- East Molesey
- Old Wimbledonians
- Oxted & Limpsfield
- Streatham & Marlborough
- Valley End
- Worcester Park
The 3rd XI finished 7th in a frustrating season full of ifs and buts. A young side full of talent too often ended on the losing side in a league where anyone could beat anyone on a given day. A combination of inexperience, weather and bad luck saw too many winning situations turn into draws and losses. On the positive side this team will only improve and some glimpses of talent were showcased; U17 Jared Dodd with his first senior league century (120*), U16s Jake Gordon taking 8 for 17 and Callum Estall becoming a promising all-rounder (13 wickets and 264 runs). Special mentions also go to captain George Chesser (179) and seasoned pro Marc Cogliatti (7 for 39). There were some excellent performances amongst too many inconsistent ones. Congratulations go to Sutton on winning the league and Normandy for also gaining promotion.
East Molesey 3rd XI
After a close fight last year to stay in Division 1 East Molesey 3s were hoping to have a better year. After the first 6 games they were third and looking good until they had to call off a game against Valley End due to availability. For the most part of the middle season the team were short of their best with availability hitting hard, however they did start to pull it back with some extremely convincing wins against Worcester Park, where EMCC scored 237 for 5 and bowled them out for 50
Unfortunately though, it was not enough to stay in Division 1, but the team do however look forward to 2017 and will again look for promotion.
There were some highlights of the season with Chris Woods scoring 300+ runs with a best of 88 as well as taking 20 wickets and skipper Jamie Bentley scoring 200+ runs and topping the division with 38 wickets with best figures of 6 for 17.
Guildford 3rd XI
After a successful relegation battle at the end of 2015 it made a welcome change to be challenging for promotion right up to the last game of 2016. Unfortunately, an inability to win the key matches ultimately led to this being unsuccessful, however it was a great effort overall with some fantastic individual performances (and absences at key moments) shaping the season.
The team had a strong start, winning three out of the first four, based on strong platforms at the top of the order, and in particular Tim Walter, with winning scores of 66, 86 & 26* against Valley End, Oxted & Limpsfield and East Molesey. His absence to the 2nd team was felt in the loss to Sutton, a trend that continued throughout the season.
Tim Walter yet again led the way with the batting, scoring 577 runs from 12 innings at 64.11, including four 50s and 105 against Oxted & Limpsfield. He was backed up by some key performances, particularly Callum McLean’s 80* vs. Streatham & Marlborough, batting right through on a sticky deck at Dunsfold. Oscar Martin also shone, with 225 from 7 innings, and latterly Usama Bin Awais, who made 137 in only three innings at 68.5 after joining late in the season.
On the bowling front, there were several standout performances. Jonny Charles took 16 wickets in three matches, including 7 for 49 vs. East Molesey, which inevitably led to a call up to the 2s. Oscar Martin was outstanding, regularly restricting scoring with his pace and taking 11 wickets, including a devastating spell of 5 for 11 from 5 overs against Streatham & Marlborough on the way to 68 all out. There were also important returns from Harrison Charles, with 15 wickets, Jon Burrowes (13), Sharath Vasudevamurthy (11) and Will Jenner (10).
Hopefully this upward trend can continue under new captaincy in 2017, this time with a successful push for promotion.
Normandy 3rd XI
Five years after the side was relegated from the Premiership in an “annus horribilis” the 3rd XI finally managed to return to the top flight and for the few survivors of the dreaded double-dip which took the team into Division 2, the debt has finally been repaid.
Although the senior players remained the spine of the team there can be no doubt that it was the youngsters who made the difference in this campaign.
On the batting front, experienced heads Martin Docis (279) and Mikey Scott (271) topped the run tally (when domestic duties allowed) but it was the half centuries from the younger element which will remain in the memory; Sam Wellfare 70 vs. Valley End, Rohan Browning 75 vs. Streatham, Callum Job 60 vs. Worcester Park and George Harris 59 vs. Valley End were all innings illustrating great promise being fulfilled.
The youth element is now easily good enough to push on for 2nd XI cricket and in the meantime can step up to the Premier League ready for the challenge and take over from the older stalwarts of the 3s whose time has been and gone and for whom 4th team cricket is beckoning.
Thanks to Sara, Ella and Robin for scoring and to RJ Home for umpiring 3rd team cricket to the same high standard he does for the 2s and whenever 2nd team duty takes him away he is sorely missed.
Old Wimbledonians 3rd XI
The 3rd XI also found 2017 a difficult season with the loss of some players to higher teams and a pre-season injury to the captain excluded him from playing any league games, resulting in the side varying from week to week.
Mike Tolmie was the main stay of the batting, supported by Russell D’Souza, who was consistent at the start of the order. Irfaan Baksh also made valuable contributions, scoring two fifties and putting in some good bowling spells.
The bowling showed promise for the future with two youngsters – Rob Gardner and Nick Blaine bowling well at times. The ever-present Trevor Evans maintained his tidy support behind the stumps.
Many thanks go to umpires Eddie Bell, John Austin and Mike O’Brien.
Oxted & Limpsfield 3rd XI
2016 was a mixed season in terms of success for the Oxted & Limpsfield 3rd XI. On the plus side there were many close competitive fixtures played on good grounds against friendly and fair opposition. The closeness of the league manifested itself in the fact that on the last day of the season any one of five teams could have slipped into the final 9th place relegation spot. In the end Oxted & Limpsfield did just enough during the season to justify its 8th place spot and continued participation in the First Division.
The Oxted & Limpsfield 3rd XI continues to be a strong transition step for younger players moving up to the top two sides. Three of the six half centuries scored this year were by U18s and two of those from 15 year olds. The others came from 3rd XI stalwarts Neil Ejje, Richard Adamson and the season’s top score of 94 from Andrew Davis. The highlight of the season was a win against top of the table Sutton, where the Sutton 10th wicket held out for 17 overs before a Matt Lowe yorker in the penultimate over won the game.
Throughout a season with many weekly changes in the line-up Selva Ganapathy was a regular in the side with his off-spin, sometimes opening the bowling and at other times containing during the middle part of the innings. For his wickets and consistency he was rightly voted the 3rd XI Player of the Year. Sadly Selva leaves us after five years to return to Chennai and it will not be only his off-spin that is missed but also his smile around the clubhouse.
Streatham & Marlborough 3rd XI
After a double promotion the side was sure this would be a tough season ahead for the 3rd XI. Three wins in three games and dominant performance in all aspects entertained hopes of another promotion. The next three games brought one win, one winning draw and a loss. The next two games were affected by weather. This was followed by six defeats in a row, of which most were close games where the batting let the team down. Three games to go and the team needed three wins to guarantee safety. The win against Guildford changed the momentum and with availability helping strengthen the batting line up this helped the side to win the next two games under intense pressure, especially the last game of the season where the side was remarkably in 5th place but still only 12 points off relegation.
There were only four games out of 18 where the opposition scored over 200 which confirmed the fact that the bowling line up was one of the most consistent in the league. Special mentions must go to David Gladstone, leading wicket taker and the returning Kasheef Hassan for leading the run scoring despite only playing five games. Performance of the season has to be Andy Chowdury’s innings of 74 against Guildford which shifted the momentum of the season and helped the side to safety.
This league showed throughout the season that there were no easy games and anyone could beat anyone which was refreshing. This season has been a real eye opener for all involved in the 3rd XI as to what needs to be done to compete at this level.
Congratulations to the teams that were promoted and commiserations to those that were relegated. All of the games this year were played in a good competitive spirit and long may it continue as it makes cricket more enjoyable for all involved.
Sutton 3rd XI
Champions!! Has a nice ring to it and thoroughly deserved. This year has illustrated that a successful team is more than the sum of its parts. There were some excellent individual performances but winning the league with nobody passing 100 or taking a five-for is a remarkable achievement.
The bowling was led by the evergreen Clark brothers, Nick and Richard, who ended up top wicket takers with 32 and 22 respectively. Their accuracy and skill are as admirable as ever and they were responsible for getting the team off to penetrative and successful starts. They were ably supported by Rob Griffin (15 wickets) and Steve Hall (16). Phil Diaper made up the imposing club 225 (combined bowling age) and it was their accuracy and guile that spearheaded numerous victories.
Batting wise vice-captain Jamie Griffin (289 runs at 22.23) led the way plus 10 slip catches. The numbers do not do justice to some hard hitting including most memorably a blistering start against Valley End in the penultimate game.
Notable innings came from Simon Bliss (65 at Normandy), Sam Clarkson and Bhashar Karmacharya (65 and 60* in a winning partnership against Guildford), Sam Seadon (62 at Streatham & Marlborough), Matt Gardner (71 against East Molesey) and Sam Schofield (a hard hitting 66* at Banstead).
One of the most pleasing elements of 2016 was the continued development and contribution of the youngsters. There were 12 colts in the 37 who played all making vital contributions. Harry Neale-Smith hit the season’s high with 78* against East Molesey, whilst Sanjay Patel and Callum Furmidge show signs of becoming quality senior batsmen.
It was fitting that the league winning runs were hit by Luke Green who was second in the aggregate runs, including two 50s and an impressive average of 52.5.
To complete the star turn of the youth a special mention is needed for Sam Blake (21 wickets), the club’s leading wicket taker for 2016. His middle order batting was the difference between narrow victories and defeats more than once.
A captain’s season is made immeasurably easier thanks to those who give up their time in order to make the games run smoothly. Huge thanks are due to Steve Foster and Phil Diaper, who took up umpiring duties and to JC for his immaculate penmanship.
No match is complete without refreshment and the team cannot thank Helen and Caroline enough for kindly doing the teas, gathering compliments from both sides and spectators lucky enough to be hoovering up the leftovers.
Valley End 3rd XI
It was another exciting end to the season for the VECC 3rd XI. After a poor start in losing three games the side battled its way up the league and pushed for promotion right up to the last game of the season by winning six out of the last eight games. But it was not to be and the side finished 3rd for the second consecutive season. Despite inconsistent availability, enthusiasm and team spirit was high and the team always tried to play the game in a friendly and respectful manner.
The batting performances were the main weakness with only three players scoring more than 200 runs. Mini batting collapses seemed to be a speciality but somehow the side usually managed to fight its way back into a game. Special mentions go to Josh Chauhan, who was the only centurion and Nigel Unsworth, who was the only player to score two fifties. So thanks goodness for the strength and depth of the bowling attack which rarely let the opposition get on top. When Ed Lea played it was a different side, he took 45% of the team wickets in his five games including two six-wicket hauls, finishing with 20 wickets for 181 runs.
It was exciting to see some youth players break into the 3rd XI for the first time; Peter Millard quickly cemented his position in the team with some tidy keeping and determined middle order batting. Whilst Cam Colloff and Elliot Sleep showed that they would soon be a formidable opening bowling attack. Looking ahead to next season it looks like the cream of the VECC youth will soon be pushing into the 3rd team which can only be good for the future success of the club.
Worcester Park 3rd XI
The 3rd XI’s first season in Division One finished in a slightly flattering sixth position, after a dramatic penultimate game win and a last day washout saved the team’s skin.
Opening batsman Jon Mayhew showed his class with three fifties and a superb opening day century, finishing with 414 runs. He was supported by Dave Wilkinson (261) and Nathan Andrews (235). Ryan Somes spearheaded the bowling attack, taking 19 wickets and was closely followed by seamer Paul Wearmouth (16)
The team started well with a changed and very different squad under skipper Stuart Bradshaw. Two wins from two showed early promise but four consecutive mid-season defeats left the team in a relegation scrap. Victory over survival rivals Oxted & Limpsfield on the penultimate day saw Park head into the final day knowing a win would secure the side’s safety.
Despite a mid-pitch collision which caused an ambulance to be called, a scramble for substitute fielders and then a wild weather storm, the game was eventually called off. With other results going the right way, Park earned a respectable finishing position of 6th, knowing next season must see improved results.