- East Molesey
- Reigate Priory
- Valley End
The 2017 season saw Ashtead 2nd XI finish in a highly respectable 3rd place, up from 7th last year. With such a young side built around a small core of ‘experienced’ players, consistency in selection and performance was always going to present a challenge. Despite this, ACC 2nd XI lost only 3 games all season, the fewest of any side in the league and accumulated the most bonus points, eventually finishing on 211 points.
Once again, the bulk of the runs came at the top of the order from the evergreen Gary Martin, who amassed 624 runs at 48.00 with one ton and five half-centuries. His consistency allowed others to accumulate runs around him with the exception of Jason Vaughan-Davies (331 at 41.38) who smashed a brutal 40 ball hundred against Weybridge. 18 year old Michael Cowdrey (210 at 52.50) also recorded a hundred on debut in the same game. Another notable contributor was fellow opener Kamran Mirza who scored 280 runs at 25.45.
Despite being plagued with some freak injuries to a supposedly ‘young and fit’ bowling attack, including a broken leg, torn hamstring and back stress fractures; it was still the youth that shone. 16 year old Marcus Caprano-Wint was the standout bowler recording an impressive 24 wickets at 18.88. He was often the go-to bowler and controlled much of the middle overs alongside his brother, Connor Caprano-Wint, who finished with 17 wickets at 25.06 bowling his leg-breaks. Another notable performer was Jake Martin who finished with 13 wickets at 18.46 who missed the middle period of the season after breaking his leg against Weybridge.
East Molesey 2nd XI
Early season expectations soon fell away as a lack of runs from the top order and some wayward bowling meant that the side found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. Even when availability was strong players coming down failed to inspire the side and having 20% of the games abandoned did not make life any easier.
Things started to turn when having been inserted by Reigate the Moles posted a total and then Senura Jayasinghe proceeded to bowl a strong Reigate line up out.
Another crushing victory in the time format against the champions elect provided momentum which saw the side win a tight game at Farnham in the penultimate game to secure a fourth year in the Premier League.
Runs proved an issue for much of the season with Billy Dawson scoring 338 at 67.6 from only 6 innings showing what could have been achieved. Kieran Burge with 299 at 33.2 was the only other consistent scorer and cameo performances from Andy Mawson and Russell Cake were welcome.
In the end only one century from Billy Dawson and eleven 50s from the side in 14 completed games tells its own story.
The bowling was more consistent and the wickets evenly shared around. The star was the young leg-spinner Senura Jayasinghe who took 21 at 18.2 before deservedly being promoted to the 1st XI for the last 5 games. Evan Beck, Ben Campbell and Ryan North all took 18 wickets and Jason Moore, when available, 7 at 15.57.
The fielding was strongly led by Giles Green behind the stumps. There can rarely have been so many quality slip catches taken at second team level.
Again the side used over 30 players which did not help but seeing some of the younger players continuing to progress and some new faces was rewarding.
Farnham 2nd XI
After 17 seasons as 2nd XI captain Ian Thorpe steps down and retires from club cricket knowing Farnham 2s have completed a superb season back in the Premier Division with a team high 5th place finish.
Early season opportunities were missed and a 0 for 4 start was worrying but the timed games were where the team really got stuck in. A last over win at East Molesey, a solid draw with Ashtead, victory at Valley End followed by victory over Sunbury gave the side impetus and a position in the middle of the league. Holding on, 9 down, for vital draws at Normandy and Weybridge showed great resilience and with it an increasing confidence throughout the side. The return to 50/50 saw a remarkable double completed over Sunbury and then after Normandy were beaten at The Park a 6th and final victory was achieved when the double was completed over already relegated Valley End.
Newcomer Will Davies led the batting and is a fine addition to the club. He finished 3 short of 500 runs at an average of 35 including four 50s. No other batsman reached the 250 aggregate and only four other 50s were recorded by Strachan, A Goldsworthy, Golding and Ungaretti.
Alec Goldsworthy finished leading wicket taker with an impressive 32 victims at 14. His total included two 5 wicket hauls and was a tremendous performance. Seamers Lewis (16 wickets), Osborne (12) and Blackburn (10) all performed well but the arrival half way through the season of leg spinner Patel and left arm spinner Terry gave the side a great balance and 20 vital wickets. Fielding, usually of a high standard, was exceptional this season. Many thanks go to umpire Dave Goldsworthy who was ever present yet again and to Toni Thorpe for scoring and Alan and Carol Forward for their teas. Best wishes to everyone and especially Jamie Strachan taking over the reins of the 2s.
Skipper Ian Thorpe now calls time after 37 seasons at the club, leaving the area and league behind but having thoroughly enjoyed every moment and proud to have led and been a playing member of this very fine club.
Normandy 2nd XI
For the 2nd XI the season started with much hope to build on the previous year’s strong finish and got off to a great start but unfortunately that proved to be one of only four victories all year.
In working out why the side was relegated it simply comes down to not enough runs being scored and wickets not taken at crucial times.
Lamentable availability meant too often players were being called in from the 3s (and 4s) and while they all gave their best, asking seasoned 3rd team stalwarts to step up to 2nd XI Premiership cricket was never going to end well. The younger players need to start making the most of their opportunities in 2nd XI cricket and build upon the promise they have shown in the past.
Only one bowler took over 15 wickets, captain Leon Robinson with 32 wickets at 18.75 was the only bowler to step up and put in regular performances.
As for batting, three players scored over 300 runs, Andrew Hemmingway (315 runs at 35) including a fantastic unbeaten 123 against Sunbury, Chris Hampton (367 at 33.36) including 3 half centuries and, leading the way, Leon Robinson (457 at 28.56) emphasizing his all-rounder credentials . Hopefully the players will learn from a tough year and return all the stronger next year with the aim to get back into the Premier League.
Many thanks to Dave Iliffe and RJ Home for all they have done this year and to Geoff Burton for scoring and congratulations to eventual winners Wimbledon.
Reigate Priory 2nd XI
The 2nd team campaign set out with the ambition of reclaiming the title off Spencer but unfortunately this target was far out of reach as the side had its lowest finish for a few years, 4th. The bowling unit performed consistently well but it was the batting and fielding departments that disappointed.
There were several noteworthy performances. Matthew Hutcheon, a new recruit, was leading wicket taker with excellent, disciplined swing bowling. Matt claimed to have 24 catches dropped off his bowling, emphasising how well he bowled but also the need to drastically improve the fielding. Neil Saker, stand in captain, led from the front with the bat scoring three fifties and one outstanding hundred away at Sunbury showing how much he still has to offer the club. However, the most consistent performer and Player of the Year was youngster Rory Haughton who topped the run charts with 430 runs at just under 40. Rory is a really exciting prospect and one to watch over the next few years.
There were some shades of brilliance from Ben Donovan, Luke Haughton, Jack Beaven and Will Irving but these were few and far between and not consistent enough for the team to be title challengers. A lot of learning took place in the 2017 campaign and with the prospect of a young side coming through for next year, hopefully the team will be challenging for the title again.
Spencer 2nd XI
2017 was very much a season of what ifs for Spencer 2nd XI. A solid start gave hope of a repeat of last year’s triumphs, three defeats on the spin and three abandonments in a row in high summer left relegation a distinct possibility and a final position of sixth probably fair given a season of flux.
The batsmen did not score enough runs through the order, leaving the bowlers with too much to do on many occasions. Mohsin Jafri had another excellent season with the ball, including his customary five fer at Weybridge (7 for 73 this year), and Cameron Ponsonby performed very well in his debut season in the twos. Spencer were hurt by untimely injuries and absences to Adam Caddy and Charlie Bowden who both performed well with the ball when they were able to get on the field.
Asad Bajwa led the attack manfully and with a bit more luck will get the poles he deserves next year. Freddie Horler showed a lot of promise as a young spinner chucked in at the deep end and a deserved 5 for 49 at Wimbledon on the last day shows a lot of promise for the future.
With the bat Aymun Ali led the way in the aggregates but he did not score a fifty, highlighting the lack of hunger in the group. Tom Gadsby and Chris Swainland chipped in well but without the top order scoring big it was always going to be hard posting totals. Jack Hunter Lees and Olly Martyn Hemphill showed glimpses of potential for 2018 however.
There were still highlights to look back on, the usual high scoring game with Reigate lit up by a magnificent 122 by Riyaan Mohammed was one, as was beating Sunbury in week 17 with a scratch line up, showing that with a total over 200 Spencer can get the job done. Congratulations go to Wimbledon and we look forward to 2018 with great anticipation.
Sunbury 2nd XI
What a difference twelve months can make. A year ago the 2nd XI had to win away at Reigate on the last day of the season to ensure survival. This year it was a case of a few missed opportunities that resulted in missing out on the title.
Eight wins from the first eleven games, including 5 wicket victories away at both Wimbledon and Reigate left the side vying for the title with Wimbledon. Unfortunately, only one win over the next six games, including an abandoned home game to Wimbledon and a tie against relegation threatened Valley End, meant the team had to settle for the runners-up spot.
The change in success of the side can mainly be put down to the improvement of the batting, where four batsmen scored over 300 league runs, a feat that no one achieved in 2016. The run scorers were topped by two youngsters, wicketkeeper batsmen Harveer Mahajan (419 runs at 30) and Rajan Soni (381 at 38). They were ably supported by Darren London (355 at 44) and new recruit Sacha Duran (337 at 42).
With the ball, for the 3rd year in a row, Saran Kalsi led the way (35 wickets at 23). His opening partner Ed Knight (12 at 31) impressed in his first season at the club and was unfortunate not to finish with more wickets. Justin Granger backed up the openers, was able to pick up 10 wickets and was always economical. The spinners perhaps should have bowled more at times but when called upon, were often effective, with Curtis Higgins (15 at 20), Alex Hughes (15 at 23), Sacha Duran (11 at 19) and Nishant Madan (10 at 22) all contributing important spells throughout the season.
More consistency throughout and there is no reason why the 2nd XI cannot go one better next season.
Valley End 2nd XI
The season started so well with 3 cracking victories in the first 4 matches and then the wheels fell off.
Three senior players being side-lined with broken bones and woeful availability across the top two teams condemned the side to wait another 12 weeks before any further success, which came in an exciting tied match at Sunbury.
Relegation was confirmed a week later at Reigate and came as no surprise.
Many young players made their debuts in the side over the summer with notable performances by Cam Colloff (U15) with 5 wickets at Normandy and Charlie Brennen (U16) with 50 at East Molesey.
The team is fortunate to play on the great pitches prepared by Steve Redwood and his team and hope to provide them some better entertainment next season.
Thanks to umpire Mike Goodman and to all of those who provided the wonderful teas that were enjoyed by both home and visiting sides.
Weybridge 2nd XI
A tough season for the 2nd XI looked destined to end in relegation after defeat at Sunbury but some fantastic courage and determination saw the side win the final 3 games of the season to secure Premier League status and complete the Great Escape.
Average availability in the first half of the season, mixed with a series of injuries and falling foul of the weather all played a part but there is no question the side underperformed for the majority of the year.
Despite a talented group, the batting often failed to fire. Mike Arnot made the only century of the campaign (120 vs. Valley End) and the next top score was Oli Slippers 79*, a brilliant rear-guard action vs. Ashtead. Tim Cross top scored for the year with 323, whilst Shane White, Sam Crabtree, Harry Samuels, Haydir Ali, Jordan McKinlay, Oliver Downey, Adam Dean, Leo Methley and Steve MacDonald all played important innings throughout the season.
The bowling has often rescued the 2nd XI in recent years but even this was disappointing in 2017. Sam Crabtree (21 wickets) knocked Masud Javaid (20) off his top wicket-taker perch, whilst Danny Rae led the attack superbly in the second half of the season. Imran Lodhi, Ralph Day, Leo Methley, Darren Livett and Tan Asghar all bowled good spells but, as with the batting, the consistency was lacking.
5 wins over a season was a poor return for the team. The character of the side was shown in the relegation battle and eventual escape and some more mature performances in 2018 should lead to a far more successful and enjoyable season.
Thanks to Paul Burgess for umpiring all season; your efforts are greatly appreciated
Wimbledon 2nd XI
Wimbledon 2nd XI lost two of the first three games in 2017, including one to closest title rival Sunbury which was not the ideal foundation on which to base a title challenge! For the team to end up winning the league with a game to spare therefore speaks volumes for the quality of cricket played since. This was especially true throughout the time games in the middle of the summer where the team recorded 6 wins and only 1 defeat (with 2 abandoned).
Winning the title was made even more pleasing by the competitiveness of the division this year; the quality of cricket was as high as it has been for many years. No fixture was easy to predict, as evidenced by the fact that the two teams to get relegated took points off the top two sides during the course of the season. The key to Wimbledon’s success was an ability to win the close games. Of the 12 victories, at least 6 could be considered tight games, epitomised by three away wins (at Farnham, Reigate and Ashtead) with a combined winning margin of just 25 runs!
One of the most pleasing aspects of the season was the emergence of many academy players who made key contributions to winning games for the team. A total of nine academy players were used throughout the season with four of them also going on to represent the 1st XI. Special mentions must go to Niall Solomon, the third highest run scorer with 346 runs at 43 and 16 year old Billy Sewell who in the 4 games he played quickly established himself as the team’s go-to bowler, despite being the youngest member of the squad.
The team’s leading run scorers were Wills (424 at 28) and Smith (418 at 35) but there were consistent contributions from a number of players with a total of 8 people going past the 200 run mark and 6 averaging over 35. On the bowling front, spinners De Silva (25 wickets at 20) and Gunn (24 at 15) were standout performers and led the wicket taking charts. The seamers also put in consistent performances throughout the season on generally unresponsive pitches; C Anand (16 at 27), Hetherton (15 at 14) and Hunt (13 at 20) all reached double figures for the season.
2017 was an excellent year for Wimbledon both on and off the pitch; the 2nd XI squad are looking forward to defending the title next year in what promises to be another keenly fought campaign.