- Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians
- Malden Wanderers
- Old Rutlishians
- Old Whitgiftians
- Valley End
Banstead 1st XI started the season with ambitions of promotion following a summer of consolidation in Division 1 and a winter of strengthening, with Director of Cricket Neil Baker new to the club and fast bowling overseas Nathan Ellis improving the team. However, after a slow start which saw some bad weather, bad luck and inconsistent cricket, the side was unable to catch the leading teams, finishing strongly in 3rd place.
After a fantastic game on the first day of the season, in which 652 runs were scored, Banstead came up short vs. Malden Wanderers, with Lancefield starting where he left off with a brilliant century. This set the tone, and as the rain kept falling, so the narrow defeats and abandoned games kept coming. The season turned on a match winning and inspiring knock from Neil Baker, whose 53* vs. Walton as Banstead chased 149 with 1 wicket to spare showed the new resilience and determination of the side. Wins followed at Old Ruts and at Spencer in a great game which saw Banstead recover from having Spencer at 238 for 2 to have them 261 all out (Freddie Van Den Bergh 6 for 50), to chase it down with captain Daniel Newton scoring a composed 98*.
In spite of finishing the season with 8 wins out of the last 11 games and with further consistent performances from Van Den Bergh and Newton (105 and 118 vs. Leatherhead), Tyler Meyer (6 for 26 vs. Chipstead) and Nathan Ellis, who finished leading wicket taker, Banstead was unable to overturn the deficit from the early season.
Overall the season was one of progress and development once again, as Banstead’s extremely young side showed maturity and increasingly started to show the quality needed to gain promotion back to the Premier League; a very realistic proposition for the 2017 campaign, if the momentum and improvements can be continued.
Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians 1st XI
2016 was another year of success at the High Road as Chipstead, Coulsdon and Walcountians Cricket Club further cemented its status as a Division 1 club. It was clear that a side that had toiled in the face of a steep learning curve in 2015 demonstrated more resilience and technical ability throughout the summer.
There were some new faces too, most notably in the arrivals of Rob Woolley (689 runs @ 45.93 and 19 wickets) and Sam Chamberlain (495 @ 45 and 23) who both made significant contributions with bat and ball. Ably supported by Nick Woods (579 @ 38) they formed the mainstay of the batting unit, forming a number of match winning partnerships and taking responsibility when under pressure.
With the ball Nathan Heal continued his impressive development taking 24 wickets at a miserly average of 13.58 consistently demonstrating an ability to build dot ball pressure when those around him were not. Leigh Padfield (23 wickets) and Michael Bradley (21) generated some impressive returns with each producing match winning spells most notably against Leatherhead and Spencer respectively.
Whilst 2016 produced a number of individual moments of magic these were backed up by collective contributions and a fantastic team spirit throughout.
Cranleigh 1st XI
2016 season became a record season for Cranleigh Cricket Club with the 1st XI securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time in its history and the 4th promotion in 6 years. After narrowly missing out on promotion in 2015, the objective was for a quick start and the team achieved 5 wins from the first 6 games. The early highlight being Jack Scriven’s brutal 181* against Walton which included 12 sixes. Despite a slight speedbump with two loses against Valley End and Banstead the side finished with 5 straight wins to seal promotion with 2 games to go and finished 5 points behind Valley End. Jack Scriven led the batting with 713 @ 65, followed by Nick Walker scoring 563 runs @ 40. The bowling was led by the metronomic Robbie Montgomery (26 wickets) and Will Rollings (23) who bowled a number of match winning spells. Cranleigh looks forward to the adventure in the Premier League!
Leatherhead 1st XI
The 1st XI had a good season, returning back to the 1st Division, by achieving fourth place in a very strong league with a lot of depth. There were some outstanding team performances throughout the season such as the away win against the champions Valley End. There were some outstanding individual batting performances during the season. Jack Baker was the third highest run scorer in the league with 723 runs which included 3 hundreds and 3 fifties at an average of 45. Other individual highlights would be Joe Peak scoring an aggressive 77 in a win over Malden Wanderers and Matt Laidman scoring a match winning 64 against Spencer in difficult conditions. There were also some outstanding performances with the ball. Jack Baker took 28 wickets at an average of 20.18 with best figures of 6 for 39. He was the outstanding player of the season. Adam Dyson also managed to take 31 wickets at an average of 15.32 with best figures of 5 for 33. Michael Dawes took 5 for 51 against Old Rutlishians.
The aim for next year is to fight for promotion to the Premier Division as well as maintaining playing membership while also recruiting some more adult members to allow the club to have strength in depth as well as creating competition for places in a talented 1st XI.
Malden Wanderers 1st XI
A somewhat disappointing season was reflected by relegation from the First Division. There were some excellent individual performances from a dedicated and talented group of players and the club continued to see a number of youngsters develop and take on leading roles. However, the campaign was characterised by missed opportunities, failure to perform to collective potential and an inability to convert good performances into victories.
A number of players deserve special mention for their achievements, in particular, Pete Young who led the batting effort. Pete’s 639 runs came at an average of just under 43, with a top score of 137* against Old Ruts in May, underlying a season where he was the foundation of a number of the team’s innings. He was well supported by William Sabey (410 runs @ 37, including a top score of 155) and Alex Butler (412 runs @ 27), two players who consistently make batting look easy.
Neil Mander also deserves special mention for his typically robust cameos under pressure, with 232 runs batting at no.7.
The bowling unit was spearheaded by two Stags stalwarts: Giles Puckle and Michael Cottrell. Giles’ tally of 34 wickets at an average of 16 and an economy of less than three is reflective of the hugely important role he plays at the club. His consistent excellence and his never-say-die attitude are an inspiration to others. Michael Cottrell took 27 wickets @ 22, his most prolific season since 2011.
Despite demotion, it was great to see young first-teamers being developed. Rafeh Jafri is a highly talented fast bowler and was devastating when not playing Surrey or school cricket. Joe Lavender continued to progress as an all-round cricketer and showed a maturity beyond his years. Also Harri Aravinthan had a hugely impressive first season as a first XI cricketer.
Old Rutlishians 1st XI
“So what will 2016 bring? Your guess is as good as ours.” That is how last season’s report ended. If you guessed in 2016, the 1st XI would win its first two games to find themself top of Division 1 only to lose the next 13 out of 16 games (with three abandoned) you get the biscuit.
The 1st XI was only too aware of the challenges it faced in a highly competitive first Division, coming up against teams crammed with experience at this level was one of them, batsmen not giving their wickets away and bowlers not providing loose deliveries was another, getting out of bed at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to play 120 overs in Cranleigh on a baking hot day to see the opposition rack up 280 runs after the captain elected to field in the best batting conditions of the season was not one of them and facing Matthew Dunn, certainly not another.
It was always going to be a difficult year when the 1st XI lost players and did not replace them. But the spirit, resilience and fortitude maintained throughout the season shows that its biggest strength, the characteristics that have brought the side up to this point, remains firmly intact.
Although there were few positives to come from this season, evidence that the club’s youth has the ability to confront the challenges posed in Division 1 will stand the club in good stead going forwards. The 128-run opening partnership shared by 16 year-old George Berrington and 19 year-old Matthew Vandepeer against the eventual title-winners, Valley End, was arguably the highlight of the year. Overseas Tony Collett is also worthy of a mention as he bowled with searing pace (on occasions), control and aggression throughout the year; his spell of 5 for 31 vs. Spencer made him one of only two match-winners this year (the other being Ross Trimmings for his heroic 35* vs. Old Whitgiftians).
Predictions for the 2017 season? A team highly motivated to put things right.
Old Whitgiftians 1st XI
The 1st XI continued to build on the 2015 season and finished a respectable sixth, two places higher than last season, with seven wins. Highlights of the season include overseas player Mumtaz Talah scoring hundreds in both games against Spencer and defending 180 against Walton on Thames by just 2 runs.
The season started shakily with defeats against Chipstead and Old Rutlishians before a run of four wins led the OWs to third place at the end of June. A dip in form, injuries and a fall in player availability, saw the OWs win just three of the last ten games.
The batting was led by Mumtaz Talah who scored 481 runs, followed by Chris Thompson (335), Adam Clarke (287) and Shaz Rana, whose 245 runs in 8 innings points to a bright future with the club.
The bowling was led by Harshil Patel who was leading wicket taker in the division with 36 wickets, followed by fellow seam bowlers Mo Raza (24 wickets) and Luke Fisher (22). Nikhil Patel’s leg spin took 19 wickets, including a number of key victims, while Dan Kenton’s 11 wickets understate the quality of his bowling this season.
Congratulations to Cranleigh and Valley End on promotion, they were easily the best teams in the division; thanks to the umpires for their commitment to the game and finally to our excellent scorer, David Hagger.
Spencer 1st XI
The 2016 season saw a Spencer 1st XI left short of no less than seven regular first teamers. This produced an opportunity for a change in strategy for the club. Gaps were filled with the most talented under 21 players the club has produced. Armed with an enthusiastic, young side Spencer looked to consolidate its position within Division 1. Experience gained from a year at this level was intended to allow for a promotion push in 2018.
The team trained hard together under the captaincy of Jonathan Speller and set out to learn how to play together, develop as a side and win games. It was decided that as a team it would need to go as one on the field, showing opposition what controlled aggression and determination could bring. Fondly referring to themselves as the Pathway the squad of 16 set about their season with wins against, Old Ruts, Old Whits and twice against eventual winners Valley End.
These initial wins, although sparse, helped to build the belief that was needed during the closing two weeks of competition if relegation was to be avoided. The side had to rally together and win the last two games of the season against Walton and Leatherhead.
Looking good, feeling good and playing good essentially gave the young men the edge and having done what the team could, the wait was on to hear from our friends at Banstead. A win from them sent the team into hysterics, the team had cemented themself in Division 1 cricket, having played only one full season together but aging a few in the process.
Noticeable performances during the year included; a superb maiden 100 for Alex Rackow (against a full domestic Banstead bowling line-up) and well-constructed 100 for Aymun Ali against Old Ruts. Saqib Malik top scored with 400 runs including two 50s. Gus Grant led the wickets with 31 and Jonathan Speller ended with 29.
Valley End 1st XI
After the bitter disappointment of being relegated from the Premier League on the last ball of 2015, Valley End bounced straight back at the first time of asking.
Having started the season in indifferent form, beating the title challengers but stuttering against the lower sides, Darren Redwood's men put together a winning run through the back half of the season, winning the final nine games.
The side was rarely dominated for prolonged spells in a game, even in its four defeats. The team also played aggressive cricket when moments of fortune presented themselves during the inclement June weather.
The standout with the bat was powerful left-hander Luc Durandt, smashing 1030 runs at over a run a ball. He was ably supported by captain Darren Redwood (514 @ 40) and each batter who secured a 50 or 100 in at least one game.
With the ball, three bowlers ended up in the league's top 10. Spinners Tom Nevin (34 wickets @ 16) and Alex Macqueen (27 @ 17) again delivered all season but overseas seamer Hayden McLean (34 @ 16) gave the side added edge with the new ball ensuring the opposition rarely got off to a good start. As with the batting unit the remaining bowlers all contributed with significant performances in individual games.
Credit must go to the squad who, despite being largely unchanged, quickly built a winning belief after a couple of challenging years in the Premier League.
Walton 1st XI
2016 saw the 1st XI competing back in Division 1 for the first time since 2010. On the back of promotion, the team was high on confidence and looking to lay down a mark at a higher level. However, with Sam Gorvin, Matt Haddow and Chris Williams, three key members of the previous year’s side, missing for the majority of the season, it was a very much a changing of the guard in the team with the likes of Olly Davis and Frano Annandale making the step up this year.
The team’s performances in 2016 can probably best be summed up as inconsistent. Having defeated Valley End in the Cup and at home in the League, as well as crucial wins against Malden and Chipstead, it showed the team could compete and perform well at this level. If four matches, lost by narrow margins, had finished differently the team could have been looking up the table rather than towards the bottom come the end of the season.
With the bat, Anthony Alleyne was the standout batsmen (808 runs @ 54), with Neal Prowse (415 @ 35), Alastair Stanley (334 @ 26) and Bilal Chohan (313 @ 35) all providing a good return of over 300 runs.
The spin duo of Mark Bainbridge (29 wickets @ 18) and Alleyne (24 @ 27) led the way, with the three main seam bowlers sharing 50+ wickets evenly between them. Left-armer Nichols took 18 @ 25, with Prowse managing 17 @ 33 and Newell 17 @ 30.
With the exception of Bainbridge, the 1st XI is still relatively young with an average age of 22/23, so there is plenty of player development to come over the winter months and hopefully a higher finish in 2017.