championship win of the season. Joe Ramsey was called into the side and was a very adequate choice by the Captain A Cummins with bat and ball, in the middle order.
Playing in the President’s XI during Cricket Week the old school of M Reeve, J Cummins, John Slaven, Ken Kasey and son, declared at 251 for 7 wickets and then bowled out the Beddington XI for 236 runs with L Gillam scoring 57 runs. The wickets were shared by the President’s bowlers with J Slaven 4, M Reeves 3 and J Cummins 3. Ken Kasey could only manage 7 overs, 4 maidens for 13 runs approaching his 50th year, the penetration had gone, while Maurice Reeves yawned in the slips after his 50th birthday party.
The 1983 Beddington 1st XI overall results: Wins 6, Draws 6, lost 11, one abandoned. They finished the season in 12th place in the 1st Division, winning only one game in Cricket Week. Steven Brown topped the batting averages with 52.25 with Len Gillam 47.80 and Malcolm Sales 47.33. Tim Alcroft topped the bowling averages with 40 wickets with M sales and A Cummins 39 each. This was a well-balanced side with openers G Brown S Brown B Paul and L Gillam all playing their part, with all-rounders A Cummins, M Sales, T Alcroft, J Ramsey and wicket keepers A Ward, B Paul and A Tibble at various times. This should have been a winning side in the Championship League of 1983.
It was during this season that Roger Bowles resigned from the club to join Cheam with his sons. Michael Griggs another young player from Beddington who was showing promise as an opening bat. also joined the Cheam club. With all this talent in the side the most consistent player in the team was Len Gillam at number three. In the 2nd XI it was J English who topped the batting averages with 27.5 runs with D Sturt a close 2nd with 27.00 runs Martin Seymour had a good year with the bat scoring 414 runs at an average of 26.6 runs. S Austin topped the bowling averages with 18 wickets at 11.83, and Mike Terry with 26 wickets at 15.69 runs.
1983 Beddington 1st XI Report: The side captained by Antony Cummins: A season of consolidation given the changes in personnel. The cricket varied from open and enjoyable to games that contained all that is wrong with Championship cricket. (this comment would not have been made by the Championship winners). My thanks to Old Emanuel, Epsom, Banstead, Honor Oak, and Old Whitgiftians for taking our games to an exciting conclusion, would that all league games could be as positive! Beddington 1st XI finishing in 10th position this year. Injuries to two strike bowlers made the season a long and arduous one, for those called upon to bowl the extra overs.
Tim Alcroft topped the bowling averages with 33 wickets with Malcolm Sales 26 wickets and Jon Rix with 24. The batting was generally more consistent than of late with the first six batsmen all scoring over 300 runs Graham Brown with 448, Steven Brown 438 Cliff Richards 364 and Tim Alcroft 365 runs gave valuable support. Cliff Richards 103 n.o. against Epsom was a match winning innings and the only century of the Championship season. (Roger Bowles who had deserted the Beddington club for Cheam CC, this season topped their batting averages)
Beddington 2nd Xl Captained by Martin Seymour had lost some regular players this season, the side suffered nine defeats in 1983 and fell from second to twelfth place in the Championship. The midway position in the table was a fair reflection of the team’s performances, which improved in the second half of the season with five wins and only three draws. The leading run scorer being the Captain himself with 452 runs at nearly a run minute which was not unusual for this very talented striker of a ball. David Sturt open the innings (Roy Collins had no chance at one run every 15 minutes) Sturt batted reliably for 351 runs, John English 330 runs topped the averages but Brian Paul would have been disappointed with 247 runs for the season, while Geoff Knight 227 runs composed mainly of three entertaining fifties.
Dick Risebro played several valuable innings towards the end of the season. Veteran Mike Terry claimed 29 victims with his leg-breaks his best spell being against Streatham at Beddington taking 7 wickets for 41 runs resulting in a victory for the home side.Teenager Simon Austin headed the averages with 23 wickets and Geoff Knight bowled well for his 20 wickets. Wilf Pepper claimed 17 victims but lacked penetration after to many pints, Brian Paul had 21 victims behind the stumps and admirably filled the gap vacated by Tony Ward, although his slip catching abilities were missed, the fielding in general was sometimes variable. The 3rd Xl did not contribute to the Year book in 1983 having a poor season, unable to bowl sides out and the early batting always took a while to get out of the blocks.
Beddington 1st XI under the Captaincy of Antony Cummins for the 3rd season, made a promising start to the Surrey Championship season with two wins in their first three games. The side consisted of G Downer, J English, L Gillam, J Cummins, G Brown, J Ramsey, M Sales, C Richards, A Cummins, T Alcroft and S Brown in their three wicket victory over Spencer. It looked on paper a very balanced team lacking maybe a second top class spinner. Beddington Park was no place for the faint hearted in their clash with Spencer in May when Tim Alcroft squeezed two runs off the ball of the day to clinch a pulsating 3 wicket Surrey Championship victory. Spencer declaring at 218 for 6 wickets with Beddington in reply 219 for 7 wickets. Alcroft securing 10 precious points.
The following week Beddington lost to Cheam by the same margin. Tim Alcroft produced the best figures of his Surrey Championship career against Sunbury returning figures of 16.4 overs five maidens, with 8 wickets for 17 runs as Sunbury were bowled out for 86 runs. This was a welcomed victory for Beddington who had been going through a very mediocre spell at the end of July.
Beddington had a very mixed season: they played well as individuals on occasions but on many occasions they couldn’t take the last wicket or score the last twenty runs. Malcolm Sales played well to achieve a personal best of 141 runs against Sutton and a few weeks later led the assault to beat Esher. Tim Alcroft bowled his medium pace very well against Sunbury and East Molesey and later in the season he was forced to open the batting with Cliff Richards at Old Emanuel and what a story it may have been if they had opened at the start of the season, a century partnership at Blagdons and over 200 together against Honor Oak two days later. Tony Cummins had a very quiet season only once reaching 50 and not bowling as much as previous years, family life was taking its toll. Antony Cummins after three years as Captain would not stand next year. The club would look forward to a new season with hopes of finishing in the frame.
Beddington 2nd XI : Another mid table position (12th) was a fair reflection of the teams efforts, victories in the first three games flattered to deceive, and a barren midseason patch included several heavy defeats revealing short comings above all the ability to bowl sides out, although a pleasant atmosphere prevailed in the side with several games closely contested with Martin Seymour skippering for his third term. Brian Paul returned from the wilderness to score 507 runs and his opening partner David Stuart exceeded 300 runs. Steven Moore with 315 runs and Tony Ward 280 runs were much improved but Captain Martin Seymour with 215 runs had a disappointing season.
Steve Crowley batted well until called into the 1st XI. The bowling was tidy but rather ordinary and a number of opponents scored heavily. Geoff Knight with 28 wickets, Simon Austin with 20 wickets and Mark Walter with 16 wickets bore the brunt of the bowling. Dropped catches did not encourage the bowlers , but Greg Downer and Tony Ward performed well behind the stumps. The leading catcher being the Captain, Martin Seymour, at Mid-off, Long- off, and Deep Extra Cover.
Beddington 3rd XI: As with all clubs the strength of the side was dependent on the need to provide players for the 2nd XI, however we fielded over 40 players this year and only achieved two wins. Alan Down batted very consistently and averaged 27 runs Keith McLagan scored 132 runs in only three innings. Mike Neilan scored half centuries on both occasions that he played. The best innings came from Dickie Risebro who scored an unbeaten 80 runs against Sunbury. Terry Lees played only seven games bowling 112 overs took 24 wickets at an average of 10 runs proving he was one of the best bowlers in the League. Mark Walters, David Mills showed some good prospects for the future earning a draw against Wimbledon probably our best result of the season.
In the Autumn of 1984 Tony Cummins received the SCA Festive Cup from Sir Alexander Durie, President of Surrey CCC after his Team’s 11 runs victory in the final at the Oval in September. In April of 1984 Antony and Sheila had produced a son Ryan Antony Gilbert Cummins and what a wonderful name to inherit from several family members, who would later play for Leicestershire, Northants CCC and obtained a club Cricket Conference cap in 2007.
1985 Geoff Knight was elected Captain of the 1st XI and restored some sanity to the side in his effort to succeed where others had fallen. His report for the season described as disappointing. Beddington won the first three League games but could only manage a further two victories throughout the year. The batting was very strong and had great depth apart from a couple of disastrous days it proved to be good enough.
In the 1985 championship, Graham Brown scored the most hundreds
Three players topped 500 runs Graham Brown with 593, Steven Brown with 564 and Malcolm Sales with 519 runs between them, these three made fourteen out of seventeen scores of over 50 runs the other centurions being Len Gillam and Antony Cummins both of whom ran into form in the latter part of the season. Tim Alcroft’s total of 263 runs would have been substantially larger had not a hand injury forced him to bat lower down the order for half the season. Steve Crowley also showed some promise but found it difficult to force the pace early in his innings. The bowling was more of a problem the side’s only spinner John Rix suffered an early season injury that restricted the options open to skipper Geoff Knight, however Rix still managed to claim 21 victims including a haul of 7 wickets for 54 runs against Sunbury. Joe Ramsey was also injured and could bowl very little, but still managed 5 wickets 51 runs against Banstead. The opening attack of A Cummins (25 wickets) and M Sales (26 wickets) was disappointing.
So often the bowling was placed squarely on the shoulders of Tim Alcroft who always seemed to stem the flow of runs, who finished top wicket taker with 36 victims. P Pepper also made important contributions to the attack this season, producing an inspired spell of the season against Esher taking 5 wickets for 26 runs in 11 overs hitting the stumps on each occasion. the wicket keeping of Greg Downer was at times brilliant for much of the season, and some excellent work by Steven Brown in the covers was highlighted by the lack of concentration shown by other players. Fielding being at least 75% part of the game of cricket.
The Beddington 2nd XI report for 1985 skipper Brian Paul: The lowly position of the side fairly reflects a season of erratic performances with both bat and ball. Nonetheless several players can look back on 1985 with some satisfaction. David Sturt’s 436 runs included 98 n.o. followed a few weeks later by a splendid maiden century against Malden Wanderers and best of all a match winning 60 runs against Old Whitgiftians where a target of 127 runs in 24 overs (due to rain) was reached with one ball to spare. Opener Roy Collins totalled 279 runs while Martin Seymour scored 325 runs in ten innings a, including 107 runs against Streatham.
James Dean’s welcomed return lent stability to the batting with an average of 38.50. Wicket keeper A Ward contributed 244 runs and Dick Risebro had a steady season. In what was to prove his only appearance John English hit 104 n.o. against a strong Purley side. It is a sobering fact that only three regular batsmen exceeded an average of 20 runs. As regards the bowlers the story was much the same. Nonetheless Terry Lees richly deserved his 32 wickets at 20 runs apiece and Simon Austin’s happy knack of taking wickets earned him 25 wickets at an average of 15.7 runs. John Stewart and the rarely seen Maurice Reeves who had taken 15 wickets each this season. Beddington 2nd XI finished the season in 19th place.
Beddington 1st XI were seventh in the championship table this represented Beddington’s best position in the league since 1980 and unusually, the seven wins were all achieved in games where the club batted first. Although the bowling lacked variety, the opposition were bowled out on seven occasions, mainly due to the efforts of Joe Ramsey whose 42 wickets were a notable individual performance. Ramsay was selected to represent the England Civil Service vs the Scotland. Ramsey was ably backed by seamer Tim Alcroft with 28 wickets while other bowlers made telling contributions at opportune times especially against Old Emanuel and Old Whitgiftians these matches won by two runs and one run respectively and again when capturing the final two wickets with just four balls of the game remaining against Malden Wanderers.
The batting remained consistent throughout the season, with someone invariably coming up with runs at the right time. Nineteen scores of 50 plus were recorded and in the vanguard was Tony Cummins with five half-centuries or more in his 473 runs, while six other players each made two 50s. Captain Graham Brown 428 runs Steven Brown 357 runs and Joe Ramsey 340 runs were the main support, but a further four batsmen each contributed 200 runs. Undoubtedly the highlight occurred in the Addiscombe game when with the score at 7 runs for 1 wicket Tony Cummins took strike and proceeded to hammer 78 runs (seven 6s and six 4s) out of a partnership of 82 runs with Graham Brown the Skipper, there were four extra’s!
Clearly the player of the year was Joe Ramsey the enormous effort he had put in earned a just reward in a creditable all-round return of runs and wickets. The spirit of the side remained high, which was probably helped by batting first on fifteen occasions and together with a number of close finishes kept everyone interested right to the end.
Even the 2nd XI managed a position two places higher than the previous year. David Sturt opening the batting was valued tremendously, however apart from Tony Ward the middle order failed on a regular basis skippered by Richard Risebro. Peter Jemson and his brother Phillip both bowled consistently, Peter Jemson was particularly unlucky not to have picked up more wickets. Mark Walter and Geoff Knight also put in useful stints with the ball on several occasions. The club felt that with Lady Luck behind them the team could have achieved a much higher position in the division. Both Beddington XIs remaining in the 1st division of the Championship League and look forward to a better season in 1987.
A new broom sweeps clean but not for Jonathan Cummins in a season plagued by rain with five matches ruined by the weather. Beddington romped home against Streatham Hollingtonians in May. A hard hitting 118 n.o. by Graham Brown saw Beddington home and dry in this championship game at Beddington Park. Beddington looked to be in trouble when opener Steve Brown was out for 14 runs Graham Brown and Len Gillam then put on 170 runs for the second wicket. Gillam weighed in with 61 runs while Graham Brown’s innings included 4 sixes and 12 fours. Streatham were never able to keep up with the asking rate and wickets fell at regular intervals, Rix Sales and Cummins team up to take the bowling honours. Beddington 228 for 2 wickets, Streatham 117 runs.
This game did not reflect the unsatisfactory result of 15th position at the end of the season, with wins over Cheam Ashford and Honor Oak failed to generate any real rhythm. Only Graham Brown (528 runs) and Tony Cummins (529 runs) were at all reliable with the bat. In his 20th League season Graham Brown recorded centuries against Old Whits and Streatham to average over 40 runs and A Cummins hitting peak form in July with 109 n.o. against Cheam, then the following week savaged the Dulwich bowling with 89 n.o. Occasions on which he made batting look ridiculously easy.
The best performance occurred at Honor Oak in what was effectively the last game of the season, Malcolm Sales belatedly showed his ability with a century and Tony Cummins smashed 77 runs in a declared total of 246 runs from only 46 overs, then Joe Ramsey took 8 wickets for 45 runs to finish the season with 32 wickets. Skipper Jonathan Cummins feels that the first season of Panel Umpires was generally a success and that introduction of regulations contributed a degree of tension to some later matches, so adding a healthy competitive edge to the bottom half of the table.
The 2nd XI was a case of “If only” pigs had wings they would fly. Beddington finishing the season in 20th position in the league with only one winning game. The side skippered by Roy Collins was unable to get their act together, the team incapable of passing 150 when chasing runs. Roy Collins, David Sturt, and James Dean contributing the most runs. Peter Jemson was the only penetrative bowler and the side failed to clinch the final wicket on no less than four occasions. On a slow wicket Geoff Knight’s ability to tie up one end was sadly missed, as was the absence of a good spinner underlined on the few occasions that Jon Rix turned out. So with only a small improvement and a useful spinner or two, we should see some enhanced results next season.
Fred Truman’s XI visited Beddington Park on 24 June 1987 in a benefit game for the Diamond Riding School
In the 1988 season the following clubs will compete in the 3rd XI. Division 1 League. Beddington, Banstead, Honor Oak, Mitcham, Old Whits, Spencer and Worcester Park, making a total of 18 teams in the division. Beddington 1st XI saw another change in the captaincy with Len Gillam in charge. Five early wins put the 1st XI in a comfortable mid-table position. Nevertheless, at the half way stage, there were signs that they could be involved in a relegation scramble. The turning point came with a well-earned success at Old Emanuel where Tim Alcroft sent back eight home batsmen, reducing them to 146 for 9 wickets off 55 overs, then by some resolute batting against Australia’s Dave Gilbert, who bowled unchanged in taking 6 wickets and with the help of 20 extra’s, success was achieved in the penultimate over. Four of the wins occurred away from home, the lone success at Beddington Park was over local rivals Banstead. Not one of the Beddington batsmen scoring 100 runs in this Championship year.
The 1st XI needing two or three more quality players if they are to progress from mid-table anonymity to become title contenders, but then again many other clubs are in the same position. The club needs success to attract more playing members in the coming season. Following last season’s narrow escape from relegation the 2nd XIs 6th position this year reflects a most improved and successful campaign by Captain Peter Jemson and his team, when only the gleaning of a meagre four points from the last five games scotch hope of the title. Stan Crowley was the leading batsman with 488 runs, including three 50s and a superb 100 against Malden Wanderers. Newcomers David Craig and Dominic Arcari bolstered the line-up as well as the aggression. Dominic finishing with 336 runs, with an average of 48 runs.
The “Evergreen” Martin Seymour again enjoyed a useful season registering a fine 96 runs at Guildford and a match winning innings at Honor Oak. Vice-Captain and off spinner Jonathan Rix had a fine return of 45 wickets at just 14 runs each and Simon Austin’s 7 wickets for 26 runs against Ashford and 5 wickets against Dulwich was a useful contribution, while Peter Jemson struggled after injury, the side lacked penetration with the new ball during the critical closing games, the ground fielding and catching was sound, but it was the great spirit on the pitch and in the bar that made the season so enjoyable, the 2nd XI should be even more successful in 1989.
After several years outside the Championship the 3rd XI re-entered the league, but the overall pattern of performance was poor and was reflected by their lowly league position. Nevertheless the club have the benefit of a strong youth policy which hopefully will prompt the emergence of young players to strengthen and promote competition for higher places throughout the teams. Despite the uncertain weather, Beddington had a satisfactory Cricket Week with only one rained-off fixture. The results did not all go Beddington’s way but the week was a memorable one
Graham Brown, the 1st team opener went just three runs short of equalling the club record of three centuries in a Cricket Week after scoring hundreds against Met Police and Twickenham he was out for 97 runs against the President’s XI led by another shining star and old Captain of Beddington Norman Parks who had assembled a side from the glorious 1960s David Straw David Gale Ken Kasey Roger and John Bowles and the Wills Brothers Lex and Nick who were all nearing 50 years of age. The Beddington XI passed the President ‘s declared total of 170 for 8 wickets, losing only one wicket in the process that of Graham Brown seeking this 3rd century of the week. New comer Nick Morrell who had been awarded the Jack Harrison tankard this year for his 3 wickets for 13 runs and 29 not out against Whitgift, recorded another 4 wickets for 68 runs as the younger Beddington side put the old men to bed.
The first eleven skippered by Tim Alcroft began the season on a high note with two wins from the opening three matches, but as so often happens this form could not be sustained and only three further victories ensued resulting in a lower mid-order position in the Championship. Surprisingly for Beddington the batting throughout the season was disappointing with no hundreds scored all season. Several changes were made including Roy Collins who was resurrected to the 1st XI and faired very well at a slow rate. The highest Knock was 76 runs by Graham Brown and only Len Gillam with 360 runs averaged over 30 runs. Graham Brown 452 runs supplied a late run of three fifties in the last four innings, but overall the batting was poor especially when batting second to earn success.
Conversely the bowling was the most effective with Joe Ramsey leading the way, equalling David Laitt’s 1980 club record of 47 wickets and only bad light robbed him of the outright best against Reigate Priory. Joe also had an outstanding performance against Limpsfield taking 8 wickets. The Australian wicket keeper Geoff Kustka showed an exceptional pair of hands behind the stumps, and knew how to score runs when required like most Australian players, the side had an excellent year in the field. Although it was a frustrating year, as ever there were many moments to savour, particularly Hales and Ramsey thrashing 96 runs in 7.3 overs to beat The Oak. Steve Brown and Mike McMaughan surviving a rare Purley minefield to put on 97 runs for the first wicket. The 100 unexpected runs accrued by the last three wickets on a bouncy track at Esher, and of course Joe Ramsey’s record equalling wicket just minutes before the umpires decided no further play was possible. This was an outstanding years for Joe with bat and ball. Happy days!
Neither was it a vintage season for the 2nd XI. They ended up in a scramble to get clear of the relegation zone. Ironically the team skippered by Geoff Knight once again had seen a reasonable spate of very close matches, with the results in doubt until the last ball, most of which went against Beddington. Victories during this period would have assured mid-table security (or should that be obscurity?). Dominic Arcari struggled until later in the season to rediscover his sparkling 1988 form, while Steve Cowley caused the scorers few headaches. but on the plus side newcomer Chris Rayner added stability and a left hand variation and his leg-breaks were a useful bonus.
Roy Collins also scored consistently in his own time, and perhaps his critics should study his technique and undoubted courage at the crease. Vice-Captain Martin Seymour scored well at first then a string of duck’s sapped his confidence while Tom Evans Mark Austin and David Sturt sometimes played well, possibly the best player being David Crang who kept wicket very competently before he left for America.
Simon Austin was easily the most successful bowler and at times was unplayable, but a mixture of injuries and unavailability meant rarely fielding the same attack two weeks running, so much so that Duncan Robson was dragged back from retirement and the golf course. The bowling was badly let down by the fielding that was the worst Skipper Geoff Knight had ever experienced at Beddington Park. It was common now for half the team to be over forty, but even the younger members looked very ordinary in the crucial areas. By July all three XIs were in the bottom eight of their division only winning six games between them all. The 1st XI finished the season in 14th place with the 2nd XI in 18th place, and the 3rd XI finishing 12th in their division. This year belonged to Len Gillam and Joe Ramsey, it is going to be a hard road back in the 1990s with an ageing population of cricketers at Beddington CC.