- Malden Wanderers
- Old Rutlishians
- Walton on Thames
- Worcester Park
2017 was a big year for Banstead CC, it was the 175th anniversary of the club filled with events, fundraisers and most importantly cricket. Following a close race for promotion at the end of last year there was a definite push for promotion this season. The Chairman set a target at the beginning of the year to get as many of the sides as possible into the Surrey Championship Premier League.
The start of the season was not great for the 2nd XI, winning only one out of the first six games, with one of the highlights being Josh Gillam batting out a losing draw against Epsom. What the side lacked with the bat it made up for with the ball. There were some great early performances from Tom Pitchley (5 for 30 off 9.4 overs), Jamie Montebello and George Kellingley.
Despite not getting off to a flying start, morale was still high amongst the team since poor performances, poor haircuts and poor punctuality had meant that the fines pot had racked up a substantial sum for an end of season debacle. As it would turn out though, copious amounts of lambrini in a park was not on the cards. The side rallied and turned the poor start to the season around. It was hard to tell whether it was the fines, which were on an accumulator making it more and more expensive to lose, or having three games at home on the bounce that made the difference. Either way the side went from strength to strength, only losing one game outright for the rest of the season.
There were many notable performances from a number of players across the whole squad.
Many of the bowlers had become sick of watching the top order flop and decided to take responsibility themselves. Mike Condie is one of those who proved himself an all-rounder, scoring 440 runs at an average of 63, as well as taking one five for. Alex Elster and George Chesser decided to have their own competition; who could get the lowest strike rate at the end of the season. However, the scorer gave up counting dot balls so we will never know. With the ball Callum Estall, Josh Gillam, Jake Gordon and Tom Pitchley were exceptional throughout the season.
Overall it was a great season, with grit, determination and depth shown across the whole squad. This is exemplified by the resilience shown to come back from a poor start and only lose one game outright in ten and to get promoted to the Premier division.
Cranleigh 2nd XI
Similar to the 1st XI, the 2nd XI was enjoying its maiden season in Division 1. After having achieved 4 promotions in 7 years the aim was establishing a position in Division 1. The season ended up being one of relief with the team escaping relegation with 2 wins from the last 3 games. The team won 3 of the first 4 games with great wins against Guildford, Epsom and Worcester Park but then availability and injuries struck meaning the team faced a tough middle part to the season.
The real highlight, whilst establishing the side in Division 1 is the progression of the club’s younger players. The side saw the introduction of a number of talented U15s and U16s who in time will be pushing for places in the 1st XI. Special mention goes to George Ealham who scored a 100 and took 5 wickets against Epsom but then unfortunately pulled his hamstring soon after and missed the rest of the season. Rauri Johnston, who at 14 became the team’s main spinner, took 9 wickets once school commitments had finished.
Captain Josh Cummings led the attack taking 16 wickets and a key 6 for 30 against Sutton to ensure the team’s safety from relegation. With the bat Euan Johnston, Chris Preece and Callum Kent held the team together, all scoring over 250 runs in a limited number of games. The hope from the 2018 season is to build on the platform and investments in youth made in 2017 and follow the 1st XI into the Premier League.
Dulwich 2nd XI
The season for Dulwich 2nd XI was the proverbial ‘season of two halves’. The team maintained a promotion place all season, except for the final day and eventually finished in 3rd place. Disappointing is an understatement but you finish where you deserve to be.
A blistering start of five wins out of five set hopes high. A frustrating draw against Walton-on-Thames and a thrashing at the hands of eventual champions Malden Wanderers followed before the season got back on track with a couple of wins. The team was driven by a miserly and potent bowling attack led by skipper James Bridgland, newcomer Matt Wright, Matt Quaife and spinners Graeme Hough and James Hirst. The batsmen were often left with little to do but the fact that a few of the victories were not as comfortable as they should have been perhaps should have set a small alarm bell ringing.
The second half of the season was a damp squib with just one win victory. As injury and form took its toll on the bowling the small alarm bell rung by the batting in the first half suddenly built to a crescendo. Rather than chasing scores of less than 150 the team found itself chasing 200+ on a number of occasions and were found wanting. Only Ed Towner with 464 at 46 showed any consistency though Matt Balch and Assan Crawford-Khan scored consistently to earn promotion to the 1s. Hard hitting newcomer Ross Ewing showed promise in the few games he played.
The bowling was led by Bridgland (29 at 13) and Hough (23 at 17) but match winning 5-fors were thin on the ground. Ajmal Patankar excelled with the gloves to claim 33 victims.
Congratulations to champions Malden Wanderers and also promoted Banstead for not giving up the chase and dominating Dulwich in the matches played. Thanks also to Renaldo Frezzato for umpiring and to Jackie and her team for the teas.
Epsom 2nd XI
The 2017 season was a difficult year for the 2nd XI due to poor availability resulting in relegation, with the captain having to use 37 players in the season. However there were still some positive notes throughout with two U14 colts getting some exposure to 2nd XI cricket for the first time, Zac Stanger putting in some good all round performances notably 3 wickets and 63 runs against Walton, Stan Somerford picking up 23 wickets going only for 3.11 per over the whole season and captain Dan Berry scoring 420 runs with 111 against Worcester Park.
Next year the team will look to bounce back strongly to Div 1 with an objective to get more consistency with our availability across the club.
Guildford 2nd XI
Despite being in with a mathematical chance of promotion going into the final fixture the 2nd XI finished 6th in the league with 7 wins. This is two places lower than the 2016 season when promotion should have been secured on the final weekend of the season.
32 players were used throughout the season with a number of fringe players taking opportunities presented to them. Injuries to key players and a reliance on University and public school players in the first half of the season resulted in the team having to play catch up at the halfway point.
However, a strong 2nd half to the season resulted in a late surge for promotion that, in all honesty, was always just out of our grasp.
Six 100s from five different players and nineteen 50s from 14 different players shows the depth in the batting.
Three bowlers with over 20 wickets in Singh, Weill and Coombs, as well as the development of Jonny Charles’ off spin resulted in the side always being competitive apart from on two occasions against runaway champions Malden Wanderers.
Special mention to Batsman of the Year Tom Shrives for holding the middle order together in the first half of the season, winning matches and scoring 350+ runs. as Also to Bowler of the Year Vik Singh for 28 wickets and an economy under 3.5.
The team attempted to play positive cricket in a responsible environment. If the relegated 1st XI can strengthen then the 2nd XI could mount a serious promotion challenge in 2018.
Malden Wanderers 2nd XI
The 2nd XI had one of those years where everything seemed to go right, finishing a gaping 95 points clear of second place as dominant and deserving First Division champions. Winning 14 of 16 completed games, this was a result of a full team effort.
The previous year had been blighted by some abject batting performances and, although 50 for 5 was not an infrequent sight on the scoreboard, there was sufficient depth in the batting to consistently post a total.
With the ball, there was very rarely a weak link and a bowling unit that was one of the better ones in the league above, consistently showed its class in the lower league, regularly running through teams when they sniffed blood.
The strong team ethic was perhaps best summarised by the efforts in the field. Previously a poor fielding side, a combination of strong attendance at Tuesday night training, a better fielding warm-up and an incredible amount of on-field Mickey-taking of fellow team-mates, transformed the side into a fun and energetic fielding unit. This led to constant pressure on opposing batsmen and some of the best catches seen on a cricket field; it is still debated who out of Jack Morgan, Paul Barford and Sean Keyes took the catch of the season.
The standout performers with the bat were 2s stalwarts Paul Barford and Mike Jacobs who finished on 367 and 346 league runs respectively, with Mike’s including an impressive 104 against Epsom. Mentions must also go to Alex Redmayne who put in some very classy performances, notably an undefeated 102 against Banstead, before his much-merited call up to the 1st XI, and all-rounder Matthew Marks, who finished with 262 runs.
With the ball, captain Rob Graham took a league and club high 38 wickets (including 8 for 33 at Banstead) and was aided by opening bowlers James Marks and Ben Flux who finished on 21 and 20 wickets respectively. Meanwhile it was highly encouraging to see youngsters Jack Morgan, Harry Williams, Matt Bateman and Artie Rice-Oxley come into the side and perform at an impressive standard. A highlight was Artie clinching the league title with 5 for 13 against Epsom. Also worthy of mention is Tom Long who, at various points during the season, was a standout performer as a bowler (14 wickets), wicketkeeper (14 catches), batsman (254 runs) and fielder; a true all-rounder.
Old Rutlishians 2nd XI
A tough start to the 2017 season saw the 2nd XI make the short journey to a strong and determined Malden Wanderers. A run chase, which just fell short, included a resilient and well battled century from Daniel Miller who would unfortunately only manage to go on and play a handful of games. The 2nd XI was not short of runs this season as Josh Price, Eshen Patel and Ross Trimimings joined Miller on the honours board with their own well-deserved centuries.
This season also saw the continued success of the colts setup with the likes of Ayush Patel and Fraser Trimmings (both aged just 14) stepping into the 2nd XI and certainly not looking out of place. Trimmings took 3 wickets to seal victory against Cranleigh amongst a top bowling effort. A. Patel provided maturity with both ball and bat throughout his campaign with notable performances including a 60 against a fighting Dulwich and a 45 away to Guilford in an unsuccessful mammoth run chase. Ayush also managed to pick up 7 wickets in 8 games with best figures of 3 for 25.
The stand out players included the ever reliant Pete Day with a total of 28 wickets in just 12 matches. Those stats include 4 for 18 in the third game of the season against Epsom which saw the team pick up its first win of the season. Additionally, Eshen Patel proved to be a real force with the bat scoring 300 runs in just 8 innings. Patel was part of a batting performance to be remembered against Cranleigh at Poplar Road with the help of Trimmings and Jack Fraser putting on a 1st innings total of 330.
So once again the 2nd XI played its part in a tough, competitive league finishing in 4th position with 9 wins over the season. Here’s to 2018.
Sutton 2nd XI
Following a disappointing 2016 season where the 2nd XI only just survived to hang on to a spot in Division 1, this year the youthful 2s were under new leadership and were looking very promising over the winter.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Banstead in the first league game of the season, the side then put in a very impressive team performance returning to the Home of Cricket where a packed crowd (due to some quick finishes elsewhere) witnessed one of the most gripping games of cricket seen there in a long while. Having set just 164 for opposition Malden to chase, the bowlers showed sheer grit, determination and skill to bowl the visitors out for 157 in the penultimate over.
Four games later and the team was reflecting on a string of bad results, recording just one win and 3 losses. There was not much to recall besides a blistering 85 ball 103 from Chris Morris and a superb 1st and 2nd team theme night.
The return fixture against Old Ruts was dominated by individual performances from Jaimin Patel and Sam Blake. Posting 270 with a tremendous 115 from Jaimin the side was given a tough time at the start of the innings but the batting line up was brought to its knees by an impressive showing of swing bowling from Sam who picked up 6 for 12, backed by a useful 4 for 19 from Robert Griffin.
One game later and an excellent all-round performance by Rehan Ratna with 5 for 51 with the ball and 73* with the bat brought victory away at Epsom.
Unbeaten centuries in the last couple of games for Josh Blake and Sam Woods meant Sutton finished on a high note but with a season of missed chances that left the side mid table, you cannot help but wonder what could have been …. Roll on 2018!
Walton on Thames 2nd XI
After last year’s near promotion, 2017 was a tricky season for the 2nd XI, ending up in a respectable 7th place finish in Division One. While only two wins separated Walton from second place, a slightly higher standing might have been expected. The combination of some bad luck, a tight division, and many other factors could be attributed.
With the bat, there were several standout performers over the course of the season. Asad Rizvi was hugely consistent and a wonderful addition to the side (437 runs at 33.62), while Paul Bainbridge continued to show his class with a final day 114 against Cranleigh (400 at 40). Captain Jamie Mann managed 302 at 25.17 in his last year of leading the side, while there were some promising performances from new recruit Charan Gill (261 at 32.63) and ex third team skipper Liam Desai (219 at 21.9).
With the ball, again it was Paul Bainbridge and Asad Rizvi, as both off-spinners found an excellent role in the side, often bowling in tandem. Both were extremely hard to get away all season, and picked up some crucial wickets along the way (14 and 12 respectively). Wickets were very much shared around the squad, resulting in plenty of single wicket tallies, but there was some very impressive bowling nonetheless. There must be a mention for Simon Duke, who in his first real season in the side, bowled with pace and movement (9 wickets at 20).
There were also several outstanding individual contributions in 2017. Sam Gorvin carried his bat for 140* at home to Epsom, Sammy Davis showed he had the bottle to finish games off with the ball on more than one occasion and Jonny Wright played a couple of match-winning knocks in his 10 matches.
With greater consistency, these sorts of performances will surely help push another promotion charge, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Worcester Park 2nd XI
With 9 regular 2nd XI players unavailable for the 2017 season, the 2s simply did not have the quality week-by-week to compete in Division One and the lack of depth in bowling options was key. On nine occasions the side was chasing 200+ scores and, despite collecting the most batting points in the league, three wins over the season was not enough to keep heads above water.
Jonny Evans was sublime with the bat, finishing the league’s top run scorer with 506 at 46, registering six half-centuries along the way in just 12 innings. Captain Travis Scott proved adaptable with 365 at 28, with Ian Burrows showing mettle with 310 also at 28. Charlie King (196 at 59) and Oscar King (146 at 18) scored quickly but were not available as much as they would have liked.
In a forgettable season for the 2s’ red leather operators, newcomer Rehan Mansoor impressed with 15 at 21 in his 9 outings, as Travis Scott and Nicky Ball took 14 and 10 respectively at 28 apiece. Oscar King (eight catches, two stumpings) and David Wilkinson (five catches, three stumpings) shared the gloves throughout the campaign.
Relegation was on the cards from the outset given the vast majority of the promotion winning 2015 side unavailable for various reasons but the experience gained by those who stepped up, including several colts, will stand the side in good stead for 2018 where the aim will be consolidation.
Thanks must go to Steve King and Adrian Barratt for their outstanding officiating.