- Old Wimbledonians
- Staines & Laleham
- Streatham & Marlborough
Finishing 5th does not quite reflect how far Addiscombe 1st XI should have gone this season. The side showed true potential at the back end of the season, winning 7 of the last 10, only losing 1 and having 2 rained off. A shaky start cost the chance of promotion this year, but the way the team finished has given huge belief that it will be good enough to challenge next season.
Availability made team selection a challenge this year, but gave the chance to see that there are lot of players within the club that are more than capable of making the step up to the first team. The team used 24 different players, all of whom made significant contributions.
One individual that really came on this year was Player of the Season Esmatullah Zadran. He scored 456 runs and took 22 wickets and turned in to a bit of a match winner. One of these occasions was a magnificent 130 off 68 balls against Sanderstead, including 16 sixes; he then went on to take 3 wickets in a 2 over spell at the end of the game to give Addiscombe victory by just 4 runs.
Other notable performances this year were Chris Hurrion scoring 109 at home to Streatham & Marlborough as part of his 463 runs this season and Barry Lineker taking 5 for 25 against Purley and 5 for 44 against Kingstonian as part of an impressive 38 wickets.
Whether the team was playing home or away, had been winning or losing, it always received tremendous support and the captain would like to thank everyone that came to watch. A special thank you must go to Lin Poulton for scoring yet again this season.
Ashford 1st XI
A season of relegation to an outsider would no doubt be seen as a season of failure. However, this cannot be said of this side. Yes, it is true that on the face of it, at key moments, in too many games the side was not good enough.
The team played with heart throughout the season and even when results continued to go awry the boys all stuck together, never rolled over and gave it everything. That is all a captain can ask for.
However, it is another season’s experience for some of the emerging talent the club has cultivated over the recent past, unfortunately these talented lads were let down by more experienced players.
The emergence of so many juniors plying their trade in the first team has been the long stated ambition of skipper Trevor Langworth and to see so many do it this year can only be a positive and provide a springboard for the club to bounce back to where it should be.
It would be wrong to overlook one special moment which stood out in the season. Young Tanmay Desai, a 14 year old off spinner, who forced his way into the 1st XI through impressive performances at lower levels took a 5 wicket haul in just his second game. He is a real star in the making.
With so many youngsters coming through it does feel like a real changing of the guard moment and this should be welcomed. I hope the club continues this worthy policy in coming seasons and does not fall back to the temptation to import players. Let us back the youngsters to take the club forward.
Off the field Jack Frost deserves a special mention for once again scoring every fixture, a real unsung hero. Thanks must also go to the groundsman Andrew Goulding for another season of excellent pitches and David Merchant for his unwavering support of the side both home and away.
The team must go onwards and upwards to a positive 2018 season.
Cheam 1st XI
The 1st XI improvement seen in 2016 was continued this season, under the new captaincy of James Wright, with fourth place in the table being secured. It was however a case of what might have been with “defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory” in the matches away to Addiscombe, and at home to Old Wimbledonians. Victory in either of these two matches would have secured promotion.
There were notable batting performances from Billy Yeats (442 runs at 32), Joe Bracher (414 at 28), and 15-year-old Dan McKerracher (354 at 24). On the bowling front captain James Wright took 38 wickets at an average of 16, Billy Yeats took 28 at 14 and James Fenwick 21 at 19.
There were several exciting matches with close finishes during the season. The most notable of these was in the time match away to Kingstonian where, after a well fought and sporting contest, a Cheam victory was achieved with James Fenwick taking the last wicket from the final ball of the 100th over.
Looking ahead to 2018, the increased depth and quality in the squad, combined with several high potential younger players beginning to come through, provides cause for optimism.
Egham 1st XI
After narrowly getting relegated last year there was a fair bit of optimism that the 1st XI would have a successful year and push for promotion again. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it appeared that a relegation battle was going to be the theme for the season. Even though it wasa tough seasonthere were some big positives. The introduction to first team cricket for a number of junior players was great to see and will only aid in their development and the club’s moving forwards. Three wins in the last four matches showed how good the side was (beating one of the promoted sides) and is very promising sign for next year (if only the league was another month longer it might have been a different story).
There were still some very solid and consistent performances throughout the season with Ryan Dennis taking 25 wickets well backed up by Marlon Cornelius, Harry Morris, David Drage and David Morris. Although runs were hard to achieve throughout the season there were still some good batting performances by James Sprackling, Andrew Gilmour, Matt Main, Harry Morris and Marlon Cornelius.
Selection was tough again this season with availability very limited at times but with some steady availability the side could bounce straight back up next year and prove to be a front runner in Division 4.
Massive thanks go to Debbie Beesley for her excellent scoring all year and of course the Bax clan for providing the best teas in league.
Kingstonian 1st XI
Skipper Amir Hussain admits he was inconsolable after Kingstonian 1st XI’s last-day defeat at Cheam looked to have dashed any hopes of back-to-back promotions.
Ks fate was in their own hands, with a win guaranteeing a second successive promotion and the prospect of Division Two cricket but they reckoned without a stubborn last-wicket partnership of 56 by the home side’s James Fenwick and Upendra Parimii which set a target of 239 to win. That proved just too many and Ks fell 25 runs short prompting Amir’s frustration until he was informed that Streatham & Marlborough had stumbled against Chertsey in a game they were strong favourites for and Ks were going up after all, albeit by just three points.
Ironically Cheam also inflicted one of only three other defeats the team suffered over the course of the season as they followed up the previous year’s Division Four title success.
Against that the team won 10 games, the most notable successes being a 12 run win against Sanderstead in a game that produced 514 runs (263 for 8 against 251 all out) and a 125 run defeat of Ashford. The key to the team’s progress was undoubtedly consistency, from selection through to the obvious areas of batting and bowling.
Skipper Amir Hussain was able to call on 10 players who played 15 league matches or more over the course of the season, a staggering statistic given the problems with availability so many teams suffer. Of those players, six contributed 350 plus runs, with Abid Ahmed (560 at 43) and Imran Khalid (450 at 26) leading the way. Skipper Hussain, Abdul Aziz, Raza Sikander and Haroon Ashfaq also made notable contributions with Sikander (106 vs. Sanderstead) and Ashfaq (134 vs. Streatham) scoring the team’s two centuries.
The bowling honours undoubtedly went to M Hasan (42 wickets at 15), while Sikander (17 at 14) and Aziz (28 at 17) emphasised their all-round skills while Nadeem Shah’s 22 wickets also played their part.
The team, and club, have come a long way in a short space of time and everybody is relishing the challenges the forthcoming season will present.
Old Wimbledonians 1st XI
This was a tough year for the 1st XI. There were several new faces and hence people trying to find their identity and strongest position, which meant that, as a new side, the team found it difficult to replicate the third place of the last two seasons.
Overseas for the season, Joshua Da Silva, had a great year with bat and gloves but had inconsistent support from the rest of the batting unit. Tim Sealy-Fisher chipped in his runs as usual. The side showed on several occasions that it could be a strong batting team, with two run chases with scores in the 290s falling just short of the target. The usual suspects were good with the ball with Sami Majid, Adrian Dawson and Johnno Gordon all taking over 20 wickets. We look forward to adding some more new faces to a great club with a great atmosphere and challenge for promotion in 2018.
Purley 1st XI
Following last year’s relegation, a season of consolidation was of paramount importance for a new-look Purley 1st XI this year. Winter had seen the loss of some experienced campaigners and it was time for some of the younger players to step up. Whilst not producing as many victories as was hoped it was a success in terms of league survival. With five wins in the bag, including a particularly sweet first at Old Wimbledonians to break the barren spell, 27 points was the margin of safety. It was disappointing that incredibly poor availability towards the tail end of the season prevented a push for a more attractive table position.
A mention for some notable performances with the ball go to Sam Sugarman taking 23 wickets in his first full season and Adam Kelly for great consistency (often deserving of more wickets). Dave Monckton took a league hat-trick and top award went to Harry Short whose return of 25 wickets at 18.76 with his accurate off spin bodes well for the future. Although often the Achilles heel of Purley’s performance special note with the bat goes to Harry Hanford for his 437 at 29.13 and a real coming of age season for Ollie Thornton who averaged 41.57. New addition Ajay Chikki added some flair in the middle order and much is expected for next season.
Sanderstead 1st XI
The first game of the season was away at Streatham & Marlborough and we were greeted by the opposition, all in matching kit, entering their second hour of a rigorous warm up using every bit of equipment imaginable. The umpire warned the team that they are “in the big leagues now” and runs the captain through all the new rules in being a Div 3 side. An hour later, the team is 89 for 9, it’s beginning to look like the start of a long old season and the only words of consolation from the side are from Josh, who points out “at least we’ll get home at a decent time for a night out guys”.
Miraculously, Jack Sadler and Nicholas Wilson turned that 89 for 9 into 214-9, setting a new Surrey Championship record for the highest 10th wicket stand in the process. For most of the Streatham innings that did not look like enough but the side battled back and managed to win the game by 12 runs. That game pretty much epitomised the season; every time the team looked dead and buried, it found a way to get out of trouble and come up with the answers to turn it around.
It makes the success the team is having all the more admirable given the fact 11 of the 13 most capped players this season came through the club’s youth system.
A promotion season that was all about the team effort and it saw numerous different people step up at different times of need but for the statos out there; Tyler (464 runs) led the way in terms of runs scored, followed by his opening partner Yogi (337) and George Jackson (337). Abz (230) also batted well before having to go back to Pakistan, with Simon and Jallen also scoring over 220 runs. Special mention must go to Tricky who scored 148 runs but at an average of 49.33, looking untroubled every time he went out to bat.
As ever, bowling was the strength armed with a seam attack that would comfortably slot into any Div 1 side. George Jackson (33 wickets) led the pack followed by Simon Carter (27), James Allen (26) and Tricky (20). Those stats do not tell half the story of how well the team bowled; none of the Sanderstead side would have liked to have been the ones facing them! Jonny Lock spun himself 15 wickets despite only bowling 59 overs and Christie Sullivan returned the best bowling performance of the season with a 6 for 15 against Ashford
Staines & Laleham 1st XI
The 1st XI finished 6th and whilst it was not always a forgone conclusion that the team would remain in the Division, it proved to be that over 18 games the side had the quality and team spirit to do just that.
The successes were built on team performances although one or two individuals did stand out. The little maestro Susant Kumar returned a fine all round season with 411 runs and 18 wickets, quite an achievement for a guy who started at Staines a couple of seasons ago in the 4th XI! Skipper Adam Smith and mercurial Chris Bolton both weighed in with over 300 with all-rounder Karun Jethi, Aussie Jack Agnew and Matt Begg also contributing throughout the season. Karun added 25 league wickets but the outstanding performance with the ball was from Ciaran “Doggy” Dunne who matured into a genuine 1st XI opening bowler with 33 league wickets.
A success story for a true Staines & Laleham home grown player. The spirit in the side is great and the side plays as a team of mates; long may this continue.
Streatham & Marlborough 1st XI
The 2017 season saw the 1st XI finish third in Division 3, narrowly missing out on promotion by 4 points. With a new skipper in charge, a first team coach in place and an influx of new recruits, expectations were high for the Dulwich based side. It was no surprise SMCC were considered as the division’s team to beat and anything less than promotion deemed as a failure.
At times, the team showed absolute dominance in what were displays of sheer ruthlessness that the captain had set out to achieve at the start of the season. However, inconsistent performances, poor availability and the weight of runs and wickets left to individuals rather than a collective meant the team struggled to string together enough wins to secure promotion.
The one major, shining light was that 2017 can be considered a breakthrough season for star player Shareef Hassan who finished both the leading run scorer and leading wicket taker. Scoring 596 runs at 42.6 and taking 36 wickets at 12.5 only provides a brief insight into the wonderful displays the division witnessed over the course of the season. With such consistent match winning performances it certainly puts him as the division’s MVP for 2017.
There were many positives to take from the season but to miss out on promotion by 4 points hurts. Ultimately, the team was in a transitional phase and it will take time for the players to gel and unleash the true potential in a talented squad. Disappointment aside, this side bettered the 2016 4th place finish without ever hitting optimum performance suggesting the foundations have been laid for this young side to flourish for years to come.
Hard work, preparation and recruitment will be a strong focal point over the winter to ensure SMCC rightfully secure promotion to Division 2.