- Bank of England
- Malden Wanderers
- Old Rutlishians
- Oxted & Limpsfield
- Worcester Park
Bank of England
A final league position of 6th would imply an uneventful 1st XI mid-table season but anyone involved will know the story is quite different. Bank got off to a poor start and it took 10 games to secure the first victory.
Despite this team spirit was good and the side knew that the first victory could turn things around. Dulwich at home saw Sam Brandon (80), Janil Ramesh (43) come in at 57 for 3, step up to the mark and provide the platform for a winning score of 239. Jack O’Brien returned to form with 6 for 36 to secure a first crucial win.
The team was now bowling with control and attack that opposition batsmen were struggling to compete with, but with two abandoned games due to rain the job of closing the gap was made even harder. With 5 games to go the side was playing knock-out cricket and saw the team produce the quality it had been threatening all season. All 5 of these games were won and by the end of the season the side was undefeated since the second week of July.
A special note should go to Kit Winder who was the standout bowler for the season with 23 wickets; his stats for the last 4 games read 14 for 90 from 37 overs at 6.4 and an economy of 2.4.
Damon Ridgway was consistent with bat and a ball over the whole season. Jack O’Brien played in every game, finished top of the wicket takers and added crucial knocks with the bat. Joshua Andrighetto and Janil Ramesh epitomized the side’s team spirit and scored some crucial runs. Sam Brandon batted with application to match his talent and topped the averages at 34. Ed Jones whose flight back from a Madrid stag to score 43* and take 6 for 35 in the final game saw the team safely home and finished with the best (bowling) strike rate in the league.
Goodbyes to Joshua Andrighetto and Sam Ferrick who return home and will be with the Club in spirit as the side looks to continue the run in 2018.
Chessington 1st XI
2017 was an exceptional year for the club with the 1st XI finally achieving promotion to Div 1, which is the highest the club has ever played.
The season was built around a really strong team ethic and everyone doing their job for the team rather than 1 or 2 superstars dominating. 7 different players scored 50s plus, Conor and Rob Edmond both with 40s were the most consistent batsmen. 5 players got over 200 runs, when the side was regularly chasing low scores and 4 abandoned games shows someone always stood up to get the job done.
3 players took over 20 wickets (Colin Watson 23, Daniel Yarnley 21 and Luke Barnard 20) plus Richard Singleton and Roman Qazi with high teens. This was the real strength of the side, only once did the bowling unit go for over 200 and only a further 2 times over 160.
Fielding was very good both ground and catching, this was led by Conor Young, Karl Thorns and Luke Barnard as our usual offside trio.
Come the end of June the side was 6th having won only 3, lost 4 and 1 abandoned, mid-table looked a realistic outcome. However, in the remaining 10 games the team went unbeaten (although 3 were rained off)! which saw Chessington jump places every week and ultimately set up a winner takes all game vs. Oxted in the last game of the season and the rest is history.
Only 17 players were used with 12 coming through the junior set-up and only 5 are 30 or over, so the infrastructure and also age of the squad is there for an extended long run of success for the club.
2018 takes the club into the unknown but one thing is for sure Chessington will give it a proper crack. Thanks to John Yarnley for scoring and the groundsmen, tea ladies and bar staff for their valued support throughout the year.
Dorking 1st XI
Following three back to back promotions Dorking 1st XI embarked upon their 2nd Division campaign full of optimism. Early wins against Bank of England and Old Ruts ensured Dorking started with a bang with the side hoping to make it 4 promotions in a row.
Early season optimism was however short-lived, with the side claiming only one win in the next 8 games despite a number of draws. The highlight was a final over win with Ben Rogers claiming a hat-trick of LBWs against Chessington. Rain curtailed a number of fixtures in a row against sides in a similar position in the table and the team found itself in a real scrap for relegation.
A change of captaincy during the season and a number of injuries meant an unsettled side but with 5 games to go the side knew it had more than enough to stay in the division. A vital win against Malden Wanderers arrived where Dorking chased 92 with only 4 wickets in hand. Dorking were 50 for 6 chasing 92 but a superb innings from Henry Cameron and skipper Toby Blood and Dorking claimed a vital 24 points. Another win against promotion chasing Oxted at Pixham Lane where Jason Swift smashed a classy hundred and Chris Ward claimed crucial early wickets in the visitors’ reply. With those two wins, the team was saved from the drop and produced top quality performances when it really mattered. Jason Swift hit 564 runs at 37 and Rob Chave and Dan Douthwaite also stood out with the bat. Andrew Miller claimed 34 league wickets, with support from Jason Swift (17) and young off spinner Charlie Edwards (12). Chris Ward also deserves a mention for his endeavours on the field and was unlucky not to claim more than the 12 wickets. Focus now turns to next year and to building a squad to compete for 2nd Division promotion next year.
Dulwich 1st XI
At the start of the season Dulwich 1st XI was confident of building on the 4th place of 2016. Whilst a promotion challenge was probably a step too far, further consolidation in the top half was the minimum expectation, however a second half of the season battle against relegation ensued.
The season started with a comfortable win over Epsom, followed by a couple of comprehensive defeats against expected promotion challengers Esher and Oxted. The 4th match saw a 6-wicket victory chasing 265 against Dorking. This included a scintillating 135 off 106 balls from Tom Savill who once again proved the stand out batsman hitting 427 at 47 with a century and four 50s in just 9 games played.
There followed 6 matches without a win and then, out of blue, a comprehensive 147 run victory over runaway leaders Esher (69 and a 5-for from Salaar Waqar). Two abandoned matches preceded a comfortable 6-wicket victory over Worcester Park (Williman 62). Three further comprehensive losses left a winner takes all against Old Rutlishians on the last day to avoid relegation. Excellent spin bowling and a gritty, but crucial, knock from Matt Balch saw Dulwich victorious and avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth.
The main problem was any consistency from the top order (except Savill and Waqar), leaving the bowlers with too much to do. Waqar excelled with bat and ball scoring 374 at 34 including four 50s, together with 25 wickets at 17 but only two other batsmen scored 50s. The strength lay in the bowling and the spin department in particular where Waqar, Levi Olver and Alex Gledhill proved a potent trio. Unfortunately they were not on the field together often enough. Of the seamers Lodwick, Sealy and Munawar all had their moments. A special mention must go to 18 year old Sam Ellison who showed talent and maturity until his season was cut short by injury.
Thanks, as ever, to John Lewis for his immaculate scoring
Epsom 1st XI
The 1st XI battled hard after an awful start to the 2017 season and performed well before the rain affected games. Unfortunately 4 losses from the last 5 games meant relegation by only 7 points. Division 2 was hard fought, close and very competitive this year and the team was involved in some fantastic finishes including a 1 run win against Esher, a last over win against Old Ruts and a last ball finish against Dorking...the less said about the 25 all out versus Worcester Park the better!
Pro Godfrey Stevens led the batting (450 runs) with contributions from Will Moore (286), Si Rivers (284), Aaron Somerford (249), and Phil Edwards (221). Stevens also had an excellent year with the ball (34 wickets), with support from Moore (14), Kieran Page (13), Greg Hughes (13), and Aaron Somerford (12). A special mention must go to 17 year old Kieran Page who opened the bowling all year and to all-rounder Aaron Somerford who had one of his best seasons for the club.
Thank you to Tony Edwards for scoring...it could not have been pleasant watching at times! Also congrats to Esher and Chessington for their promotions, good luck in Div 1. Hopefully 2018 will bring better weather and more consistency from Epsom first team.
Esher 1st XI
Following the disappointment of losing out on promotion on the final day of last season, Esher was determined to make amends in 2017.
With the added impetus of some fresh faces, Esher started the season strongly, winning all four overs games before suffering defeat against Epsom. This gave Esher the wake-up call required. Esher then went on a run of five wins in a row, with no side scoring more than 150 against them. This run took Esher to within touching distance of promotion; however, a strange period followed. After defeat to Dulwich, two games were then abandoned, meaning that when Esher played Epsom in early August, the club had not won a game for a month and yet were only two wins from promotion. The first win came against Epsom, meaning victory against Dorking a week later would be enough to secure promotion. A resounding victory followed with Esher posting 283-9 off 50 overs, before bowling Dorking out for 162, which meant that Esher were promoted with three games remaining and required just six points from three games to secure top spot. Another strong performance against Worcester Park followed, securing the six points required and resulting in Esher guaranteeing top spot. The penultimate game of the season saw Esher win for the thirteenth time of the season against Old Rutlishians, before suffering defeat against Malden Wanderers in the final game.
Overall it was a strong season for Esher in which they achieved exactly what they set out to do. It was a fantastic team effort with important contributions coming consistently throughout the season from all involved. Although the award could have gone to a number of people, Khurram Malik was awarded Player of the Season for his performance with the ball, claiming 36 wickets and at times looking unplayable.
Esher will take confidence from their performances this season into Division One next year. They will hope for another strong campaign; one they hope will end in further celebration.
Malden Wanderers 1st XI
The 1st XI fell short of an immediate return to the First Division, finishing third in a tightly contested league at the end of a season of mixed fortunes. Commanding displays, typified by a heavy defeat of deserved league champions Esher in the final game of the season, were too often interspersed with batting woes that ultimately cost the side promotion. A spectacular collapse to 40 for 7 against Old Rutlishians in the season opener was not to be an aberration and, despite a sterling effort with the ball, Ruts snuck home in a game that typified Malden’s inability to battle to par but defendable scores.
Gritty chases followed in wins against Chessington and Dorking and the longer format brought convincing victories against Bank, Dulwich and local rivals Chessington again.
What followed was a dismal run of form, preceded by a lack of player availability and resulting in seven weeks without victory. Fortune was often hiding, matches were abandoned with the Stags well-placed, particularly against Old Ruts but too often familiar batting frailties resurfaced over a dreadful two-month period. A run of three convincing victories against Epsom, Dulwich and Esher in the final matches of the year, ironically setting sides 300-plus twice, despite struggling for runs all season, left a real feeling of what could have been.
The bowlers impressed throughout with Michael Cottrell finishing joint leading wicket-taker with 36 and veteran Khayyam Shakeel snaring 25 league wickets at an astonishing 10.96 apiece.
In a year where runs were hard to come by Jacob Wilson stood tall with 534, while all-rounders Will Sabey and Harri Aravinthan made significant contributions with bat and ball, the former’s figures of 7 for 35 the league’s best for the season.
In 2018 consistency will be key for a side whose performances fluctuated between dominant and abject in 2017.
Old Rutlishians 1st XI
After 5 years of captaincy, Joe Riches handed the reins on to new 1st XI captain Sonny Cooper. He handed over a side that in four seasons had three promotions and one relegation but most noticeably a side that had lost its last 16 games, surely things could only get better. After five games Old Ruts were sitting nicely at second in the league and hoping that the good start would continue into the longer format.
As the season progressed the team found it more and more difficult to score runs. Dan Wood (422 runs) was the leading run scorer and Rory Pemberton (333) provided good support but runs were hard to come by for the middle order and this trend continued throughout the season.
The bowling was by far the strong point and the team’s ability to build pressure and bowl sides out was led in the spin department by Richard Wooland (21 wickets) and seam by Sonny Cooper (22). The stand out Player of the Season was Tom Collett, scoring 313 runs and taking 27 wickets, he led from the front with bat and ball. Unfortunately these individual performances were not enough and the lack of runs saw the side slip into a very poor run at the back of the season resulting in relegation.
This aside, ORCC would like to thank Salmon Mohammed in what was his last season at the club for his services over the past 15 years. Sal scored 5439 runs and took 241 wickets. Although the 2017 campaign would not be one the side look back on in years to come as the most successful, the team ethos and unity as a club will see the majority of the players who played this year turn out and do so again next year with the expectation of bouncing straight back and gaining promotion to Division 2.
Oxted & Limpsfield 1st XI
The 2017 Surrey Championship season came with a new challenge for the OLCC 1st XI; Division 2 league cricket. The recently crowned Div. 3 champions successfully retained all of its squad members from the previous campaign and headed into the season confidently but uncertain of what to expect.
Availability throughout the season however posed major challenges for the unit which had to be supplemented with a number of junior members. These youngsters performed credibly and helped sustain a presence in the top places within the table.
After being in second place for the majority of the final third of the fixtures, it all came down to the final game of the season; a promotion battle, with the winner of the fixture being elevated to Division 1. Unfortunately, Chessington came out winners on the day and the 1st XI season ended on a disappointing note.
The result pushed the team down to fourth place overall; a very credible performance and a season where many lessons have been learnt while the team strived to improve.
The stand out batsman turned out to be the very talented Jack Lloyd who ended the season with an aggregate of 545 runs at 54.50 in 13 innings. (highest 101*). In the spin dominated attack, off-spinner Ned Lack topped the wicket charts with a division leading 31 scalps at 19.58. (best figures 6 for 24).
Worcester Park 1st XI
Despite not amassing a score over 200 for the whole season, the 1st XI was always in the peloton for second place, thanks largely to some impressive bowling displays, and ended in 5th place. At either end of the summer, the team bowled out Epsom for 25 and Dorking for 68; scores rarely seen in 1st XI cricket.
At the crease, Joe Hill trumped the statistics with 399 runs at 44. Stalwart Rob Waite registered 300 at 19, but will be disappointed not to have lifted his bat, while skipper Rob Hill clocked 206 at 16. Troy McKenzie entered the fray this season and impressed with 191 at 24. The batting, so often in recent history the strength of the team, was distinctly average over the course of the year. The talented personnel were still available but under-performed. Much more is expected with the bat next term!
On the bowling front, Jon Faller-Fritsch took an impressive 27 wickets at 15, including two five-wicket hauls, including 6 for 54 vs. Dorking. Worcester Park’s very own Jamie Vardy, Mike Arundell, took 23 at 13 with his wrist spin, backed up by swing-merchant James Harrison who took 21 at19 despite deserving many more. Waqas Sagar, Joe Hill and Aidan Bell all claimed 15 victims, with Gary Marshall 11. This strength in depth meant the skipper had impressive options from which to choose. Ben Davies performed with distinction behind the stumps taking 13 catches and three stumpings.
Many thanks must go to scorer Alan Housden and the regular supporters. The bowling unit was promotion standard in 2017 but the batting was sub-standard. Improvement in 2018 should see Park challenge again.