1970 – 1979

By Micky Garner and Brian Butchers

1970

Before the start of the season the builders were hoping to have the roof on the new pavilion by May. This hope never transpired until August when Fred Prescott began work on the installation of electricity into the building. To add to the Club’s problems a new groundsman had to be found to replace the part-time working Mr Roy Swetman. A special Committee meeting was held to discuss the progress made by the builders on the new pavilion, the date for completion being 31st July, it was agreed by the Committee that the official opening date should be the 11th September to avoid any mishaps. Michael Grant-Collie a new groundsman, was to start on the 1st July, the ground Committee convinced that he was the right man for the job. It was during this season that the young Alan Down was elected as a member, introduced by A H Brown. Len Watson had moved to Hayward Heath with his young family. Wallington Manor would replace the MCC game during Cricket Week.

At the start of the season Maurice Reeves made his return to the 1st XI felt by taking seven Dulwich wickets for 29 runs in 18 overs in there total of 103 runs. In reply Graham Brown taking 99 minutes for his 20 runs, saw Beddington home with six points, Brian Ray a newcomer from Western Scotland hitting the winning runs in the Beddington total of 107 for 5 wickets. The following day David Ottley hit a splendid 60 runs assisted by Brian Butchers 47 runs in an opening stand of 96 runs in 70 minutes in a game that Beddington lost by 5 wickets against Ealing. Against Mitcham on the green, Beddington were defeated by 3 wickets when Mitcham clinched victory in the last over. This was followed by two defeats against Old Emanuel and Send CC at the end of May. Beddington were beaten yet again in their Championship match against Sunbury, the reason being the number of catches dropped in these opening games this season. It was not until the end of June that Beddington registered their first Sunday victory. Beddington lacked penetration without the old school of Reeves, Watson, Griffin and Hall. Despite this Beddington had won through to the group 15 final of the National Cricketers Cup and meet Addiscombe in the final.

The 1st XI were in 11th position in the Surrey Championship with the 2nd XI 7th position in their section. Against Westminster Bank John Robertson put Beddington in a strong winning position scoring 79 runs in their total of 157 runs for 6 wickets declared, in reply Nat/West were bowled out for 114. On Sunday at Beddington Dave Ottley Randall Stevens and Ron Dolby lined up against Beddington for Tiffin Tersels, Ottley hammering 91 runs and Stevens 41 runs in a third wicket partnership of 86 runs in 48 minutes Tiffin Tersels declared at 170 for 6 wickets, the match ending in another tame draw, with Beddington 106 for 6 wickets. In a drawn game against Cyphers on Saturday John Robertson scored his eighth half century of the season. In their Championship game against Cheam, Beddington 2nd XI declared at 195 runs for 7 wickets, M Garner 102 n.o. with Lex Wills 74 n.o. Cheam in reply bowled were bowled out for 81 runs, G Dolby taking 5 wickets for 34 runs.

On the following Sunday Beddington 1st XI were soon in trouble against The Frogs, some fine bowling by Robin Prior and John Fellows-Smith the former Oxford and South African player. At lunch Beddington were 64 for 7 wickets. Frogs took only 90 minutes to knock of the hundred runs required for victory ending on 103 for 4 wickets. With a magnificent spell of bowling by Maurice Reeves helped Beddington to only their 3rd Championship win of the season over East Molesey, with the impressive figures of 20.3 overs 4 maidens 58 runs for 8 wickets in Beddington’s 80 run victory. Against Romany on Sunday Tony Brown scored yet another 111 n.o. in a total of 202 for 5 wickets by Beddington, Romany in reply were bowled out for 108 runs with Nick Wills taking 5 wickets for 27 runs.

This had been a hard year for all the Beddington members with the uncertainty of the wickets and the Pavilion still unfinished in A H Brown’s year of office. Tony Brown had scored over a hundred hundreds during his playing career with first Spencer CC, then Beddington CC and the Surrey CCC and MCC sides, a magnificent record by any standard. At the AGM in December the secretary Mr G Dolby mentioned the engaging of a first class groundsman and the successful opening of the new pavilion in September. A tribute was paid to Fred Prescott for his untiring work at the Club and Pavilion, Fred was retiring from the Captaincy of the 2nd XI after seven successful years. A special mention was made to the ladies of the club who had rallied round in a wonderful fashion this year under difficult conditions at the pavilion.

1971

J K Gass was again elected as President, Captain of the 1st XI on Saturday being M Willett with Tony Brown as Vice-Captain, Tony Brown would Captain the 1st XI on Sunday with Graham Brown as Vice-Captain. The changes to the 2nd XI were John Robertson as Captain, with Mick Garner as Vice-Captain. The third and fourth XIs remained the same. Fred Prescott was elected a life member of the club after 20 years of service. Arnold Beck had retired as press secretary due to bad health; a benefit game had been planned for Arnold Long the Surrey wicket keeper this year. In March Roger Bowles was accepted once again as a playing member, and Martin Seymour, S Down and G Whitfield joined as playing members with Steven Brown as a Junior member.

The first match of the season against Dulwich at Beddington, saw Roger Bowles with one over to go, hit the twelve runs required for Beddington’s first championship victory. In June Mike Willett with 42 n.o. put Beddington CC on top of the Championship with a fine win over Sunbury by 4 wickets. Mike Willett skippered the Surrey Club Championship XI, including Roger Bowles against a Surrey County XI at Beddington CC. In July Epsom CC had taken the top spot in the Championship when Fred Munro took 9 wickets, and a bemused Beddington CC found themselves bowled out for 73 runs chasing Epsom’s total of 142 runs. Beddington’s Cricket Week ran parallel with Sutton and just as successful, winning one game, losing two and drew the others, with Tony Cummins taking six Stoics wickets for 27 runs all bowled, including a hat-trick, with Stoics winning by six runs. On the following Saturday Beddington beat National Westminster Bank with two overs to spare M Willett 59 n.o. Roger Bowles 44 runs. With Alan Down taking 4 wickets for 58 runs in 21 overs, and Randall Stevens taking four victims behind the stumps.

In September the Beddington Colts XI won the Surrey Cricket Championship Colts Competition beating Spencer in a replay. In their last game of the season against Streatham the Beddington 2nd XI clinched the Surrey 2nd XI club Championship title for the second time in three years, with Brian Butchers scoring 101 and Lex Wills 75 runs. It had been a successful year for John Robertson in his first year as 2nd XI Captain. The 1st XI finished the season in 6th place in their division. Tony Brown, Beddington’s Sunday 1st XI skipper this year, finished the season with a unbeaten century against Basingstoke. The Annual Dinner this year was held at the Croydon Conservative club. The Queen, proposed by J K Gass, Esq. the Beddington Cricket club, proposed by H Seaborne Esq. (Tiffin Tersels). The Guests proposed by John Robertson. The Secretary reported the death of Arnold Beck our long serving Press secretary and father of the now famous Jeff Beck of the ‘Yardbirds’ fame.

1972

The Annual subscription this year was as follows: Full playing member over the age of 21 years at £6, JPM at £3, NPM at £1.50. A club Tour had been arranged at Courage CC Alton, Ringwood, Lymington, Deanery, Southampton and Basingstoke. There were some outstanding individual scores made in the 3rd XI this year, D Parker 130 n.o. against the Old Whits, M Garner 127 n.o. against Chaldon, T Alcroft 117 n.o. at Spencer, A Wills 113 n.o. against Sutton, and R Collins 102 n.o. at Sunallon CC. This was the depth of the playing strength at Beddington at this time with the bowlers M Terry, G Dolby, D Robson and P Pepper who were all hot-stuff in this side captained once again by Brian Swain. George Dolby had been at the club for 30 years,  and had played in every Beddington XI since the 2nd World War, where he played in the Wallington Home Guard Cricket team as a youth. He had given outstanding service to the club during this period and had recieved a life membership at last, the Beddington Club now in its 109th season.

The Beddington 1st XI began the season with an excellent victory over Dulwich, a great opening spell of bowling by A Cummins gave him a match total of 6 wickets for 29 runs, the Beddington feilding was the feature of this match, when nine of the Dulwich wickets fell to catches in various parts of the field. On Sunday however Beddington took a 110 runs defeat at Ealing, when they were dismissed for 103 runs. Dulwich CC prevented Beddington CC from taking a clear lead in the Surrey Championship when the game was drawn on a rain affected wicket at the Dulwich ground at the end of May. Beddington maintained their position at the head of the Surrey Championship when they beat Spencer by 3 wickets in their next match, with the Beddington 2nd XI defeating Spencer 2nds at Spencer, heading the 2nd Division table. Geoff Keith took the man of the match award at Beddington in a drawn game against Old Whitgiftians taking 3 wickets for 50 runs as well as scoring 90 runs.

The 1st XI this year under the leadership of former Surrey star Mike Willet are one of the pacemakers of the Championship, with A Brown, N Griffin, G Keith, M Reeves, R Baker and R Bowles who have all played representative cricket in County sides. The 18 year old Wallington Grammar Schoolboy Ray Baker has been taken on a trial basis with Surrey until the end of the season. Mike Willett made a century before declaring against Cheam the visitors making very little effort to score the 203 runs required for victory in even time, at the close Cheam were 128 runs for 8 wickets.

The highlight of the Cricket Week this year was the Wanderers game with the emergence of the Cummins boys Tony Jonathan and Robert the highlight being a partnership between Robert Cummins 77 runs and another new comer Martin Seymour 64 runs, Beddington declared at 189 for 4 wickets, Wanderers had lost 6 wickets for 74 runs when rain ended play. President’s Day Jonathan Cummins bowled 20 overs taking 4 for 46 with brother Antony taking 3 for 21, Robert scoring 33 runs in a defeat for the club side by 10 runs, Tony Stockley of Epsom and Surrey taking 6 wickets for 40 runs.

Gilly Reay could hardly have envisaged that three of his grandsons would later be playing cricket in the Surrey teams. Antony Cummins represented Surrey Young Cricketers at the Oval, the honour has now fallen on the two brothers, who both trod the turf at the Oval when they played for the Young Cricketers against the Surrey Association of Cricket Club Juniors. In the Championship Beddington won their first game since June when they defeated Ashford in August. Ashford were bowled out in their innings for 101 runs with B Butchers taking 7 wickets for 45 runs in 13 overs his best 1st XI Championship performance, Tony Brown finished with a fine 52 n.o. and Beddington CC won with half-hour to spare.

1973

The 110th season of cricket at Beddington with ‘The Baron’ J K Gass as President, Beddington CC were arguably the best batting side in the Championship. Not only did they score more runs (3048 in 1973) they were the first team to score 3000 in one season. Mike Willett made Championship hundreds against Guildford, Old Emanuel, Sutton and Honor Oak and topped the Championship averages with 69.08 runs. Roger Bowles was still batting like a thoroughbred, also had an outstanding season scoring 593 runs. The main wicket takers being Brian Butchers the leg-spinner, who had benefited throughout the season from his Captain’s confidence in him, Mike Willett himself whose 26 wickets owed much to his experience and know-how at Surrey CC.

Beddington snatched a two run victory against Sunbury with three balls left in the last over, this was the first appearance of G Whitfield, whose father had played for Surrey, also the lovely Reg Swatton a good friend of the Captain Mike Willett. Beddington were 9th in the league after five games, with the 2nd XI in 15th position in their league. Effective bowling by B Butchers, A H Brown and A Down allied to the batting of Roger Bowles helped Beddington to outplay Spencer. Butchers bowled extremely well to claim 5 wickets for 22 runs Spencer dismissed for 163 runs. Roger Bowles then produced a brilliant 94 runs to gain Beddington’s second Championship win of the season at 165 for 1 wicket with C Richards 61 n.o.

Beddington and Banstead have been drawn to meet in the quarter-final of the Decca Cup the match to be played at Beddington. In the 2nd XI Beddington here bowled out for 58 runs, lost the game at Spencer 62 for 2 by eight wickets. This year saw the departure of Neville Griffin from the club lured to the Purley Downs Golf Club, now the retirement home for Beddington Cricketers, by N D Parks and Co. In July Beddington 1st XI had taken 2nd position in the league with four wins having drawn with the leaders Epsom with six wins. The Beddington 2nd XI were in last position without one win this season.

Beddington 1st IX had moved to the semi-final of the Decca Cup beating Mitcham by 3 runs. Beddington’s Clive Dolby demolished Lensbury at Beddington Park on Saturday 11th August taking 4 wickets with successive balls. C Dolby ended up with 6 wickets for 12 runs in his spell of 8 overs. Beddington had scored 180 runs in their innings Lenbury in reply all out for 128 runs. Against Basingstoke at the end of the season Beddington scored 186 runs for 5 wickets with veteran Tony Brown 63 runs and Tim Alcroft 47 runs, Basingstoke in reply were bowled out for 126, with Clive Dolby taking another 6 wickets for 18 runs, Tim Alcroft chipped in with 2 wickets for 27 runs and Beddington won quite convincingly. The club tour returned to Southampton yet again this year with no changes in the itinerary.

At the November Committee meeting Collie had eventually decided to confirm his resignation as groundsman, at the AGM A H Brown had decided to stand down as Captain of the Whole Day XI. Geoff Knight was elected as Hon Secretary and Peter Hancock the Hon Press Secretary. Dave Ottley would Captain the whole day XI with R Stevens as Vice-Captain. Brian Paul would Captain the 2nd XI with Micky Garner as Vice-Captain. Ken Kasey had moved to Yugoslavia in July on business and on his return he joined the Horsham CC.

1974

The season of 1974 Beddington CC were still batting despite the blaze that had badly damaged their pavilion once again. The main bugbear being the lack of toilet facilities at the Pavilion, Mr Dick Riseboro told the local press. “Members now have the choice of going to the bushes risking stinging nettles and onlookers, or having a long walk across the park to the changing rooms,” he said. The older building housing the changing rooms, toilet facilities, shower and kitchen were completely destroyed by the blaze and the main body of the hall rebuilt after a fire there six years ago, made untenable. The damage estimated at about £20,000 and in addition to losing the amenities of the building, the furniture fixtures and fittings and bar stock had to be replaced. Things look very black for us this season, just when we were getting back on our feet; the Council have been very good in offering us alternative changing facilities in the Park.” (Wallington & Carshalton Times 23rd May 1974.)

In January Jack Gass announced that a new experienced groundsman Mr W W Canter had been employed, Brian Paul volunteered to be Beddington’s 1974 SCCCA representative. Beddington request to the SCCCA to retain our Banstead Bank Holiday game was turned down, they regretted that this was not possible due to fixture congestion. Beddington 3rd XI had been accepted for the 2nd Division of the Mid Surrey League. The following Members were elected Mrs Brenda Knight the 3rd XI scorer and playing member Dennis Marriott. A Special Committee Meeting was held on Friday 10th May. Doug Rose announced that he had arranged changing accommodation in the Park Pavilion for as long we needed it. Mobile toilets and showers would be available as soon as possible. D Simmons through the chair thanked Doug Rose for his magnificent efforts in such a short time. The County 2nd XI game between Northampton and Surrey had to be transferred to the Oval. Beddington’s new pavilion built only four years ago, having no facilities for a County game.

The Beddington 1st XI escaped with a draw in their first match at Mitcham. In a devastating spell of 6 wickets for 34 runs by Tony Cummins and 60 runs by G Brown. Beddington secured a victory over Sunbury by six wickets. A H Brown at the age of 48 years played a superb innings of 88 runs as Captain for the day and almost won the game for Beddington against his old club Spencer. In the match winning game at Purley, R Bowles shared a stand with Tony Brown of 100 runs, Brian Paul promoted to the 1st XI as keeper claimed five catches behind the stumps. Following the fire at Beddington CC the club bar had now re-opened for the club’s Cricket Week, when Beddington entertain Gaieties, Stoics, Licensed Victuallers, Wanderers and the President’s XI. At the end of July Beddington played the Pakistan under 19s touring side – the only club side to be granted the honour. Despite a superb spell of bowling by Neville Griffin, who had returned to the fold, of 7 wickets for 53 runs, Beddington were decisively beaten by the tourists.

At this period in the season Beddington 1st XI were in 11th position in the League with the 2nd XI leading their Division. At the end of September the 2nd XI led by Captain Brian Paul beat Cheam CC to clinch the 2nd XI league title for the third time; Beddington’s previous titles were gained in 1969 and 1971. Only R Bowles of Beddington’s many good batsmen showed any real consistency in 1974. It was therefore little surprise that Beddington dropped to 12th place in the 1st Division, their bowling, not their strong point in recent years, however leg spinner Brian Butchers had his best Championship season, heading the averages sharing the top number of wickets with the persistent A Cummins. A welcome feature this year was the return for a few matches of Neville Griffin one of the really outstanding cricketers of the 1960s. Clive Dolby and Brian Butchers were listed in the SCCCA bowling averages along with Roger Bowles in the batting averages. the names G Keith, A Murtagh and D Parker were deleted from the membership. The application by the 3rd and 4th XI to join the league was put on hold due to the lack of facilities at the club.

In October Mike Willet announced that he was not seeking re-election as Saturday 1st XI Captain in 1975 and Roger Bowles was willing to stand. Brian Swain had also decided to step-down as 3rd XI Captain this year. David Parker’s name was finally deleted from the membership deemed to have resigned. The 3rd XI had retained their position as the most successful side in the club despite losing the playing services of their Captain Brian Swain through illness, Frank Bridger taking over the side.

At the AGM G H Knight was elected as Hon Secretary, Roger Bowles as 1st XI Captain, and Micky Garner as 2nd XI Captain, Frank Bridger as 3rd XI Captain, and D Simmons as 4th XI Captain. It was proposed by D Simmons seconded by G Knight that R Risebro should be elected to Life Membership of the club. This was endorsed by the President Jack Gass and Sydney Cooper. During the captaincy of Mike Willett many of the senior members of the club had retired from cricket and joined Purley Downs Golf club, first S Cooper, G Dolby, F Prescott and Bob White then N Parks, N Griffin and R Riseboro had all got the golfing bug, while A H Brown continued to hold his place in the 1st XI.

1975

The recently married Mrs A Simmons and Mrs B Alcroft joined the Membership, T Lees A Cheverall and M Griggs were elected as Junior Playing members during this time Doug Hicks and his Chipmonks side were still enjoying their cricket on the back square every Thursday and  their charitable work for the Diamond Riding Stables at the Oaks Park. Michael Collie Grant had been engaged as groundsman and improvement at the ground were already evident.

Beddington CC improved in 1975 under the leadership of Roger Bowles in a relatively successful season which saw the side move up the Championship table to finish into 6th place, the 2nd XI with Mick Garner as captain finishing in 4th position despite two abandoned matches. The 2nd XI won eleven games in all, and often bowled the opposition out in the second innings thanks to Maurice Reeves and the up and coming younger members of the Club, both XIs having a blend of older experienced players and younger talented players. Morale was high at the club despite the lack of changing facilities in the main clubhouse, following the second fire at the pavilion and poor wickets due to the groundsman’s early season illness. In general the batting remained the strongest feature although few players were outstanding. Early season attempts to win by batting first when winning the toss (Except for Epsom) and then bowling opposition sides out was not successful, this was due to the familiar lack of bowling penetration, and lapses in the field at critical moment with no regular wicket keeper.

The first win of the season was against Malden Wanderers when Maurice Reeves returned a magnificent 7 wickets for 50 runs. This win proved to be the only one in which Beddington batted first, all other victories were gained batting second, although the bowlers were to be thanked for dismissing both Ashford and Streatham for under 100 runs, individual highlights included an unbeaten 102 runs by Cliff Richards and 74 runs by Graham Brown in Beddington’s best opening partnership and Tony Cummins’ brilliant batting at Purley and Cheam.

The team was strengthened from mid-season by the arrival of Andrew Tibble as wicket keeper and all-rounder C Bannister from Cambridge University. Appearances by younger players, particularly spinners, John Rix and Jonathan Cummins, auger well for the future. In the Decca Cup day at the Oval Neville Griffin played a magnificent innings of 73 not out in the semi-final win against Dulwich, with Beddington CC winning the final beating Old Emanuel by 5 wickets.

During the Cricket Week 1975 the Cummins brothers stole the limelight with Tony Cummins finishing the week with a batting average of 59 runs and taking 14 wickets. On Wednesday Jonathan Cummins stole the limelight by taking 7 wickets for 39 runs to dismiss the Licensed Victualers for 95 runs. On Thursday in a draw against the Wanderers, Robert Cummins the younger made 52 runs with Tony the Elder 38 runs in a total of 163 all out. The President’s Day game was also drawn with Mike Gatting of England scoring 111 runs in even time and Ted Clark of Middlesex CCC 72 runs. The President’s side declared at 225 runs for 4 wickets, Beddington in reply reaching a creditable score of 174 runs for 8 wickets against this strong opposition.

1976

Many players from the old school had left the club and moved to Sussex, these included the Wills brothers, Len Watson, Ken Kasey, with wicket keeper and previous Captain Brian Paul going to the USA. These players being replaced by Peter Pepper, Peter Griggs, Tony Ward, Robert Cummins, Jonathan Cummins, Jonathan Rix and Geoff Knight, only Martin Seymour, M Reeves, R Dolby, M Garner the 2nd XI Captain remained, with Pat Smyth as umpire.

This year a friendly 2nd XI game had been arranged with the Hon Artillery Company at Artillery House in City Road EC1, a delightful ground in the heart of London. The RAC had mentioned the fact that they would not be strong enough to play the Beddington 1st XI, the game being transferred to a 2nd XI fixture. After some tight bowling by G Knight P Pepper R Dolby and M Terry the RAC were bowled out for under 200 runs, leaving Beddington CC even time for a result, the highlight of the game being Geoff Knight’s 100 runs with one six hitting the metal window guard on the second floor of the office buildings that surrounded the ground, the Beddington team victorious in battle, the hospitality Beddington CC received on the day, being of the highest order.

The Beddington sides were strengthened from mid-season by the arrival of wicket-keeper Andrew Tibble and all-rounder Charlie Bannister, who had returned to the  club from Cambridge University. Several successful appearances by younger players, Clive Dolby and spinners J Rix and J Cummins, auger well for the future. Maurice Reeve had an outstanding year with the ball in the 1st XI and later the 2nd XI, returning a magnificent 7 wicket for 50 runs against Malden Wanderers, the 2nd XI Captain Mick Garner being quite willing to except him into the 2nd Xl side, when M Willet became available for the Ist XI under Tony Brown.

Despite the fire at the Pavilion, the lack of facilities and a poor wicket, the morale throughout the club was high. A vote of thanks must go to all of the Committee especially Doug Rose, after our second fire at the start of the season. In September it was suggested that a replacement be found for the ageing Mr Canter the groundsman, Robert Cummins had offered his services. It was agreed that a presentation gift should be given to Les Cozens for his tireless piano playing at the club for 20 years a feature of the weekend entertainment at the ground, recognised with affection by all of our members and visitors to the Clubhouse.

At the AGM in December George Dolby and Brian Swain were elected to Life Membership of the club. Roger Bowles would Captain the 1st XI for the second time with G Brown as Vice-Captain. A H Brown now retired from 1st XI duties, would Skipper the 2nd XI with Geoff Knight as Vice-Captain for the ensuing year.

The Beddington Ist XI will resume this year under the captaincy of Roger Bowles, who expects to have the service of all-rounder Neville Griffin regularly on Saturdays. The batting line-up apart from A Brown is unchanged, but Tony Ward who has risen from the lower XIs will keep wicket until Andy Tibble returns from University in July. The spin attack will be in the hands of Maurice Reeves and the slow left arm of Jonathan Cummins whose presence means all three brothers – batsman Robert all rounder Tony and Jonathan will be in the Beddington side this season.

Beddington had a fine win against Epsom in their first Championship game of the season by 44 runs, with Tony Cummins deservedly chipping in with 5 wickets for 40 runs. Beddington followed up this victory with a second win at Banstead, the Beddington innings given an ideal start by Cliff Richards and Graham Brown who put on 116 runs, each scoring half centuries, with Beddington CC winning the match by 4 wickets with two overs to spare. Cliff Richards had struck a purple patch in the Championship this year, scoring 237 runs in three innings, including 100 runs against Spencer. Tony Cummins had taken another 5 wickets for 46 runs in a match that Beddington lost by 4 wickets. Although the first three days of Beddington CC Cricket Week produced some exciting cricket, they had to wait until Thursday for their first win, when Roger Bowles hit an unbeaten 100 runs out of 209 for 4 wickets after. The Wanderers had made 204 for six declared. The game on Friday against the President’s XI ending in a tame draw.

At the end of August Tony Cummins earned his side a narrow victory when he took the last three Addiscombe wickets in five balls, their seventh league success this season, with Tim Alcroft (46) and Cliff Richards (62) and Neville Griffin’s unbeaten (39), making an early declaration possible. The 2nd XI by this time had won six matches, with three lost and five drawn, were in sixth position in the 2nd division. At the end of the season Beddington first Eleven, with seven winning matches finished in only 9th place with the 2nd XI dropping to 6th place in their division.

1st XI report: The season began well with two wins but then reverted to draws or losses, occasioned by tempting the opposition to go for the win batting second. In retrospect, seven wins was respectable enough, but disappointing since in several games Beddington came close to winning, but failed possibly due to dropped catches.

The bowling continued to lack penetration, necessary to do really well in this competition. One of the bright spots was the fine performance of Clive Dolby who finished with 35 wickets at 10 runs apiece. The season was typified by the performance of the batsmen, none of whom did themselves justice despite strong potential. The side was strengthened by the addition of Charlie Bannister and Andy Tibble from Cambridge University in the second half of the season. This being the last year Roger Bowles would play at Beddington, preferring to play at Cheam CC, where it was more convenient for his sons to play cricket.

As always Beddington 2nd XI now under Tony Brown had a satisfactory and enjoyable season with a good team spirit. They would have come higher in the Championship if their batting had not let them down in two vital matches. Tony Brown was the most successful batsmen with 600 runs and Peter Pepper with 29 wickets the most successful bowler. Beddington 2nd XI had many fine youngsters playing in the team and a marked improvement was shown by them as the season progressed, these were Playing Members who had waited a considerable amount of time in the 3rd XI under the Captaincy of Brian Swain to reach this position.

This season five of the Beddington players who appeared in the championship top 40 players of 1976 included C Dolby,T Alcroft, and A Cummins in the bowling averages with R Bowles C Richards in the batting averages. The Good News at Beddington informed us that shower accommodation etc., was to be started in Autumn and was scheduled to be completed by the start of the 1977 season. Tony Cummins played in the Middlesex 2nd XI side at Roehampton, while Graham Brown and Cliff Richards represented Beddington in the Club Cricket Conference sides this year.

1977

Graham Brown took over as Beddington CC 1st XI Captain, a position he would hold for the next three years, with A H Brown in his last year as Captain of the 2nd XI. It was announced in January that the long serving groundsman Peter Coates had died at his home in Rectory Lane, Beddington. The ground at Beddington would never be the same again.

In the ten season’s from 1968-1977 of the Championship League, the Mitcham 1st XI topped the league tables with 59 wins and 18 lost, with 449 points. Beddington 1st XI on the other hand were in 7th place with 51 wins and 41 losses. The Beddington 2nd XI had a much better record with 72 wins and 33 lost; topping the 2nd XI table with 499 points and three Championship wins, these records ironically would place them ahead of their counterparts in the premier competition.

The season began with a celebration cheese and wine party to open the new shower and changing room complex at Beddington. In attendance with glasses raised to toast their achievement, A H Brown, G Brown, Geoff Knight club secretary, Dickie Risebro bar secretary and Jack Gass the President, the club was back in business once again with the 1st XI winning their first match of the season at Epsom with Clive Dolby, Tim Alcroft, and Mike Willet sharing the spoils with three wickets each, Epsom dismissed for 62 runs. In June the Richards brothers shared a stand of 186 runs in the Surrey Championship game against Spencer, with Cliff Richards 121 n.o. and Trevor Richards 72 runs in a total of 249 for 1 wicket declared. Spencer in reply scoring only 144 runs for 7 wickets, with B Butchers 5 wickets for 49 runs, while the 2nd XI at the Beddington ground declared at 198 – beating Spencers total of 180 runs by 18 runs.

Tony Cummins stole the individual honours of Beddington’s Cricket Week, hitting a club record 169 runs, in a drawn match with the Wanderers. He put on 138 runs for the first wicket with Australian Nick Moschetti 43 runs and was on 94 runs before lunch, guiding Beddington to 260 runs for 4 wickets declared, the visitors replying with 230 for 7 wickets. The win against Stoics on Tuesday with R Risebro 54 n.o. and Mike Willet’s son David, taking 6 wickets for 45 runs, with his slow left arm spin. Beddington were beaten by a very strong President’s side by 5 wickets on Friday.

The following week Tony Cummins scored another century in a win against John Fisher Old Boys with Nick Wills coming into his own on a turning wicket claiming 5 wickets for 43 runs in 19 overs. This had been an exceptional year for Beddington’s Ist Xl finishing 4th in the division.

The outstanding form of Tim Alcroft at the start of the season particularly on Sunday’s, scoring two centuries in his 272 runs scored in May, followed by 200 runs and 15 wickets in three matches in June, combined with the return of Charlie Bannister from Cambridge this was a very strong Beddington side which underlined their flair and strength by winning the Decca Cup for the second time in three years at the Oval, with Tony Cummins and Charlie Bannister sharing seven wickets in the semi-final and eight wickets in the final. Beddington had seven all-rounders in this side M Willet, R Bowles, A Cummins, N Griffin, T Alcroft, C Bannister and T Richards.

Beddington reviews this year: This was a satisfactory season as far as the Beddington 1st XI were concerned finishing fourth in the Championship and winning the Decca Cup. The side’s strength was in its batting with seven batsmen scoring half centuries and Cliff Richards scoring 121 not out against Spencer, with newcomer Trevor Richards who scored over 400 runs and Steve Brown, whose fielding was worth 20 runs a match. The batting strength was proved by the fact that Beddington were bowled out only once during the season by Mitcham CC and even then 170 runs had been scored.

Until July the bowling lacked penetration the seamers taking only 44 wickets between them not the sort of figures that win the Club Championship. The 2nd XI had a most disappointing season. This was mainly due to not having a regular side, either through unavailability or calls to the first XI. The batting at times was good particularly when batting first, but failed miserably on occasions when chasing runs. Nick Moschetta a visitor from Australia was a great club member throughout the season, the nicest teetotaller from down under Beddington had ever met. He headed the batting averages, with Robert Cummins, Mick Garner and veteran Ron Dolby all scoring valuable runs, good performances were also achieved by Maurice Reeves, who alas, played all to seldom.

The 3rd XI fixtures were restricted by the weather to only seven fixtures meaning that the side finished in fifth position, the calls of the higher sides and some injuries meant that the composition of the side was variable and it was never a regular team. Of the more regular performers Roy Collins was the leading run maker with 214 runs with scores of 73 n.o. and 89 n.o. Nick Derrick also contributed some useful runs in the middle order, with Frank Bridger the main wicket taker, the most remarkable analysis being supplied by Dave Arnold, who in one match took 4 wickets for no runs in six overs.

Beddington 3rd XI will be hoping for better things with improved catching ability and not least the weather.  This season had been a season of change at Beddington with the Pavilion now fully functional, the structure of the sides being more consistant and the influx of more younger members, bodes well for the future of the Club.

1978

In March D Simmons read a letter of resignation from the groundsman M Grant-Collie at possibly the worst time a groundsman could resign, with the new season only weeks away. It was recommended by Mike Willet that Robert Cummins should be given the contract for six months  with a fee to be agreed. This season Neville F Griffin had become a non-playing member preferring to return to the golf course.

New membership of the club included Mike Neilan, J Lough, J Ramsey, J Mundy and R Richards. The Beddington 1st XI with the nucleus of members who help them finish 4th in the Championship last summer had been boosted by South African Robin Jones who had been in England since 1974. Skipper Graham Brown will aim to blend this duo of Jones and Pearse from Banstead into what at least looks like a formidable side on paper, with brothers Richards, Jones Bowles Willet and all-rounders Tony Cummins, Tim Alcroft and Guy Pearse, Graham Brown seems to have everything he requires for a winning combination.

In the 2nd XI Tony Brown had relinquished the Captaincy to be replaced by a younger man in Geoff Knight another product of Wallington Grammar School of which there has been many in the club’s history, while the 3rd XI led by off spinner David Arnold would prove to be the real winners this season.

In their first game against Emanuel, the Beddington Ist XI skittled out the Old Boys for 101 runs and then the Richards brothers raced to the target in 26 overs to hustle the side to their first league win. In the 2nd XI veteran Beddington batsman Tony Brown hit a splendid 84 runs to help the team on their way to a Championship win over the Old Emanuel 2nd XI, with Brian Butchers producing a match winning 28 overs spell of leg breaks to take 6 wickets for 99 runs as Emanuel were dismissed for 197 runs.

A splendid day’s cricket was seen at Maidstone at the end of June in a high scoring game against The Mote. Superb batting by Robin Jones (86), Tony Cummins (80) and Steve Brown (56) set Beddington on their way to a total of 280 for 5 declared. In reply The Mote looked doomed at 121 for 5, but a 100 run stand restored their hopes until the home side were bowled out for 273 runs, with Guy Pearse and Nick Wills taking 3 wickets a piece. In July Beddington 2nd XI conjured victory out of almost certain defeat in the Surrey Championship match against Purley. Needing only 12 runs to win from the last 8 overs with 5 wickets in hand. Purley collapsed dramatically to Geoff Knight (4-25) and lost by four runs.

The 1st XI Review for 1978: Beddington never got going after the first two games were washed out. The batting was not as consistent as in the past, with only Roger Bowles averaging over 30. Two of the wins were in the last over, with one ball to go against Honor Oak and five against Guildford. There were also good wins against Old Emanuel, Cheam and Dulwich both bowled out for under 80 runs. The most successful bowler being C Bannister with 23 wickets. The arrival of Robin Jones gave Beddington one of the best fielders in the Championship, as well as being a useful batsman, but his stay at the club was short lived. In the words of the Captain Graham Brown, “We will need to improve our game next year if we are to finish any higher in the Championship.”

Second XI Review: Unbeaten runners up Beddington, whose last match win over highly placed Dulwich was to avail them little, saw their dreams of winning fading during a disappointing August after bright performances in June and July. However an enjoyable season under new Captain Geoff Knight saw a ten place improvement on the 1977 table and two exciting victories snatch from the jaws of defeat as both Purley CC and Cheam CC collapsed with the game all but won.

Evergreen Tony Brown led the run getters with 476 runs again with successful centuries against Sunbury and Guildford, while fellow opener Brian Paul 323 runs, also scored a ton against Sunbury to share an opening stand of 214 runs. Other major contributions in the unusual strong Beddington batting line-up came from the elegant Robert Cummins 324 runs, and the free hitting Micky Garner 210 runs, wicket-keeper Andrew Tibble, Mike Neilan and Geoff Knight himself. Of the bowler John Rix led the way with 26 wickets, Brian Butchers 16 wickets, while Peter Pepper’s 14 wickets were scant reward for some fine opening spell, the bowler with a big heart affectionately known as “Wilf”, Pepper to his friends, who would bowl all day if required.

The Third XI Review for the year. Beddington were only dismissed once, whilst putting out our opponents six times, despite the perennial problem of a very unsettled side, evidenced by the fact that 24 players were used, more than forty overs being bowled by only three of them, whilst a total of 100 runs was exceeded by only four batsmen. Among the bowlers D Robson took 19 wickets, with outstanding batting from Dick Riseboro and Stewart Hicks, supported by Michael Griggs, but victory was secured by team effort alone, everyone deserving the credit. Dave Arnold had done a good job as Captain with Stewart Hicks as Vice, Dough Hicks was the regular umpire with the attractive Brenda Knight as scorer who did much to maintain the spirit of a young side.

At the 1978 Annual General Meeting Jack Gass retired from the office as President after 44 years at the club. Mr A V A Cummins became the new President, a vote of thanks was extended to Pat Cummins the Hon. Catering Sec. and her many helpers who had given their time to produce the fine food available at the Pavilion every week-end and throughout the season.|

1979

A number of members were struck off the list in January for one reason or another those included M Aldir, C Barber, P Huggett, K King, T Lees, P Oshea, R Swatton, M Tulloch and A Wills who had moved to Sussex. The 1st XI made one of their worst-ever starts to season when they lost to Epsom, with a draw at Banstead and had been knocked out of the Haig Cup by Dartford from the Kent League. They put all this aside when they beat the Old Whitgiftians with a crushing 8 wickets win, 1979 being the 100th year that Beddington had played the Old Whitgiftians.

Tony Cummins’ display of bowling was a valuable breakthrough for the club. He bowled 15 overs in his first spell and that included seven maidens, he finished with an impressive 4 wickets for 50 runs, with Old Whits bowled out for 140 runs, but it was Bamber who caught the eye with a stylish 80 runs with C Richards and R Bowles seeing Beddington home with time to spare. The 2nd XI completed a double over the Whits when they beat them by 9 wickets at Croham Road. Southgate with 4 wickets for 47 runs and Ron Dolby 2 wickets for 22 runs, Steven Brown 88 n.o., B Paul 49 runs, and Martin Seymour 35 n.o. the Beddington total, 181 runs for the loss of one wicket.

Another defeat for the 1st XI was on the cards against Malden Wanderers when Beddington were bowled out for 116 runs. Beddington’s 1st XI disappointment was offset by the success of the 2nd and 3rd XIs in their sections of the Surrey Championship same old story, same old team selection. In the third XI victory, John Stewart a recent recruit from Spencer, finished with figures of 8 wickets for 22 runs in the Wanderers total of 57 runs. At the end of June Beddington’s 3rd XI were once again top of their section of the Surrey Championship after a win against Sunbury Peter Rose helped to skittle Sunbury CC out for 104 runs and Beddington reach the target with three wickets in hand thanks to Jonathan Southgate, Dick Riseboro and Brian King.

By the end of July the Beddington 3rd XI had made their position at the top of their section of the Surrey Championship even more secure in the match against Mitcham, who were bowled out for 146 runs, with Nick Wills taking 8 wickets for 49 runs, in reply to Beddington’s 226 for 5 wickets. Only one victory was gained in the Cricket Week with the 1st XI winning against The Wanderers by 23 runs.

In the Championship Tables of 1979 Beddington 1st XI finished in 13th place, with the 2nd XI once again in 2nd position in their division, the 3rd XI winning their division for the second year running. The Yearly Reviews for 1979: Beddington CC 1st XI are one of the sides in the Championship, who always promise so much only to disappoint. 1979 was no exception and with the talent they have available, this must puzzle both the club players and their opponents alike. The lack of improvement was proven by their slipping back to 13th place in the Championship table. There was a general lack of consistency throughout the team, among the bowlers only one took more than 20 wickets. Trevor Richards bowled well enough to dismiss 25 batsmen and with his 447 runs, he completed the Surrey championship double for the first time. The fielding was generally good with Robin Jones outstanding in the covers and Tony Cummins taking 10 good catches at slip.

Beddington 2nd XI in 1979 eventually won the close scramble for second place to finish runners up to Epsom once again. With nine players scoring more than 50 runs with only two players, Steve Brown (415) and Martin Seymour (275) reaching 250 runs. It was the bowling that secured most of their eight wins. Off-spinner Jonathan Rix again led the way with 28 victims and the two Dolby’s uncle Ron and nephew Clive each exceeding the twenty mark and shared the Old Emanuel wickets by taking five a piece, Ron Dolby’s 25 wickets included 6 wickets for eight runs against Sunbury enabling him to complete the Championship double with 200 runs and 20 wickets.

Peter Pepper who bowled well on his recall to the side, produced a match winning 7 wickets for 19 runs against Ashford. As always a jovial team spirit prevailed in the side with the services of President AVACummins as umpire and scorer Pat Smyth, throughout an enjoyable season. They are keen to better their league position by just one place next year.

The 3rd XI had another good season winning their division for the second year running. With the strength of the middle teams within the club as good as ever, there is no reason why there should not be another challenge next season to achieve the hat-trick. Notable bowling achievements during the season by wicket keeper Jim Holtby, Keith Dolby and the bowling again of Duncan Robson, Peter Griggs, Peter Pepper, plus Nick Wills and John Stewart who both took 8 wickets in a match. Brenda Knight had now become a mascot as scorer for the team and Dough Hicks looked another year older as Umpire after several pints in the Pavilion. During the closed season Ted Hill was asked to Skipper the 4th Xl which he had willingly accepted for the coming season.

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