The 1st XI had a new captain and vice-captain, no overseas player and a complete change in tactics from the previous year. With the loss of the whole seam attack from ’99 – either through departure from the club or long term injury the emphasis shifted to the very talented batting line up to win more games, unfortunately, through bad form and lack of self-belief the batting didn’t fire as a unit, hence the poor showing.
There were some good individual performances. Anthony Dower’s 101 not out at Send was the first hundred scored by a Beddington player for two years: this, and the 273 at 54 he scored in just 7 knocks, underlined his quality. Dave McSherry was the most consistent of the top order with 327 at 27, including a superb 84 against Chessington. The other batsmen only showed flashes of their capability, but with this experience now behind them, hopefully will go on to do the business next year.
With the batting disappointing, more pressure was put on the already weakened bowling attack. john Cummins took on the responsibility of senior pro with a return of30 wickets at 14 each, Dave Lester took over the new ball duties (15 at29) and improved steadily – a good find, and hopefully he will continue to improve.
With everybody nearly always being required to bat on a Saturday the Brugnoli brothers were called upon as all-rounders: Antony ended with 279 at 17 and 16 at 21, while Mike hit 238 at 19 and took 26 at 23. Richard Milligan’s ‘keeping has come on in leaps and bounds in the last two years and is much under-rated.
Congratulations to Normandy and Avorians for their promotion, which was just reward for far and away the best sides in the division.
Finally, as always great thanks go the Chris George for his sterling work with the book, and to Betty Hicks and all the tea ladies for their never-ending supply of goodies!
For the 2nd XI the new format of ten teams meant that the division was always going to be tight, so a solid start was important. Unfortunately, this was not achieved, the first five games brought three draws and two losses, and the side dropped into the bottom two places. However, consecutive victories over Malden and Spencer pushed it into the top two! This position could not be consolidated, as too often the bowling failed to take early wickets, and also couldn’t defend seemingly decent totals: 205 at home to Purley should have been enough, so should 237 the following week at Limpsfield. One point from those two games, followed by a second loss to Banstead, after batting 65 overs, meant the need to pick up at least one win from the final four games. This was achieved on the penultimate weekend, with a thoroughly comprehensive victory over Bank of England.
Although numerous players chipped-in with important runs, the main contributors with the bat were the ever-reliable Andrew Tibble (456) , the versatile David Sturt (428), powerful Sean Gardner (366) and the inconsistent Martin Ball (297).
Only four bowlers took ten wickets or more: Stuart Dunthorne, although not as prolific as previously, took 29, and Sam Dorrinton 21 , with the promise of more to come. Skipper Mick Lewis and Paul Murphy were the only others to reach double-figure victims.
Despite not finishing so high in the table the future seems bright, with youngsters such as the Zaman brothers, Ryan Cummins and Daniel Lewis all looking comfortable at this level.
Thanks to Chris Burton who umpired cheerfully, and Brian Paul for his efforts. in the scorebox.
Relegation is rarely the result of just one ‘excuse’. However, the skipper s failure to win the toss for the first seven matches did not enhance the 3rd Xl’s chances of success. It meant that even when playing the weaker teams Beddington were at a disadvantage. The side were bowled outfox less than one hundred in five of the first seven matches, but had they won the toss they would have had the opposition in trouble.
The bowling was fairly solid throughout, but the batting lacked consistency. If Johnny Gould’s flamboyance had not ‘hit’ more than it ‘missed’, and skipper Andy Williamson’s doggedness had not held the ship together, the results would have been even worse. Five wins had previously been sufficient to maintain a position in the top flight – not this year. Still, the team managed to record victories over the leading clubs only to fail against those who were struggling.
A policy of a large mixture of youth with a smattering of experience will, in the long run, bear fruit for the club; Danny and Simon Lewis, Zishan Zaman, Danny Stratford, Tim Trott and the Howe brothers all show undoubted potential. improved availability from young men such as Gavin Hicks, Ryan Cummins, Matthew Sinfield and Richie Risebro would have definitely helped as they are good players who have developed through the ranks and should be the nucleus to achieve greater heights.
Stalwarts Ronnie Carroll, Paul Baker, Darren Cuff ‘Pav’ and the ever-available Willie Brown did not achieve the consistency necessary to stave off relegation, but without their availability relegation would have been a certainty rather than the dog-fight it became.
Special praise for Adam Knight the scorer, and to Terry Murphy, who is an example of the model club cricketer on and off the pitch.
The 1st Xl was again under new leadership, following the exit of the previous captain along with two top-order batsmen. This year the emphasis was to be on youth, with a couple of key positions being filled by first team debutants. The side looked reasonably balanced at the start, and after winning two of the first three matches plus other solid performances, approached mid-term in a respectable position.
Tony Cummins led the batsmen with early knocks of 75* versus Camberley, 48* against Dorking, and a magnificent 130* off just 84 balls at Brook – whilst the remainder of the order were struggling somewhat. New member Joe Gregg took an opening berth and usually looked comfortable but didn’t hit top form until a good 85 at Brook among his 280 runs at 20. Vice-captain Dave McSherry (264 at 26) was as solid as ever, making a superb 83* against Ashford despite restricted availability. Initially, and also from limited outings, James Howgate took the other opening slot usually supplying a good start; Sunny Zaman also had a stint of opening and showed superb technique. Anthony Down returned to the club and always looked solid for his 152 at 25, but lacked the big scores.
Disappointingly, the side failed to win again after the end of June. A series of sub-standard performances and defeats left it languishing towards the foot of the table. Originally giving more concern than the batting, the bowlers invariably out-performed their colleagues. In his first exposure at this level, young Ryan Cummins’ 37 wickets at 15 apiece was an outstanding effort, and earned him representative honours. He was soundly supported with the new ball by Dave Lester (21 at 29). John McSherry bowled well throughout the first half of the summer, as regularly did all-rounder Steve Murphy and the whole-hearted Richie Risebro, amazingly, all are under 22 years of age! The more experienced Jon Cummins bowled his slow left-armers steadily (17 at 25), and latterly he was joined in the spin department by Danny Baker – another teenager.
It was in many ways an encouraging summer, despite the final position, which provided a steep learning curve for most of the team. The club will persist with their youth policy, confident that it will pay dividends in the future. Captain Richard Milligan thanks Chris George, who again kept an immaculate book, the many panel umpires, and also Betty Hicks and her glamourous tea ladies.
After the player departures in the 1s, several younger faces appeared in the 2nd xi, so it was understandable that it took time for the side to settle. Excluding the opening game, the fact that the team was always competitive was a great credit to all involved.
Important contributions were made by many of the youngsters, notably Graham Lester behind the stumps and with the bat, Zishan Zaman with the ball, and Simon Lewis at the top of the order. Danny Baker batted stylishly and was always a great influence in the field before earning a run in the 1s, and Danny Lewis’ five wickets against Limpsfield showed his potential.
As previously, the attack too often failed to take early wickets, although Paul Murphy could always be relied on for 100% effort. Stuart Dunthorne’s off breaks captured over 30 wickets – a total that would have been greater with better back-up in the field. Again, the batsmen struggled to score runs quickly enough, despite the efforts of Sean Gardner.
Captain Micky Lewis thanks Chris Burton for his consistency and good humour – despite having to stand as the only umpire on far too many occasions, and all those who manned the scorebook (again, too often the sole occupant of the scorebox), especially Brian Paul.
The 3rd Xl started exceptionally with victories against Addiscombe, Camberley, Chertsey and Esher, all true team efforts with most o the side making positive contributions. Following such promise came four difficult games which realized one win and only 14 points, but the spirit was not damaged and the side returned to winning ways against Worcester Park Egham and Dorking, while newcomers Darren Phillips and Nick Bier arrived to streengthen both disciplines. In the latter stages Beddington played three of the top four sides and after losing the toss in two of these encounters, were pleased to come away with two wins and a losing draw!
By winning the finale against Old Whits, the side would finish as runners up, but should they lose, and Dulwich were victorious, then these rivals would clinch the second promotion place. Yet another toss was lost and the batsman faced umpteen testing avers from the ageless Charlton Lamb, but manage d to post a good total, based around a typical sterling effort from Nick Bier. Then the bowlers struck early, and rather surprisingly old Whits were bowled for just over a hundred with wickets being shared around. Thus promotion to the Premier Division was sealed. Commiserations to David Woods and his side, Dulwich, who also won their final game, for being pipped at the post.
Considering that the toss was won on only two occasions, a playing record ofeight wins, two losses, three winning draws, and two losing draws was quite satisfactory.
There were excellent performances with the bat from Martin Ball (436 runs), Bier (274) and Darren Cuff (159), all having healthy averages. Wickets were spread around with Ball leading, admirably supported by Phillips. Young Tommy Trott showed promise on occasion, although he and Danny Lewis sometimes struggled to control the new ball. An outstanding contribution was made by Willie Brown: not guaranteed a bat or a bowl, his fielding and enthusiasm were second to none, and he did return one five- wicket haul as well as some useful contributions with the bat.
Skipper Jan Holleyman thanks Adam Knight for scoring. The 3s are now looking .forward to the challenges of the Premier Division in 2002.
BEDDINGTON 3RD XI: 2001 Runners-up (promoted) of Division 2
standing l to r: Ron Dolby (umpire), R Clayton, W Brown, D Phillies, J Dray, T Trott, N Bier, Adam Knight (scorer). seated I to r: D Sturt, D Cuff, I Holleyman (captain), P Baker, M Ball.
Skipper Richard Mllligan’s 1st XI was much the same squad as last year. New overseas player Asmat Ullah from Pakistan immediately made a big impact with the ball, as the greenish pitches suited his steady medium pace, he eventually collected 53 wickets at 10 apiece, taking 5 or more victims on five occasions and also hit 323 runs at 22 – a most welcome recruit!
By mid term, wins over Purley, Brook, Dorking and Shepperton saw the side into 3rd place, aided by the form of Matt Hunt (136 at Dorking) – although his availability became erratic. All matches in July were won, mainly down to fine bowling. Generally, good use of the new ball was made by Dave Lester (23 wickets at 23) and Ryan Cummins (35 at 15), along with useful efforts from Richie Risebro, Danny Baker and Jon Cummins.
August opened ominously with two abandonments (including an oddity with Richmond Town when closing on 51-5 off 7 overs chasing their 51 all out), and thereafter promotion hopes receded. Nevertheless, eight victories and 7th place was a big improvement on 2001 – and a great credit to all.
Anthony Down hit 452 runs at 32, and the ageless Tony Cummins was invaluable for his all round contributions plus support and advice. Danny Baker rarely batted in the same position twice, but always showed an exemplary attitude. Thanks go to vice captain Joe Grigg, to all the youngsters who filled-in, to an impeccable scorer in Chris George, and to the Panel Umpires.
Despite having won five times, relegation was still a distinct possibility going into the 2nd Xl’s final match, but a good win at Old Mldwhits averted this fate. Once again, the problem was batting which scored too slowly, plus the inability to knock over early opposition wickets The slows were the main attacking threat Zeeshan Zaman improved with 34 wickets at 14, the reliable Stuart Dunthorne took 31 at 19 and evergreen Jon Cummins 19 at 14, all aided by Mick Lewis, John McSherry and Richie Risebro.
Although there were centuries from Steve Murphy (Walton) and McSheriy (Farnham), only skipper Lewis (314 runs) averaged over 20; Simon Lewis had two 50s among his 264; David Sturt hit 218, Sean Gardner 199 and Martin Ball 160.
Of the six successes, the highlights were beating champions Bank of England with a good all-round display, and the successful run-chase at Walton – which was mainly due to Murphy’s hard hitting.
While the potential for promotion exists, availability needs to be better for balanced teams to be selected. Thanks to ever-present umpire Chris Burton for his continued enthusiasm despite often having to stand at both ends, and to (reluctant) scorer Janet Murphy.
The 3rd XI made an inauspicious return to the Premler, butavoided demotion on the last day by beating Old MidWhits – and condemning them to the drop!
John Gould was the one player to show any consistent form, but the side bowled and fielded pretty well throughout . Top wicket-taker Terry Murphy received admirable support from Tim Trott and latterly Danny Stratford however, the batting needs reinforcement at this level. Losing 14 tosses out of 17 did not help the cause,but the spin was favourable in that last vital contest, enabling a memorable victory much helped by John McSherry’s 5-54 and 101 not out.
Gratitude to scorer Adam Knight, and Millie, Joan and Betty for the teas.
After a promisng 2002 campaign, optimism was high in the 1st XI, especially as Richard Milligan led a virtually unchanged side, and was delighted to welcome back Pakistani Asmat Ullah Mohmand. A first-game stutter preceded good wins over MidWhits, Cranleigh and Maori, all largely due to solid run-chases led by the top order of Anthony Down who enjoyed his best-yet return of 677 at 37, Ullah (629 at 41) and Matty Arnold, who promised better than his eventual 285 at 23.
The usual defeat by Chessington was followed by frustrating winning draws against three of the top sides, and thoughts of promotion began to dwindle. A disappointing July saw three more losses, plus a luckless abandonment against Woking after having bowled them out for 70.
Ullah also generally excelled with the ball in collecting 38 wkts at 16 apiece on batsmen-friendly strips. Richie Risebro blossomed and spearheaded the attack with support first from Dave Lester and Steve Cowlin, and later from Ryan Cummins, Risebro’s 19 wkts at 25 belied his efforts – a reliable and gritty performer, epitomized by 5 for 16 versus Cranleigh. Danny Baker again proved his versatility with 29 at 17 and some typically defiant batting, and was also entertaining in the dressing room.
Three wins from the last four games brought 7th place, as per 2002, but with the same personnel and the same spirit next year, the team should realistically set sights on promotion.
Thanks to scorer Chris George, and to Betty, Millie and Joan for the usual high standard of teas.
Poor availability led to the 2nd Xl eventually using 30 players, and consistency was a problem especially in the batting, where the highest total successfully chased was just 89! 5th place could have been much better.
The seam attack was one of the best at this level, and forced two early victories by bowling out oppositions cheaply. Daniel Lewis (27 wkts) and Steve Cowlin (24) regularly achieved early break throughs, and earned their call-ups to the 1s, they were well supported by Dave Lester and Danny Stratford plus Malcolm Sales’ off-spin.
After four feeble run-chases, batting first proved the best option, and a spell of two wins and two 4-pointers cleared the relegation zone. Tony Cummins hit 356 runs, Simon Lewis made 292, but others scored fitfully, although there was promise of better from Dave Lester and David White.
Thanks to umpire Chris Burton, and to Mick Orange and Josh Gillam among a variety of scorers.
The 3rd Xl experienced mixed fortunes as they under-achieved. They began poorly when a likely win over Malden was turned into defeat in the space of one over, and too many matches were to end similarly.
However, it was generally enjoyable, especially with both victories over Spencer- achieved in the last overs of those games.
Offspinner Stuart Dunthorne compiled a maiden century for the club against Walton, and also shared a record last-wicket partnership with Terry Murphy. Jonathan Gould supplied 416 runs at 26 and Martin Ball 329 at 39 with a ton off Normandy, while best with the ball were Danny Stratford, Shahid Ismail and Ahson Saleem. Young Ben Tibble shaped well, and there are other talented colts coming through.
Skipper Daren Cuffs gratitude to scorer Adam Knight, and for all the help of umpire Jeff Pye.
BEDDINGTON 1st Xl: 2004 Runners-up (promoted) of Division 2.
Standing I to r: M Arnold, S Lewis, G Lester, R Cummins, s Cowlin, D Baker.
Seated I to r: M Nadarajah, R Risebro, Richard Milligan (captain), A Ullah, A Down.
Div 1 cricket will finally return to Beddington Park, after the 1st XI became the runners-up in Division 2 on the last day – but only following a tense wait to discover the outcome of two other games! Eleven victories and four winning draws proved just enough as a young, talented side really blended together, and the spirit generated on and off the field permeated throughout the club.
Success hinged around two key performers; Pakistani OP Asmat Ullah returned for the third time as overseas player and amassed 814 runs at 54, and Ryan Cummins collected 68 wickets at 12 apiece by first-rate new hall bowling. There was also depth within the squad to support them when required: Anthony Down scored 327 at 21, and forged a formidable opening partnership with Ullah, while Simon Lewis (290 at 19) and Matty Amold (288 at28, including a superb century) played crucial innings. Vice-captain Richie Risebro once again made good use of the new cherry, in tandem with Cummins, to capture 25 at 21, and Ulla h’s steady seam (with occasional off spin) sent back 27 at 16.
The squad fully embraced a professional and organized approach, including intensive pre-match preparation, it was no coincidence that they are one of the best fielding teams, as epitomized by Graham Lester. There was also invaluable input from regulars Danny Baker, Nad Nadarajah and Steve Cowlin.
Promotion was the perfect finish to an enjoyable summer, and captain Richard Milligan expresses grateful thanks to scorer Chris George and all the panel umpires.
A campaign that seemed to flash by, saw the 2nd Xl finish a comfortable 6th, with six wins. A disastrous first-day loss, by 4 runs to Farnham, was followed by two fine victories, the second of these, against Sutton, being settled in a whirlwind spell of fast bowling by Danny Stratford of4.4 overs 4-17, in a 25-run win. A controversial last over defeat by champions Spencer ensued, despite a last wicket partnership of 24 overs between 14 year-old Ben Tibble and skipper Mick Lewis. The team continued inconsistently, until three successive wins attained a top-4 spot. These included defending 179 against Woking, before Lewis and Stratford bowled them out for 144 – the last four wickets falling for 0, and the following week chasing down 273 at Cheam, to win by 5 wickets. From here, momentum seemed to peter out with, perhaps, thoughts on the 1s, and performances towards the end were poor.
Tony Cummins (399) and Richie Knight (315) were leading run-scorers, closely followed by young David White (300), whose ‘keeping continues to improve. Dave Nott also chipped-in some attractive knocks. The attack of Dan Lewis (30 at 20), Dan Stratford (25 at 18) and Dave Lester were, on their day, devastating – and certainly have the potential to fuel a drive for promotion next year.
Thanks to ever-present Chris Burton for his diligent umpiring and Mick Orange for stylish scoring.
A much-disrupted 3rd Xl summer involved three captains, and ultimately ended with a cruel disappointment as a winning draw in the final match proved insufficient to avert relegation.
Skipper-elect Darren Cuff had to stand down for personal reasons, to be temporarily replaced by Alan Carroll, before Ben Hargreaves finished with the armband, and the side went seven games until their first success, by 1 wicket at Wimbledon. Further victories over Malden and Sutton brought hope – but not enough points.
Among some good individual efforts, Micky Stratford twice carried his bat through the innings, David Knott made 95 on debut, Tim Trott captured 6-for V Malden, and Stuart Brown’s 50 with the tail engineered the great Wimbledon escape.
Much gratitude to umpire Jeff Pye and scorer Adam Knight.
A more than satisfactory return to Div 1 by the 1st XI realized 87 points and sixth place. Once again, a young and enthusiastic side found the right mix of application and enjoyment, and whilst six wins came against just three sides – a hat-trick of doubles – the team were also competitive agains tthe table-toppers. in his fifth year of captaincy, Richard Milligan had a larger squad of players than previously, with several newcomers and good strength in depth in most areas.
Pakistani Asmat Ullah returned for his fourth campaign, and contributed 365 runs at 25, including a maiden league hundred at Sutton, and also claimed 20 wkts at 19 apiece. The other previous star was opening bowler Ryan Cummins, and his success for Loughborough had helped secure a contract at Leicestershire CCC. In consequence, he played just seven games – but his inclusion always lifted the team and he helped to three victories, the highlight at Avorians as he and Richie Risebro tore through a strong batting line-up for 86 when defending only 110.
Amongst the new faces, Ian Gamble, who opened and eventually top scored with 413 at just under 30, was always good value, brothers Shaun and Tom Lewis joined from Horsley, and both fitted in comfortably. Shaun hit237 at 17 and excelled in the field. With the bat, Ant Down was reliable (319 at25), as was Matty Arnold (298 at 23). Contracted pro Rob White smashed a 71-ball 148 at the Bank.
With Cummins frequently absent, it generally fell to Dave Lester and Richie Risebro to sare the new ball; both had good seasons, Risebro, in particular, picked up 34 wkts at 19, which was enough to earn him the ‘Player of the Season’ award. However the attack probably lacked a genuinely good slow bowler.
So, a pleasing summer for all and appreciation, as ever, to Chris George for his immaculate scorebook.
Buoyed by the 1s’ promotion the 2nd XI opened confidently with a comfortable win at newly promoted Worcester Park. A stronger line-up than of recent times cave credence to a challenge at the top and so it proved; promotion was confirmed on the penultimate weekend with a tense win at Epsom.
This outcome was achieved by trying to play positive cricket at all times, borne out by the fact that the team lost five games! 31 players appeared but whoever came in (be it via the 1s or the 3s) contributed to the success – while the captain taking 13 tosses also helped. After losing two of the first four games, the side won five on the bounce to set up a promotion push that was maintained despite some setbacks – the nadir a defeat at Leatherhead.
The batsmen always seemed to play with freedom and so run-rate was always good. Main contributors were Graham Lester (449 at 56) Richard Knights (300 at 33) Dave White (263 at 43) and Simon Lewis (211 at 52). Hopefully, they will be able to bridge the gap between the 1s and 2s more consistently in 2006. Other significant knocks came from the hard-hitting Simon Dunning, Danny Baker and a match-winning innings in a crucial game at Epsom by Paul Murphy.
The bowling was more inconsistent but on good days it was devastating: on eight occasions the opposition were dismissed for less than 170, the lowest Cheam’s 46. The wickets were shared about, which showed the options open to the skipper. Simon Dunning always gave 100% and was rewarded with 26 wickets; Steve Cowlin captured 22, although he looked capable of more. The only others to manage double-figure victims were Danny Baker and captain Mick Lewis.
Much appreciation to Farnham, for their willingness to play in poor conditions so that a result could be achieved, and congratulations to Dulwich, deserved champions. As always, grateful thanks umpire Chris Burton and scorer Mick Orange.
Victories in the opening two games, including bowling out eventual champions Esher for 22 in 10 overs, raised hopes of an immediate return to the Premier. However, that proved to be the 3rd Xl’s pinnacle.
The failure to convert winning positions into 13 points left them off the pace at half-way, most notably against Warlingham following a spectacular run chase. Losing 12 spins didn’t help, either, but congratulations to the top two clubs, whose consistent cricket maintained a firm grip on the promotion places.
The team lacked a consistent performer with either bat or ball, but had plenty of good individual performances: S Dunning ‘s 5 wicket spell at Esher, C Muil’s quick-fire 50 vs Warlingham, C Austin’s match-winning innings at Emanuel, and captain B Hargreaves’s maiden century against Walton. Terry Murphy was the only ever-present, still making a valuable all-round contribution – a magnificent effort aged 60.
A big hand to Adam Knight for scoring, and thanks to Jeff Pye for umpiring on occasions.
After the relatively successful return to Div 1 with 6th place in 2005, the 1st XI found it much tougher this time. There were three abandonments and four defeats in the opening seven outings before the first victory when chasing 277 at Camberley, but the side remained among the relegation candidates until the penultimate fixture in a very competitive section.
Poor availability impacted, and player turn-round was high, but three further wins and a nervy last-day point in the rain at Ashtead secured safety. Notable efforts came from opener Jan Gamble (411 runs at 30) and Simon Lewis (392 at 27), Lewis and Billy Cruft each hitting superb 90s off Purley. Zimbabwe OP Mark Perkins eventually found some form with the ball, where the leading operators were Danny Baker (25 wkts at 14 each) and Dave Lester (22 at 22), while a couple of good innings helped Baker earn the ‘Player of the Year’ award. Contracted player Ryan Cummings was a welcome addition on three occasions.
Richard Milligan is now retiring from the captaincy after six years, and thanks all who supported him.
Several key players were missing from a 2nd XI already under pressure to consolidate last year’s promotion, and they too were on the cusp of demotion until a last-day defeat of Esher maintained status at their expense.
Earlier, there had been what was to prove a vital victory over fellow-strugglers Malden, mainly due to a late partnership between Anthony Down and skipper Mick Lewis, plus completely out-playing Camberley. Then a string of losses when resources were stretched brought danger, only relieved by the character shown in the finale.
Without a regular slow, the bulk of the bowling was undertaken by seamers – Steve Cowlin and promising 16 year-old all-rounder Ben Tibble both claimed 15 wickets, with good back-up from Dan Lewis (14w), Danny Stratford and Darren Cuff. Dave White, who will soon be with the 1s, was the one reliable batsman, averaging 49 from his 539 runs – which was over 200 more than the next highest, Sean Gardner. All-rounder Stratford supplied 249 at 41, and was badly missed latterly.
Thanks go to ever-present umpire Chris Burton, and scorer Mick Orange.
Seeking to emulate the recent promotions of the senior sides, the 3rd Xl were initially lucky with the weather, recording three wins, and with another reached second place by mid-June. Slowed by three defeats, a change of captaincy and three more victories revived hopes – then the failure to capture the last wicket against Mitcham and Streatham, and a crushing by the champions-elect, brought only 7th place.
The team generally struggled for runs – despite David Knott, Ben Hargreaves and Chris Austin averaging well – and often were unable to dismiss opponents when bowling second. However, there was great promise from the flourishing youth section, and come the first weekend of next May, promotion hopes will once again be high. Thanks to Adam Knight for scoring, rain or shine!
Richie Risebro took over the captaincy of a largely unchanged 1st Xl squad that struggled in the drop zone for much of the summer, and eventually dodged relegation by the skin of its teeth.
Fortunately, and surprisingly in a side usually short of runs, Aaron O’Connor amassed the division’s top aggregate (597 at 39), but support was limited to David White (283) and Matt Arnold with 250+. The attack was better balanced, a fine new ball pairing of the captain (33 wkts at 16) and David Lester (27 at 20) supplemented by the tidy medium of Shaun Lewis and spin from Andy Murphy and Dan Baker.
Among the sparse victories was a crucial 13 points at Pyrford in the penultimate fixture, then a losing draw in the finale at Midwhits just gained safety. Hopefully, a youthful squad will benefit from this experience.
Sadly, the 2nd Xl could not pull off the same trick as the 1s, and were doomed with a fixture to play.
An opening-day victory at defending champions Sunbury raised what proved to be false hopes, as the side proceeded to play very poorly on occasions, relieved slightly by the second – and final – success, over Walton, in July. Ironically, “just” 7 points from a tie after a tremendous penultimate game, with Sutton, finished hopes of survival.
No batsman accumulated 300 runs, though there were some decent starts from Richard Milligan and Ian Messom, while Anthony Down stroked an unbeaten century in that original win. The seam department was strongish, Dan Lewis captured 26 wkts at 21 when not with the 1s, and back-up from Tom Lewis and Steve Cowlin, but a spinner was lacking.
Once again, gratitude to scorer Mick Orange and umpire Chris Burton.
The 3rd XI won three times from the first six outings, a useful start in their promotion hunt. However, they fell agonizingly short in a few close games, and were only able to force three more victories which resulted in 9th place.
It was an ever-changing team, but several promising players emerged from the large youth section and they will strengthen both this side and the rest of the club.
Highlights were Gary Morris showing much control for his 20 wkts at 20 apiece, Alan Carroll claimed 16, George Evans took 7-33 V Old Whits, and Josh Gillam 6-40 at Egham. Skipper Chris Austin had a century off Chessington in his 416 runs at 41 , pinch-hitter William Brown cracked 304 at 20, and Neil Trott supplied over 250 from limited availability.
With everyone a year older, this outcome can be improved in 2008!
After narrow escapes in the last couple of years the1st Xl were determined not to leave survival late again: in characteristic fashion, it entered the lastgame against Esher requiring a win to maintain the status! Despite a great team effort to get the match played in atrocious conditions, the resulting four points proved inadequate and relegation had to be accepted. Yet this was not always the case as three early wins suggested that the squad could compete against any in the league, and that mid-table respectability could be achieved. Injury, lack of availability and loss of form were responsible for the change of fortune. Sadly, this was compounded by the illness and consequent return to Australia of the overseas player.
There were some highlights in a disappointing renewal. I Gamble, skipper A Down and D White all passed 300 runs but match-winning partnerships were scarce. Due to injuries a depleted attack relied heavily upon S Lewis (30 wkts) and D Lester (20). D Baker also thrived on the added responsibility and captured 28, including an excellent spell of 4-9 which defeated Brook. D Lewis and, in the latter stages, J Ireland, bowled economically and took crucial wickets.
The club relish the challenge of returning to Division 1, with a squad looking to rebuild in confidence and reach its peak. Thanks, as always to Adam Knight for scoring and to the Panel of Umpires.
Last year’s relegation from the Premier for the 2nd Xl was a disappointment, particularly as it was Mickey Lewis’s swan-song as skipper: however, it probably turned outdo be a blessing, since the team failed to make any real impact in the lower division The eventual 73 points was made up of five wins, eight defeats and four draws – and whilst avoiding relegation quite comfortably they were certainly in the mix for the last few weeks.
There were too few good all-round team performances, with a struggle throughout to put together a run of form. Batting was the main problem, only posting 200+ on four occasions yet less than 150 six times. Most reliable were Tony Cummins and Darren Cuff the latter having perhaps his best-ever retum with the bat. Veteran TC hit 414 at 46 and Cuff 395 at 30. Ian Messom supported well (283 at25) and new skipper Richard Milligan, David Nott and John Coles also made decent contributions but consistency was needed, and it never emerged.
The club were light on new ball bowlers after long-term injuries to key individuals Gary Morris stepped up creditably, and whilst his form tailed-off slightly at the end, he returned 15 wkts at 30, a good effort considering the age restrictions applied. He was supported with the new ball by a host of others including Steve Cowlin, Sammy Darrington, Ben Tibble and Dan Lewis, but not having the same openers each week was a problem.
The attack was bolstered by slow left armer Mark Gorman who joined at the end of May. He started well with a 4-for at Cheam and never looked back. A magnificent 9-21 at Worcester Park won that game, and from ten outings he collected 29 wkts at 15. Other contributions came from Alex Basson both with bat and ball, including a useful 5-for at Old Whits. Mohesan Nadarajah was injury-plagued but performed well when available, and M Lewis was always reliable.
Thanks as ever to those who officiated and scored, in particular Ian Holleyman and Mickey Orange.
It was a disappointing summer for the 3rd XI, who used over 30 players. Despite a thrilling tie on 242 each with Esher in the second match, the first win only came in the ninth fixture, and regularly the side were unable to compile enough runs, until a strong finish, winning four from five, earned survival.
Latterly, there were match-winning displays from Will Brown, 72 in a run chase at Sanderstead, Stuart Dunthorpe with 6-23 v Caterham, and Sean Gardner’s 50 in 40+ overs against Malden. Ronnie Carroll economically achieved 19 wkts, John Young was also mean for his 15, and young Ryan May captured 13 in his age-limited stints. Skipper Chris Austin top-scored with 351 runs.
Hopefully improved availability in the club will lead to a better start in 2009, and more success especially as the youngsters mature. Much gratitude to Ian Williams for both umpiring and transport.
Despite the disappointments of last year the 1st X1 began the season with the aims of rebuilding confidence and rediscovering form that had been so scarce in 2008. Top position after the first set of 50 over matches more than emphasised that progress had been made. However, there were some poorer performances in the timed games and momentum was lost with the inability to bowl sides out. Our overall position of third was respectable when considering the strengths of Cheam and Old Whitgiftians who finished above us.
Undoubtedly, the highlights of the season were the performances of overseas player Ben Shuhmacher. Ben amassed 902 runs and was the second highest run scorer in the Championship- despite not even registering a century! His positive strokeplay inspired others who had previously lacked consistency. Captain A Down made 537 runs including a century at Leatherhead and S Lewis (487), D White (357) and M Arnold (243) all had their best returns for some time.
Despite being economical in the 50 over matches the bowling lacked the penetration of previous years. R Risebro returned briefly and was almost back to his best with a devastating spell that led to eventual champions Cheam being bowled out for 99 before injury again cut his season short. S Lewis (25), D Baker (18) and S Cowlin (17) all had notable performances but would have welcomed more wickets.
Although failing to return to Division One at the first attempt confidence has been restored and we look forward to 2010 with renewed optimism. Thanks to scorer Adam Knight, Cricket Manager Mick Lewis and our loyal supporters.
It was a mixed season at best for the 2nd XI as they failed to adapt to the limited over format, winning just 2 out of the 9 and only mustering 5 wins in total. 10 defeats tells the story as once again we were too inconsistent, particularly with the ball.
Contributions of note with the bat came from Jon Coles who really blossomed this season hitting 475 at just under 40, and Ian Messom who had good haul of 323 at 30. Darren Cuff took on the captain’s duties on 4four occasions, he managed 313 at 26. Also worthy of note is Tony Cummins’ 230 from 5 games including a century at Worcester Park in the opening game. A dodgy knee ended his season far too early unfortunately but we hope to see him back in 2010!
With the ball the 2s only managed to take 10 wickets in a match on three occasions and in general bowling was sub-standard, so Matt Ashton’s 28 wickets from 15 games at an average of 20 was a real highlight in an otherwise mediocre season. Youngsters Alex Basson and Ryan Pepperall cemented 2nd team places this term and should go on to improve further next season.
Stalwart umpire Chris Burton finally hung up his coat after standing in more than 200 league games, captain Richard Milligan expresses his thanks both to him and to Ian Holleyman and Mickey Orange for their contributions this season.
The 3rd’s ended up in 11th position in the table without consistency we failed to bowl sides out. That said, John Young picked up 29 wickets, twice taking six wickets in match-winning performances. And two youngsters showing potential were Niaz Utmankhel and Hamza Nasir who picked up 15 & 13 respectively.
Runs came from the skipper Chris Austin, hitting 529 in 14 innings, Will Brown hit 279 runs, Sean Gardner 260, Nathan Pearson 273.
Throughout the season the 3rd’s used 40 players and as always we struggled for a consistent selection policy, but it is good to see the younger team members performing and they should look to develop and compete for places in the higher teams once they have learnt their trade. I would like to extend his thanks to Ian Williams for umpiring and ferrying the team around.
The 4th XI captained by John Cowlin had a great season, gaining promotion finishing in 2nd place. John Sinfield and Alan Carroll made major contributions with runs and Dan Bainbridge and Stuart Dunthorne excelled in the bowling department.