- East Molesey
- Reigate Priory
With two straight promotions, and a return to the Premier League, hopes were high for the 1st XI, although tempered by the realisation that the season would be tough. After a nail-biting final wicket win over East Molesey in Week 1, three straight losses put the side on the back foot by the end of May. Results were needed, and with the start of longer cricket, the form came flowing back. Excellent results against Weybridge, Guildford and Beddington saw the Stags climb to 3rd.
A double rain off vs. Sutton and Reigate Priory (the latter 21-3 at one stage) and then three more losses against top half clubs meant that with 6 games to play Ashtead were virtually safe but needing a pair of wins to make it a certainty.
Cue a fantastic game at the end of July against East Molesey with a vital century early on to set a challenging target of 263 and then bowling the opposition out at 8:25pm with an over to spare. Three further wins against Weybridge, Beddington and Wimbledon secured safety.
Although losing to Reigate Priory and a rain out against Guildford (after they set 382) were not how Ashtead wanted to finish 2016, 6th place was an excellent result and sets the stage for consolidation next year.
Contributions with the bat were spread out this year, with Stewart Cameron (393, including a blistering 122 at home to Weybridge) and Michael Sanderson (393 as well) leading the charge. Paul Harrison (367, with 128 in the crucial East Molesey fixture) and Guy Harper (290) also batted well.
Bowling was a three way affair, with Jordan Thomas (30), Tom Homes (24) and Tom Deighton (22) all in the wickets. Highlights of the year came from Matt Friedlander (a hat-trick vs. Beddington), and Sam Homes (a superb catch in the dark to win the game vs. East Molesey).
Beddington 1st XI
Unfortunately, the 2016 season proved to be a very tricky season for the 1st XI. Managing just one victory all season shows a lack of highlights to look back on. That solitary win came in the fifth match of the season away at Sutton where Ryan Cummins took 7 for30 to bowl the opposition out for 72. It was hoped that this would be a springboard to kick start the season but unfortunately that did not prove to be the case. Other individual highlights came at Reigate Priory where overseas player Kyle Moolman scored a delightful 99 and at Wimbledon where Tom Bevan hit a powerful 92. With the three players already mentioned being the only three batsmen passing 300 runs (Moolman 517, Bevan 347 and Cummins 304) the batting was the major problem as the team only managed to score over 200 runs on four occasions.
The bowling was by far the stronger suit and the side pushed a lot of the bigger teams close, even when defending relatively small totals. Cummins 29 @ 22, Bevan 19 @ 27 and Rogerson 14 @ 32(in his debut season) were the only bowlers to take over 10 wickets. There were some positives to take out of the season with a few youngsters given a run of games in the team, this should bode well for next year.
Thanks as ever go to the incredibly hard working cricket manager Mike Lewis and scorer Ian Roberts.
East Molesey 1st XI
The Moles knew it would be tough to stay in the Premier League in 2016 and after six games the side was winless. The next two weeks were vital; away to Beddington and Sutton. Against Beddington, Dominic Reed steamed in and took 5 for 60, leaving the Moles with 141 to win. Well placed at 58 for 2, the rain set in and the four points were shared. Sutton was now an even bigger game, however the English summer won again without a ball being bowled.
At the halfway point in the season the Moles were winless but still fighting. Week 10 was the week of ‘Franko’s on fire’. Guildford were met by new arrival, Frank Knight who took 5 for 61, as the Moles crept over the line 8 down chasing 123.
Week 12 saw Wimbledon travel to the fortress Graburn Way. Chasing Wimbledon’s 205, openers Nick Stevens (70) and Jason Moore (49) started well with Jonty Hadfield getting the Moles over the line. Losses followed to Ashtead and Sunbury, with a healthy number of bonus points becoming a theme. The momentum shifted when Sutton were beaten at home with contributions all round.
Beddington now looked sure to be relegated leaving a straight fight between the Moles and Sutton. In the penultimate week, skipper Sam Burge stepped up with a league best of 136 to win the game against Guildford and Sutton lost.
With the Moles winning the toss and electing to field, “woos” echoed around Graburn as Beddington were dismissed for 154. With rain around the teams were pulled from the field at 105 for 3 and the Moles won on Duckworth Lewis. The Moles had completed the Great Escape.
Mentions go to Sam Burge (641 runs @ 40), Dominic Reed (355 @ 27) and Toby Green (272 @ 21); with the ball, Andrew Westphal (25 wickets @ 22) and Dominic Reed (20 @ 22).
Guildford 1st XI
Finishing seventh for the second season running was a fair reflection of Guildford’s Premier Division campaign.
Consistency was a rare commodity but five wins in the first 10 matches producing some impressive displays put the side on the fringes of the title race before five straight defeats left it lingering just outside the relegation battle. Seeing off Sutton put an end to any remaining worries but the second half of the season highlighted areas for Joe Pipkin’s young side to improve upon.
There was also plenty to look back on which was pleasing. Australian batsman Lincoln Edwards was the Premier Division’s leading run scorer with 777 runs, including three centuries, showing he had learned much from his first season and always making his runs in an attractive style. His fielding and input were never less than first-class.
Jack Cunningham’s 605 runs, despite missing four games, included a blistering 90 which effectively won the game at Sutton as he boomed in self-confidence. Although other contributions were moderate, 16-year-old Nathan Tilley showed steely temperament on his debut against Sunbury in a losing cause and then completed a maiden century against Ashtead while Surrey all-rounder James Burke produced two major innings in his limited appearances.
On the occasions Guildford could put out their full attack, the side possessed pace bowling to rank any side. Duncan Selmes led the attack impressively with 25 wickets and newcomer Jamie Odell (22) had batsmen hopping with his nasty bounce from a length. Top wicket taker though was left-arm spinner Olly Birts with 30, standing up impressively when under assault from South African Dane Vilas in the opening game and enjoying his rewards when they came.
Skipper Joe Pipkin hopes that lessons can be learned and will be targeting a push for the top half in 2017. Scorers Anthony Gamble and Martin Montgomery were invaluable in their efforts throughout the season.
Normandy 1st XI
The 1st XI finished the season in 5th place after spending most of the campaign mounting a challenge for the title. Having shown great character by defending a number of low scores throughout the season, ultimately, being unable to repeat their performances of 2015 with the bat meant it fell short of the leading pack over the last month of the season.
The young squad, with an average age of 21, will be disappointed with a mid-table finish which outlines the ambition within this group of players in only their second year back in the Premier League. Chris Jones and Dan Miles were consistent performers with both bat and ball throughout the season while Nathan Sowter showed his class in a number of games.
Despite the batting unit not being at its best in 2016, individual players often stood up to put in a match winning performance when the side was under pressure. Ian Prowse and Will Harris showed their quality in an outstanding run chase at Sutton while overseas player Jamie Gibson displayed some early season form with 81 at Weybridge and an important 63* against Beddington.
The bowling unit put in some excellent performances defending low totals in 2016. Although not quite at the outstanding level shown in 2015, the side was often dragged back into games by the bowlers as they put pressure on numerous batting line-ups to claim victories from difficult positions. The character the side showed in these battling wins is a trait that will stand them in good stead in the future.
A special thanks must go to the committee for their unwavering support of the 1st XI and scorers Elliott Wade and Phil Moss.
Reigate Priory 1st XI
The last fixture of the season away to Sunbury promised to be a shootout for the title but, despite a strong Reigate first innings, the game turned into a damp squib when rain turned an exciting game into an abandoned one, 19 balls before the game turned live at 20 overs old. It was rather like the Cowboys and Wyatt Earp holstering their guns and running for shelter when the rain came at the OK Corral, just as they were taking aim.
Frustratingly the Priory 1st XI finished in 2nd place with 12 wins, 3 losses and 3 abandoned games..
There was some wonderful batting, particularly from Richie Oliver (774 runs @ 55.29 with two centuries and five 50s) and Andy Delmont (607 @ 60.70) topping the league averages; in his last five innings Delmont scored 418 runs with two centuries and one 98*.
Other batsmen shone. Craig Cachopa played only four innings but averaged 69, Michael Burgess managed six innings with a century and an average of 45, Chris Murtagh had a quiet season but still scored over 400 runs while Brad Scriven, breaking a finger this year after his thumb last year, scored 264 runs @ 33.
Richie Oliver broke a league record held since 1996 by club chairman John Bramhall taking 24 field catches, many of them quite superb.
Skipper Luke Beaven continued his sparkling form of 2014 and 2015 topping the league’s wicket-takers, along with Dane Currency (44 wickets @ 15). Delmont opened the bowling with his seamers and did the Championship double taking 23 wickets at 18.5 to go with his 607 runs.
First change Richard Stevens had his best year in Priory colours with 21 wickets and some important innings batting, while Simon King produced his usual incisive bowling. The reliable Will Hodson also took 20 wickets.
This was a happy team under new skipper Luke Beaven with good all-round strengths. Next year, maybe!
Sunbury 1st XI
The 1st XI successfully defended its title after losing just one game and winning 13, ironically finishing with the same number of points (303) as the previous Championship winning season.
The task was made tougher after only five games when South African overseas player, Dane Vilas, who had made a great impact, was unexpectedly stopped from playing due to visa issues. Whilst this was a blow at a crucial stage of the season the team ultimately overcame it.
On the batting front Rhythm Bedi scored three valuable 70s and showed great skill and positivity when he batted and a season aggregate of 323 runs @ 36 was a very good return. Another young player to perform well under pressure was Sam Burgess who continues to impress and his 350 runs @ 27 was a solid return.
These younger players complemented the high standards and run scoring from Adam London who amassed 676 runs @ 52 and played many a vital knock under pressure, backed up by captain John Maunders who made 524 runs @ 40.
Vilas with 304 runs in 5 matches and a match winning knock from Olly Roland-Jones (85) away at Normandy were important contributions. Alex Hughes in his first season played a great match saving knock of 75 against Weybridge.
The bowling and fielding unit was strong, the latter led by Nathaniel Gregory and Rhythm Bedi who were both excellent in this department, Gregory in particular taking many fine catches.
New ball bowler Kevin Smith bowled well either side of a shoulder injury both upfront and at the death to claim 23 wickets with a good economy rate. Adam Stanier was brilliant all season and was back to his miserly best, (25 wickets @ 14) bowling with great skill and control.
The spin duo of Virdi and Vishal Manro influenced a high number of matches complementing one another beautifully. Manro bowled with great control (35 wickets @ 14.6) and Virdi’s spell of 6 for 67 off 31 overs at Ashtead was a great match winning performance.
Sohi was always challenging top order batters and bowled some fine spells taking 20 wickets, virtually all top order batsman, was a good return. Gregory bowled some tight spells and was unlucky not to achieve more wickets with his accurate swing bowling and performed an excellent holding role for the team.
The 1st XI has a good mix of youth and experience and will be trying its best to make it three titles in three seasons in 2017.
Sutton 1st XI
A turbulent year for Sutton 1st XI unfortunately saw them relegated to Division 1.
Poor form from some of the key players coupled with poor availability did not help, however the team fought hard throughout the season and suffered some narrow loses against the top sides: three abandoned games in June was very frustrating.
With the bat Mike Nicol scored 465 @ 35.77 including a fine 83* in a losing cause against Guildford and 80 in a win against Ashtead. Overseas Kelvin Smith was disappointed with his 302 runs @ 30.20, a match winning hundred vs. Guilford showed his class. 15 year old Jamie Smith scored 199 runs @ 39.80 with 2 fifties including 91* in a win against Weybridge. Dan Edwards and Dan Douthwaite hit match winning fifties against Normandy and Guildford
With the ball Dan Douthwaite took 22 wickets @ 25.45 and David Mitchell 19 @ 25.68. Spinner Matthew Cawood took 10 wickets in his 4 games, highlighting how much we missed him; youngster Freddie Boys bowled well when coming into the side toward the end of the season.
Youngsters Rehan Ratna, Josh Blake, Owen Kennett and Connor Griffin all acquitted themselves well when playing in the side.
With a young, talented bunch of lads coming through the system Sutton are hopeful of a return to the Premiership in 2017.
Special thanks go to Anne and Sam the scorers and Barbara for keeping the team fed!
Weybridge 1st XI
The 1st XI had a great season, with many positives but, ultimately, there is a sinking feeling of what could have been; 3rd in the Premier League, ECB National Club Championship semi- finalists and losing finalists in the Surrey T20. Close but no silverware to show for a very competitive season.
Three losses in the first five seemed to mirror the normal operating procedure for Weybridge 1st XI in recent seasons and this was followed up by a rain abandoned game. Eight wins, a draw and a loss in the next 10 allowed fleeting thoughts of an unlikely Premiership but Sunbury did not slip up and deservedly took the title, once again.
Harry Cripps was Club Player of the Year following a fantastic season with the bat. His 708 league runs in 17 matches was highly impressive and he contributed in both cups as well. SJ Erwee was steady as ever, amassing 541 runs and Ben Curran and Oli Mills were also very consistent with virtually 500 runs each.
Henry Turner, on his return to the club, led the way on the bowling front with 33 wickets. Brent Kay, new to the club, followed closely behind and Francois Vainker, Jack Winslade and Phil Mann were regular contributors.
There were also youngsters coming through from the 2s and plenty of experience and ability in the side. Whether this will translate into success and silverware, only time will tell.
Wimbledon 1st XI
The 1st XI enjoyed an encouraging year, finishing in 4th place. It was a much changed side from 2015 with no less than 9 players making their debut for the side through the season. The team started the season well winning three out of the first four in the limited overs games; only going down by 2 wickets to Reigate Priory. Kieran Bunting shone with the ball, picking up a 7fer against Sutton and Oli Swann gave some much needed solidity at the top of the order with back to back 50s.
Nick Welch entered his 1st XI career with 80* against Sutton and Ryan Patel has fast become one of the most important players averaging over 50 with the bat.
Sam Dickson completed an unprecedented feat when he made his debut, becoming the first to represent the club at every level from U8 all the way up to the 1st XI. Youngsters, Niall Solomon and David Scott will both be looking to cement their place in 2017.
Robbie Gunn did the hard yards through the season. He was available every game, came in down the order and scored crucial runs at the back end of the innings and picked up important wickets.
The side was lucky enough to have Surrey pro Mat Pillans play towards the back end of the year and he impressed everyone with his attitude and quality in the games he played, not least picking up 6fer in the final game against Normandy.
The team fully expects to see a title challenge in 2017. Having finished the season on a high with convincing wins against Weybridge and Normandy, it is now up to the players to put in more consistent performances over each game if Wimbledon is going to close the gap on deserving winners Sunbury next season.
A big thanks to JB and his Panama for stepping in and scoring through the season after Barry Perry passed away shortly before the season started.