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- East Molesey
- Reigate Priory
- Valley End
After a strong 2016, with the 1st XI finishing 6th on their return to the Premier Division, hopes were high for more of the same. Ashtead would end the 2017 season in 7th place, perhaps underlying the mixed nature of the year, although they were in the running for 2nd place with 3 games to go.
The season started poorly, with 3 losses in the first 3 games, although there were encouraging signs. The Stags began to find some rhythm with a close win over Normandy at the end of May, followed by wins over Weybridge, Valley End and Wimbledon. July, as for everyone, was blighted by the weather, but important wins at East Molesey and hosting Reigate Priory assured safety. Just as well as with losses in 4 of the final 5 games a high league position fell away.
Batting this year was spearheaded by overseas success Mahesh Rawat, who led the batting statistics (880 at 67.69). A breakthrough year for Guy Harper saw him 5th in the division table (556 at 34.75) and new recruit Lalit Bose also made the top 15 (437 runs at 33.62). Vital contributions from Stewart Cameron, Michael Sanderson and Dominic Sibley (who Ashtead wish all the best at Warwickshire) also aided the cause.
Three bowlers contributed most of the team’s wickets in 2017. Tom Homes continued his strong club form to lead the table for the team (26 wickets at 25.12), while skipper Tom Deighton (21 at 32.48) and Harshil Patel (17 at 25.18) cashed in regularly as well. Other bowlers also found some success with a further five bowlers each taking between 7 and 10 wickets apiece.
Cranleigh 1st XI
After promotion to the Premier League for first time in the club’s history, achieving 4 promotions in 7 years, hopes were high for Cranleigh going into the 2017 season and the team did not disappoint with the club sitting top of the league at the midpoint of the season. Unfortunately, Cranleigh suffered a disappointing second half of the season with injuries and ‘wedding season’ firmly kicking in, the team finished a solid 6th in the league; most members would have taken this at the start but after the first half of the season everyone felt a tad disappointed.
The season was very much a tale of two halves with the team winning 7 out of the first 9 games, a last wicket loss to Reigate being the only defeat in the first half of the season, showing that the team is more than capable at this level. The highlight of the season has to be beating Wimbledon by 7 wickets, chasing down 290 in 47 overs, putting a real stake in the ground that the club was progressing.
The season turned with a drubbing by eventual champions Normandy who completely outplayed the side on the Common and despite a draw against Weybridge the only win in the second half of season came against Valley End.
Runs and wickets were predominantly shared across the team with Jack Scriven scoring 493 runs and taking 30 wickets. Matt Crump scored 411 runs, with Bruno Broughton and Seren Waters close behind with 360 runs each. Will Rollings led the attack in the absence of Robbie Montgomery, taking 20 wickets, closely followed by spinners Jonny Gonszor and Seren Waters with 17 and 16 wickets respectively.
Many lessons have been learnt on this maiden voyage in the Premier league but one thing guaranteed is that everyone very much enjoyed it!
East Molesey 1st XI
At the start of 2017, hopes were high at Graburn Way for the season ahead of what was the 1st XI’s third consecutive year in the ECB Premier Division. With Sri Lankan international Angelo Perera as the club’s overseas player, the side were in optimistic mood.
The first league game was one that will be remembered by all of those involved for a long time. Chasing a respectable 241 from their 50 overs, Normandy never looked in the hunt requiring 38 to win from the last 2 overs. To everybody’s amazement, a few big blows later and Normandy had romped home with 3 balls to spare. Nevertheless, there was much to be positive about dominating the eventual champions for much of the game.
Bouncing back nicely, the side then comprehensively won the next 2 matches which included a match winning performance by Dominic Reed against Valley End where he backed up 5 for 35 in the first innings with a quick fire 53 in the second innings.
This set off a frustrating middle period when the team lost a number of close games from winning positions to stall progress. However, there was a superb away victory against rivals Guildford in which Andrew Westphal (6 for 47 and 73 runs) and Paul Lawford (106*) led the Moles to a 5 wicket victory with two of the most memorable performances in the club’s recent history.
A late season rally saw 3 consecutive victories against Reigate Priory (Dominic Reed 131*), Ashtead and Cranleigh (Angelo Perera 108*) to ensure the Moles a comfortable 8th placed finish well ahead of the relegation zone.
A real team effort was led by Angelo Perera with 625 runs at 45 but included useful contributions from Sam Burge (450), Dominic Reed (395), Paul Lawford (377), Andrew Westphal (357) and Simon Barrett (300). Andrew Westphal led the way with the ball taking 21 wickets at 29 and was ably supported by the economical Frank Knight (18) in particular.
Guildford 1st XI
A year which always threatened to be challenging proved just that as Guildford’s 1st XI was relegated from the Premier Division.
The club have only spent one season out of 50 since the Championship was formed out of the top group and will look to bounce back quickly.
A meagre three victories, beating Ashtead twice plus a DLS-assisted win over Reigate Priory, were heavily outweighed by 12 defeats for Joe Pipkin’s side who were substantially weakened by absences in the early weeks and found catching up beyond them.
Guildford knew the early games would be vital but lost three of the first four 50-over games.
Defeats in the opening four time matches compounded the situation and, with a much stronger side but little leeway remaining, two abandonments when well placed only underlined the feeling that the side were heading down, confirmed by losing the last four games.
All of which added to a sense of frustration as there was no shortage of talent, offset by naivety and failure to grasp the vital stages of many encounters.
It said much about the shortage of runs that the only two centurions were 17-year-old opener Nathan Tilley, whose 143* came at Wimbledon before the hosts hung on nine down, and Will Jacks (18), an integral member of England’s U19s, produced a scintillating 119 to lead the lengthy run chase at Ashtead.
Easily the outstanding bowler was left-arm spinner Olly Birts, claiming 28 wickets.
Undoubtedly the star of a difficult season was 19-year-old Fred McMillan, whose 419 runs were his side’s best, always scored in fearless style and backed up by neat work behind the stumps.
Normandy 1st XI
It was an historic season for Normandy 1st XI as they stormed to the Premier Division title for the first time in the club’s history.
The first game saw the most exciting finish, with the side faltering in pursuit of 241 against East Molesey, before Oskar Kolk stepped up and hit three sixes in the last over to snatch an improbable victory.
Two further wins against Wimbledon and Sunbury took the side into the longer format in a good position that was enhanced by two victories in succession against local rivals Valley End and Guildford. In the latter, Will Harris entertained the crowds with a quick fire 90 off 59 balls after Nathan Sowter had taken 5 for 37 as 140 was chased down in just 23 overs. Two winning draws followed with Kolk scoring his maiden Premier League 100 against Weybridge and only the weather prevented victory over Sunbury and Alex Grimshaw ending with remarkable figures of 10 overs, 9 maidens 2 for 4. This was followed by a mammoth chase against Reigate started by Olly Batchelor (65) and secured by Jayanth Ganapathy (63*) to knock off 260.
Victories against Cranleigh and Wimbledon saw Normandy cement its position at the top of the table. Two abandonments were followed by a comfortable victory over Valley End orchestrated by Chris Jones (81*) before the devastating Will Pereira snatched 7 for 18 to blow away the opposition batting line-up. Victory over Guildford at Woodbridge Road with Dan Miles taking 5 wickets set up the title winning match against Cranleigh where a 10 wicket success sealed the title in style, Viggy taking 4 for 24. It was an historic day for the club and for such a young side to secure the title with 2 games to spare was an outstanding achievement. This, combined with a run to the last 16 in the national knockout, has made it a truly special season emphasising the club’s decision to back its youth policy has paid off handsomely.
The success was a true team effort, the batting was led by Chris Jones (501 runs), Neal Prowse (484), Oskar Kolk (426) and Jayanth Ganapathy (352 at 50) while the bowling was dominated by the seamers for once with Will Pereira taking 27 wickets at 9 apiece backed up by all-rounder Dan Miles (27) and the miserly Alex Grimshaw (25) while the leading spinner was left-armer Vignesh Venkateswaran with 18 victims.
Many thanks go to Dave Jones for giving up his free time to coach the side and to Phil Moss and Ella Job for scoring.
Reigate Priory 1st XI
It was a season of three parts for the 1st XI.
Part one, the team played eight games, won seven and lost one. Reigate Priory was topping the league at the end of June with a 10 point lead. Wins were happening elsewhere too; in Twenty20 and the ECB National 45-over competition.
Then came Part Two; same side, different results. Played seven, lost six with one game abandoned. The team was also knocked out of the Twenty20 competition on the Surrey Finals Day as well as the ECB National 45-over competition, after reaching the last 16.
Then Part Three; the fightback. Played three and won three, including Wimbledon and Normandy, this year’s league winner.
The team had an excellent batting side all season but they did not produce the expected runs. The averages were topped by Chris Murtagh and Richie Oliver and top run scorer was Oliver with 597 runs. Andy Delmont scored over 400 runs.
We had two of the top bowlers in the league with Luke Beaven the number one wicket-taker with 41 scalps to his name and Will Hodson being the third top wicket-taker with 37 wickets. Both Delmont and Richard Stevens took 17 wickets apiece. Also there were good all-round performances from the two Surrey young cricketers in the team in Sam Hall and Angus Dahl.
There were many highlights; Stevens’s nerveless batting in those two one-wicket wins early on; Murtagh’s hundred on his 200th appearance for the club; Oliver’s hundred against Guildford; the partnership between Delmont and Ben Shoare at eight runs an over to beat East Molesey and Hodson’s hat trick and fifer against Wimbledon. Beaven himself had two sixfers including his 6 for 16 that rocked Normandy in the last game of the season.
The team finished third in the table; it was a topsy-turvy season.
Sunbury 1st XI
The 2017 1st XI season started poorly and as defending Champions, it was a thoroughly disappointing start. However, over the course of the season the squad started to string together some better performances and slowly crept up the table, ultimately finishing in the runners-up spot.
Considering the loss of senior players, and opting not to get the services of an overseas player, this was all in all a fine effort during what could be said to be a transitional year.
There were some younger players who played key roles and seeing development from the young home-grown players has been a huge boost.
On the batting front, there were many decent contributions but the most consistent performers were Sam Burgess (505 runs at 31) and Rhythm Bedi (492 at 35). Conor Fulton in his first season improved throughout the year culminating in a first century in the last game and an aggregate of 332 runs at 47, which was a great start to his Premier League cricket.
John Maunders, Martin Andersson, Elliott Shaw, Nathaniel Gregory and Alex Hughes all played their part at stages with some excellent contributions but without doubt the standout performance of the year was that of Ishy Sohi in blasting 127* to lead Sunbury to a highly unlikely victory against Ashtead, which seemed to be the catalyst for the team’s improvement throughout the second half of the season.
With the ball, the standout performer was Kevin Smith (35 wickets at 20) and he was well supported by the spin trio of Amar Virdi, Ajit Singh Sambhi and Vishal Manro who all, again, played vital roles in containing and taking valuable wickets. Nathaniel Gregory bowled with control when available and Ishy Sohi had moments when he looked very dangerous and bowled some pacy spells.
Overall there were many positives from a decent year and no doubt the 1st XI will be looking to push hard for honours next year.
Valley End 1st XI
A tough season for Valley End 1st XI back in the Premier League. With a new captain in Tom Nevin and an increased squad at the start of the season, hopes were high of being able to get established as a Premier League side. However a few tough fixtures at the start of the season got the side off to a slow start. Then consistently poor availability as well as losing a couple of key players for the season, last year’s top run scorer Luc Durandt and best bowler Alex MacQueen, meant the team never really got going.
Darren Redwood led the batting again with 433 runs including a wonderful 100 showing that he belongs at that level. Alex Mendis (13 wickets) was the pick of the seamers and Ryan Macciocchi’s (16) with his spin in his first season for the club was the leading wicket taker.
With just a solitary victory against fellow relegated side Guildford and one draw among some rain affected games, the team will be looking forward to next year to re-establish, to pick up some victories and to push towards promotion.
Sincere thanks to the ground staff led by Steve Redwood for producing the very best pitches and outfield and to all those who helped with teas, lunches and scoring.
Weybridge 1st XI
The 1st XI had an inconsistent season, which ultimately prevented the team from mounting a serious challenge for the league title. After a great couple of weeks, which included league victories against Valley End and Reigate Priory, the side struggled to pick up another win until the middle of June. An excellent last wicket victory against Sunbury got the team back into the swing of things and saw the 1st XI lose only one game out of the next six. This put the club in a great position going into the final weeks of the season. A home loss to Sunbury and Normandy’s consistency resulted in the club being mathematically unable to challenge for major honours.
Outstanding batting performances came from Ollie Mills scoring 640 runs at an average of 45 including four 50s and one 100, Sarel Erwee (476 at 31 including three 50s and one 100) and Matthew Laidman (431 at 33 including three 50s). Brent Kay was the clubs stand out bowler once again picking up 39 wickets at an average of 18 including two 5 wicket hauls, Francois Vainker and Phillip Mann both picked up 20 wickets at 27 and 15 respectively.
While it was a disappointing to finish 5th in the league there were a number of fantastic highlights throughout the season and with the squad keen to stick together it looks like it could be an exciting 2018 season. Overall the 1st XI played 18, won 8, lost 6, drew 2 and had 2 matches abandoned. Once again the supporters were fantastic and have made the club a great place to play cricket.
Wimbledon 1st XI
The 1st XI had an up and down year in the Surrey Championship this year, finishing fourth. The team enjoyed some very good wins including at home to East Molesey and Ashtead and there were some fantastic wins away from home at Sunbury, Weybridge and Reigate. The side was unable to string together a run of victories to really challenge for the league title.
There were notable performances throughout the year; Nick Welch was brilliant with the bat scoring 897 runs at an average of 32 in all competitions, Ryan Patel scored a brilliant 147* in the opening game of the year, setting him up for a successful summer which was topped off by securing his first professional contract at Surrey CCC. The overseas player, Sanjaya Chathuranga, enjoyed success with both bat and ball scoring 350 runs and taking 35 wickets. The team looks forward to having him in the side once again next season.
To keep the side going throughout the long summer, form in the T20 competition was phenomenal, taking the team to the National Final at Derby. Along the way there were good victories against Havant, Tunbridge Wells, Penzance and Clifton but unfortunately, in the final, the batting was not good enough against South Northumberland and the side was unable to come away with the National Title.
The team hopes to go one step further in 2018! The side is a proud member of The Surrey Premiership, helping demonstrate once again that it is the leading Premier League in the country.