- Old Rutlishians
- Old Wimbledonians
- Valley End
- Worcester Park
The 2nd XI season got off to a flier winning the first four games. Unfortunately the winning streak came to a resounding end by losing to Guildford by 8 wickets.
By mid-season the team was in contention for promotion in what was a competitive table, with the top five teams within striking distance of promotion.
There were a number of standout performances particularly with the ball. Josh Gillam consistently performed and finished the season with 29 wickets from 94 overs @ 9, almost making up for the amount of whining he did on the pitch. Chris Bolton, returning from injury, went from strength to strength and was a tremendous asset opening the bowling, on one occasion literally bleeding for the team. Mike Condie, also back from a bowling injury decided to purchase some fancy new spikes in the hope that they might make him bowl better, somehow they did. A demonic bowling performance against Guildford resulted in 5 wickets off 9.1 overs for 23 runs.
With the bat there were some exceptionally good performances…and some exceptionally poor ones. A low point and potentially the turning point of the season was our inability to chase down 78 runs against Valley End. Despite this, some great partnerships started to form: Elster and Condie, ADVP and Hanratty, Woodward and Woodward, Gunasekera and Wood.
Unfortunately a lack of clinicalness during important games meant that promotion hopes slipped past. However, there were more positives from the season than negatives and a lot of lessons to be learnt. The team had a core of players who committed themselves, week in week out, to the side and younger players started to show the more experienced how to play cricket. Great performances from Liam Head, Tom Pitchley and Jake Gordon indicate that the 2s will go from strength to strength and are definitely a side to support for promotion next season!
Farnham 2nd XI
An incredible unbeaten run of 15 games culminated in a remarkable promotion to the Premier League, achieved on the last day of the season.
It was difficult to see how anything other than another season of survival would be likely as the first three games of the season were all lost. However, skipper Ian Thorpe decided to address the situation early and rather than the ‘Fergie hair treatment’ blast of previous years, a more considered approach was taken.
What followed was ten wins, four draws and an abandonment which all added up to a second place finish and a return to the Premiership after an 8 year absence.
Everyone made vital contributions whether with bat or ball. Bowling performances of note were, Mike O’Mahony’s 7 wickets supported by Alec Goldsworthy’s 5 slip catches at Walton and Dom Lloyd’s 11 wickets in 2 games against eventual champs Valley End. Overall, Alec Goldsworthy with 23 wickets at 16 and Dom Lloyd 19 @17 were the standout performers with the ball and 5 fors from Tom Blackburn, Jamie Jones and Dan Matthews also secured excellent wins.
Batting performances of note were, the only century of the season from Wes Taylor at Worcester Park. There were 12 other half century plus scores from a number of batsmen, some of whom were then promoted to the 1s, notably Hellyer, Ward and N Thorpe and remained there. Also pleasing was the emergence of Dan Matthews as a genuine all-rounder. Ultimately, the best performance of the season was the ability to bowl 50 overs in under two and a half hours on the last Saturday against OWs, leaving just enough time to receive back 20.3 overs before the rains fell and to secure a win on run rate.
Thanks to everyone, especially Dave Goldsworthy for umpiring, Toni Thorpe for scoring and our tea ladies who help make Saturdays so much more enjoyable.
Guildford 2nd XI
A disappointing season was capped with a rain affected loss on the last day, dropping the team from 1st to 4th and out of the promotion running. Ultimately the team should have achieved promotion well before the final game but availability issues and an inability to kill off weaker teams in two mid-season games cost the team dearly.
Strong batting performances from Bancroft (504 runs at 63), Iqbal (467 @39) and Straw (402 @37) combined with useful innings from other batsmen led to strong match positions on a regular basis. However 2016 was a bowler’s year and all were fantastic on numerous occasions throughout the season, regularly keeping teams under 200 if not 150 and making life much easier for the batters. Nicholls (25 wickets at 24), Weill (25 @34), Coombs (19 @34) and Singh (19 @38) were the main contributors and consistently stepped up to the plate throughout the season.
A more senior squad has led to increased enjoyment and responsibility amongst the players this season, something that has been lacking in recent years and this helped to contribute to a higher win rate than seen historically. A change of leadership for 2017 along with good player retention and canny recruitment over the winter should see an increased focus and drive to ensure promotion to the Premier League.
The team has been well supported by scorer Martin Montgomery and umpire Rajeev Sanwalka. Our thanks go to them as well as the groundsmen and catering staff for their continued excellence.
Leatherhead 2nd XI
A difficult season for the second eleven ended in relegation to Division 2. A lack of availability made it difficult to field the strongest side and build a core of regular players, although there were some very encouraging performances by some of the younger players who continued their excellent development and who the club have high hopes for.
Wes Hayes started the season with high scores against Walton (74) and Old Wimbledonians (116). Simon Roberts also chipped in with a solid 72 away at Old Wimbledonians and club stalwart Dave Baker capped an impressive season both with the bat and behind the stumps with 74 at Old Rutlishians, totalling 429 runs for the season with 13 dismissals.
Ryan Elgar topped the bowling averages with 14 wickets at an average of 36 runs a piece, ably backed by Alex Waterman with 13 @ 21.
With some really talented cricketers in the club, the challenge for next season is to develop more consistent availability and that should give the side a great opportunity to bounce straight back to Division 1.
Old Rutlishians 2nd XI
A significant exodus of players was always likely to lead to a tough season. It did not show in the opening game success against Sutton (Day 5 for 28 and Mapp 63*) but did in the next four games as all were lost with the batting failing to get 130. A skipper’s performance got things back on track with a win against Worcester Park (Day 5 for 62 and 95) and more importantly gave the team belief.
This signalled the start of an 11 game unbeaten run where a young and inexperienced team worked hard for success. The highlights were a level scores tie against Guildford where Chick bowled straight through the innings for the spell of the season (22 overs, 6 for 59). Wimbledonians were beaten at home, where teenage off spinner Grindrod (5 for 19) got his reward for an excellent debut season at this level and away (Day 5 for28). Sutton were beaten by an excellent team batting performance before Watson was unplayable with the ball (6 for 39) ably supported by Grindrod. Walton posted 219 that were chased down thanks to 16 year old George Berrington (67) and Matt Vandepeer (50).
The team got younger as the season went on but all stood up to the test. In the face of various adversities against Leatherhead regular 4th team players Owen Patel and Hussain Khan stood up and shared an unbeaten 10th wicket partnership of 35 showing themselves at home in the 2nd team.
A mid table finish was just reward for a hard working season. Slow bowling led the way with Day (35 @ 13), Grindrod (23 @ 17) and Watson (13 @ 17) doing the damage supported by seamers Peuble, Chick and Fox. The batting was led by Day (278) and Map (202), with O Fox, Vandepeer and Tidey performing well in limited appearances.
Thanks, as always, to umpire Wally Morgan, scorer Alec Atkins and Pat Keene for her excellent teas.
Old Wimbledonians 2nd XI
After the jubilation of securing promotion for the first time in over a decade the 2nd XI was excited by the prospect of the new challenge that awaited in Division 1. This excitement was short lived as the team quickly became aware of the task ahead and the need to be competitive.
A depleted squad from the previous season worked tirelessly and displayed a great team ethic. In some games the margin for error was so small that on other days it may have swung the OW’s way. Highlights included stopping the losing run at home to Guildford with U17 J Bell taking the plaudits with a thoroughly deserved 5 wickets. Other positives were the emergence of colts N Blaine and P Hipple-Walsh as two rising stars.
Despite the tough season, the experience of Division 1 cricket was a great learning curve for the club and will only help in the future when promotion is once again achieved.
Many thanks to umpires Pat Wilkins and Eddie Bell who ensured the team supplied an umpire for all games.
Sutton 2nd XI
It was a largely disappointing year for the 2nd XI who eventually finished 8th in the table. Five wins and nine loses suggest that the side did not play to its potential.
On the batting front captain Sam Woods recorded 351 runs @ 31.91 and Sam Schofield 184 @ 36.60; Nav Nonis (including 2 fifties) and Vic Kandampully scored over 200 runs, while youngsters Freddie Boys, Owen Kennett and Josh Blake all recorded 50s.
14 year old Connor Griffin was leading wicket taker with 23 wickets @ 20.26, Sam Woods 19 @ 20.16, Rehan Ratna 13 @ 14.31 and Freddie Boys 13 @ 16.92 also reached double figures.
Availability was sketchy; the 2nd XI used 36 players of whom only five played more than 10 league games.
Thanks are due to umpire Dave Geddes, scorer Sam Griffin and Barbara for the teas.
Valley End 2nd XI
The side finished as Division 1 2nd XI Champions.
The season took much the same shape as 2015, getting off to a great start winning five of the first six matches. The side faded horribly through the middle six, winning just one match and securing only a few bonus points from the others.
This left a mountain to climb with six games to go and sitting in joint 5th.
Two comfortable wins were followed by a drubbing at Farnham, managing just 72 all out.
The very next week at Banstead, the slightly improved effort was 79 all out batting first but through a fantastic bowling and fielding effort, the team defended the total and won by 2 runs.
Promotion and the Division title were secured only on the last day with victory in a rain shortened match over the unfortunate Guildford.
The side had won five of the last six matches in an incredibly tight division that could have seen any two of the top five sides promoted on the last day.
Keith Fisher led the batting (525 runs @ 44). Seven players scored 50s though none could score consistently.
Steve Wellman was the pick of the bowlers with three 5 wicket hauls. The remaining bowlers all contributed with significant performances in individual games.
Walton 2nd XI
Walton's 2nd XI continued to show improvement from previous years finally finishing with an impressive 248 points and 10 wins from the 17 completed games. Despite being pipped to promotion on the final day, the side can be content with its efforts on the field and the tally that saw the side finish in 5th position. Whilst promotion was the ultimate aim, if the side can continue its trend of improving its points tally from the year before, that target will surely be achieved before too long.
The bowling was led in the most part by Rory Annandale and Ben Monk who took 45 league wickets between them and were very ably backed up by Jack Dominy (17) and Ben Goswami (13). With the bat, there were several consistent scorers in Patrick Haddow, Bilal Khan and Jamie Mann. Both in their first full season in the 2nd XI, Harry Samuels and Alex Firth shared great success with the former proving a force with bat and ball, scoring in excess of 300 league runs and taking important wickets along the way. Firth also scored well when called upon and set the standard for the league in the field, his 24 victims was comfortably the most in the division.
With plenty of positives from 2016, and even more to look forward to in the 2017 season, this youthful side looks to be improving all the time. Providing the levels of commitment and availability from the players can be maintained and even coaxed a little further, along with a little help from the top, the current group can certainly look forward to an enjoyable and successful season next summer. Thanks, as always, to our wonderful Jenni for teas, to our cracking new umpire Mark and to Cheesy for scoring.
Worcester Park 2nd XI
Promoted last season, offered 7th place and retaining Division One status would have been quickly taken before the season began and so the 2nd XI ended the season with some satisfaction but somewhat frustrated that a higher placing was possible.
The season began with Josh Longhurst having to take the reins for the season as the elected skipper was needed for 1st XI duty and this he did with distinction.
Beating Guildford, Valley End and Leatherhead in the first three fixtures saw ambitions raised and further wins in the timed format saw the team sitting pretty near the top of the table.
Only two further wins were achieved however from the remaining 13 fixtures as the early confidence was drained, particularly from the batting, and the bowling manfully attempted to take wickets and restrict the run rate depending on the situation, without being especially proficient in either.
Nicky Ball led the run makers with 467 runs (a career best) including 114 vs. Leatherhead. Travis Scott was aggressive as always with 365 and Galloway de Groot powered 355 including 115* vs. Leatherhead. Umar Ahmed and Johnny Evans both posted two fifties each and ended with 200+ runs, whilst Saf Ahmed and Oscar King also hit over 200. Contributions also came from Josh Longhurst, Jon Mayhew and Mark Turner.
The bowling unit was deprived of its opening attack from the previous year due to deserved 1st XI recognition and struggled as a result. Nicky Ball was, once again, the leading wicket taker with 24 wickets, despite a slow start. Chris Turner snared 18 and there was seam bowling support from Travis Scott (15) and Josh Longhurst (12). The emergence of Mike Arundell and Dan Andrews was very encouraging for future years.
Lessons were learned this season and consistency needed in all departments if further success is to come. Many thanks to Steve King for umpiring and Adrian Barrett for scoring and also to Roger Browne for standing in when needed.