- Old Whitgiftians
- Reigate Priory
- Walton on Thames
A very impressive season saw Ashtead 3rd XI finish in their highest ever position, third in the league. The main difference between 2018 and previous seasons was the ability to get over the line in tight games against the top sides. For the first time in recent years, if not ever, Ashtead beat Wimbledon and Dulwich, completing the double over both sides who ended the season deserved winners and runners-up respectively. Had such consistency been shown against all opponents then a title challenge could have been possible. As it was, the final position was one that the club should be very proud of.
There were some memorable personal performances during the Summer. Shaun Wallace’s bowling and Connor Caprano-Wint’s catching in the drizzle vs. Walton, 15 year old James Graham’s opening salvos on numerous occasions providing some deadly incision up front and at the back end of the innings Alex Culhane’s masterful 70* to take Ashtead home by 1 wicket vs. Dulwich, Tayler Young leading a remarkable fight back at home to Wimbledon, Patrick Murray showing the other bowlers how it’s done against Old Whits, Rob Wint rolling back the years at home to Walton, Ahson Bukhari powering 66 against Dulwich and Ollie Hunt and Will Culhane sharing 9 wickets in an epic comeback victory at Wimbledon.
The bowling was led by James Graham (21 wickets at 9) and Patrick Murray (20 at 11), ably supported by Will Culhane (19 at 20), Alex Culhane (12 at 12) and Ollie Hunt (10 at 10). The batting performance were shared around with captain Tom Culhane scoring 297 runs with Rob Wint and Shaun Wallace also scoring over 200. The three Culhane brothers led the fielding stats with Tom, Will and Alex taking 13, 8 and 6 dismissals respectively.
All in all, a fantastic season and plenty to look forward to in 2019.
Dulwich 3rd XI
The 3rd XI enjoyed an excellent season, eventually finishing 2nd to runaway leaders Wimbledon. 12 wins and six defeats showed that the team was keen to play positive cricket to achieve results, even at the risk of losing. There were some tight games, notably the two defeats to Ashtead and the win vs. Spencer in the last game. Wimbledon, however, showed their superiority comfortably winning both matches.
The excellent performances were despite the ever changing team as happens at this level, exemplifying the strength of the Club. Raj Tulsiani led the way in the batting (317 runs at 35) but there were good contributions from lots of others, including skipper Andy Bailey, Ben Lester and Matt Balch.
On the bowling front the seam trio of Sunil Isaac, Matt Quaife and Jeremy Jones led the way. Isaac, however, was at the forefront with his metronomic control allied to clever seam and swing troubling most batting line ups. His 22 wickets at 10.5 was just reward and would have been a lot more but for games missed. Quaife and Jones provided able support to bag 20 wickets each. Others played their part though the team lacked a regular, reliable spinner in many matches. Highlight, however, was 13 year old Jacob Emler’s debut at this level when he took 7 for 21 vs. Walton on Thames; yet another quality product from the Dulwich junior production line who was given his chance at a high level and grasped the opportunity.
Thanks as always are due to umpire Chris Reardon, often standing at both ends in matches, in a very hot summer.
Old Whitgiftians 3rd XI
The 3rd XI had a nightmare season. The team struggled to put out the side that had won promotion to the Premier Division and it was vastly outmatched in virtually every game.
Highlights included the game at Croham Road against Walton on Thames, where Akshat Kacker scored 104 and Zubair Amin’s 4 for 36 gave the side the chance of a win plus the home match against Ashstead, when Shaharyar Bajwa and Richard Chilvers helped to build a convincing reply to Ashtead’s score of 191 before a late order collapse led to a 35 run loss.
The club introduced a number of younger players to the side towards the end of the season who acquitted themselves admirably and gave their all, despite the mismatches involved.
Thanks also to James Robbins, who took on the captaincy and kept spirits high.
Reigate Priory 3rd XI
2018 was a transitional season for Reigate Priory 3rd XI. James Brickley stepped down after 9 seasons to be replaced as captain by Antony Ireland. Over the winter, the squad lost several key players to injury, relocation and family commitments, making availability a challenge in the first half of the season.
Having dropped 12 catches in defeat to Dulwich on the opening day, Priory were saved by the rain after conceding 92 in 14 overs at Sunbury. The side then won 3 in a row including a thrilling 1 run win over Spencer to kick-start the season and stay in contention.
A close defeat to Weybridge (gifting the visitors an extra hour having misread the new match timings!) followed by a draw at Ashtead left Priory mid-table. Priory next chased 200 to win at Walton but title hopes hung on beating league leaders Wimbledon at home on 30 June.
Priory bowled brilliantly to restrict Wimbledon to 168 but collapsed from 132 for 5 to 150 all out, slipping to 5th. This was a key defeat. Sloppy losses to Sunbury and Sutton eliminated all hope of winning the league but excellent wins defending 137 against Weybridge and 153 against Spencer showed the team was still a force to be reckoned with on its day.
Overall, Priory were a batsman or two light this year but the bowlers were often outstanding.
There were, as always, some strong individual performances. Ireland was top run scorer in the division with 405 runs while Brickley was second top wicket taker with 25 wickets. New keeper-batsman Fraser McGuinness scored an impressive 303 runs in just 8 innings, while new seamer Elliot Lodge and Steve Cross also made several match-winning contributions with the ball.
However, Priory struggled to field a consistent XI all season, reflecting in mixed results. Fourth was ultimately a fair finish but this ambitious side will regroup and expect better in 2019.
Spencer 3rd XI
It was a season of nearly but not quites for the 3rd XI, finishing in a disappointing 5th place. Perhaps the team had used up its luck over the past two championship winning seasons but on several occasions the side fell agonisingly close to picking up the victory only to be snatched away at the end. Although the final standing was disappointing, it was pleasing to see several players make the step up into the 2nd XI from the 3rds and secure their place with their performances. This gave opportunities to lower squad members to stick their hand up.
Aqib Sindhu once again led the way in performances, taking 38 wickets at 11.50 with his miserly seamers. He finished top of the division for wickets for the third season running, a fantastic achievement. He was supported by Matt Glover, rediscovering his 2016 form through the season taking 19 poles at 22, sharing the new ball with Rehan Malik who returned to 3rd XI cricket taking 14 wickets at 17.50.
In a slightly disappointing season with the bat, new captain James Lipscombe belatedly found some kind of form with the bat to score 359 runs at 32.64, also adding 26 victims behind the stumps. Nouman Bashir in his first year at the club scored 281 at 31.22 after promotion from the 4th XI and Charlie Hiram scored 219 at 43.80 on the days he was not playing 2nd XI, including a sparkling 106*.
Most pleasingly, several junior players transitioned from the team into the 2nd XI and had a very successful year, whilst Moin Khan, Max Porter and Alec Kenningham established themselves as 3rd XI cricketers. Finally, 13 year old Ollie Sykes made his Surrey Championship debut and proved he is a player very much to look out for in the future.
Finally congratulations to Wimbledon for their title victory and the team looks forward to mounting a challenge in 2019.
Sunbury 3rd XI
After finishing 4th in the league in 2017, the side was hoping to push on and challenge for the top spot so finishing 4th from bottom was a huge disappointment.
From the start the team knew it had a tough road ahead mainly due several key injuries and poor availability.
The team won 6 games, lost 10 and had 2 games either abandoned or drawn. The wins included a double over Ashtead who were a very strong team finishing 3rd in the table, a convincing win at Reigate bowling them out for 120 after posting a score of 233 and wins over Sutton and Old Whits. All these wins were very convincing wins and showed what this group of players is capable of. With consistent availability the team could beat and compete with the strongest teams in the league. There were a few tense moments towards the end of the season but a 7th place finish was achieved avoiding relegation with a week to spare.
James Birch and Jack Greaves lead the bowling, both surpassing 20 wickets each, but with the bat no player surpassed over 300 runs which was the huge downfall this season. Poor availability allowed the team to develop many younger players who were given the opportunity to play in the 3rd XI which will be a huge benefit in the years to come.
It was a very hard season for the 3rd XI but the team showed heart and grit to get over the line. With the promising juniors coming through the side needs to develop some consistency and it could be an exciting future for the club but consistent availability from the senior players is required to get more balance to the team.
Sutton 3rd XI
2018 was always going to be a challenging season for the 3rd Xl, however, it was never expected to be as tough as it actually became.
Vice-captain Bobby Foster got the team off to a great start with a win against Walton on Thames and was flying in the second game against Old Whitgiftian. Sadly the game got abandoned during the first innings due to the weather and with other games going ahead this result proved decisive in relegation by only 3 points.
Availability proved to be a huge factor in the struggles, however, our plight cannot be blamed solely on this. The team simply were not good enough for the majority of the season. The batting overall, let the team down quite badly, with whoever was batting at six, usually occupying the crease between the 15th and 20th over.
It was not all doom and gloom though; when the team got it right and availability was strong, it was capable of beating any other team in the league. This showed with consecutive wins against three very strong teams Ashtead, Reigate Priory and Weybridge.
A few big batting performances did take place surprisingly. Ganesh Nerurkar (101 vs. Weybridge) Rob Griffin (76* vs. Ashtead) and not forgetting the standout innings of the season, Zeeshan Zafar (75 vs. Dulwich).
The bowling overall was good throughout the season. Sadly there was no 5fers but everyone chipped in with wickets, most notably Lee Quincy (4 for 18 vs. Walton on Thames), Amarullah Jan (4 for 33 vs. Reigate) and Richard Clark (4 for 50 vs. Old Whitgiftian’s).
There were some positives to take from the season with, once again, the emergence of some really good talent coming through the junior set up. Lee Quincy, George Duckworth and Amarullah Jan (all U14) showed they have a great future ahead of them and from the start to the finish of the season.
Thank you all for your support.
Walton on Thames 3rd XI
2018 was another challenging season but contained some superb individual and team performances, leading to a second successive 8th place finish.
The summer began poorly with three heavy defeats but the first win came thanks to a fine 69* from Jon Greet (301 runs at 30) chasing 185 against Old Whits. That kick-started the season and some solid performances followed, including beating local rivals Sunbury chasing 203 and a gutsy losing draw away at Spencer thanks to a flawless 105 from Olly Davis.
U15 Uddhav Umakanthan and U14 Michael Simpson established themselves as key members of the squad, performing excellently in their first season for the 3rd XI, with the latter scoring his maiden 3s fifty at Ashtead. A trio of victories in the final timed matches included a devastating 6 for 22 from newcomer Kurt Clarke against Sutton, a 10 wicket victory over Old Whits and concluded with a fine win over neighbours Weybridge with Cam Allen and Tom Cates both registering unbeaten fifties to take the team home after Dan O’Connell took 5 for 42 in the first innings.
Yet again, it was the bowling of the evergreen Ed Thom (21 wkts at 25) that led the way with Josh Thomas, Uddhav Umakanthan and Connor Hobbs all putting in excellent spells throughout the summer.
A fantastic chase of 213 to do the double at Sunbury epitomised the fight and determination within the squad and went a huge way to securing the team’s top flight status. A well-constructed 66 from Jonny Wright led the way with the middle and lower order (Connor Hobbs 24*) chipping in to secure the win with 1 over and 2 wickets to spare.
In the end, a few bonus points gained away at Dulwich was enough to survive with one game to spare. The team aims to be challenging higher up the table in 2019.
Weybridge 3rd XI
The 3rd XI freshly from a winter off after securing the 1st Division title went into this season full of confidence, even thinking of pushing for the title and after 8 games it was on. The team started the season with an unbeaten run including 5 wins and 3 draws to leave the 3s second by 4 points and dreaming that the first Premier League title was coming home. However, the team was derailed by serious injuries to 3 key members and poor availability from the sides above. Only 2 more victories were recorded in the last 10 games meaning a mid-table finish was all the lads achieved in what could have been a special season.
The majority of the damage was done by Nayeem Afridi (14 wickets), Tan Ashhar (13) and Ed Edge (12) with the ball and Simran Singh (359 runs at 52), Dave Wotherspoon (237 at 34) and Tim Cross (212) but he only played in 2 games including a career best of 162*. Special note must go to Chris Smith and Gurvinder Bains who also hit centuries in what was a good first year back in the prem.
Wimbledon 3rd XI
Having narrowly missed out on the title in 2017, Wimbledon 3rd XI started the season determined to go one better in 2018. Having retained the majority of players from the previous season, plus a few useful additions from outside and the usual production line of young talent coming through, the team was quietly confident of doing just that.
After a routine win and a close fought win away at Dulwich in very heavy, persistent rain, came one of the highlights of the season. An away game at Spencer is always tricky and not a place Wimbledon has had much success in recent years. However, with one of the strongest 3rd XI line ups in recent years on the park, Wimbledon put in a complete display from start to finish. All the bowlers were on song and to bowl out such a strong team for 138 was a great effort. What followed was the rarest of rare sights, a composed run chase where the team was always confident and never looking like losing wickets in clusters! A really important win in the context of the season both for the points and the confidence gained.
With 5 wins on the bounce during the mid-stages of the season, including a particularly enjoyable win over Spencer, before the opportunity arose to win the league and avenge an earlier season defeat at Ashtead. Unfortunately, with a lot of ‘regular’ players missing, Wimbledon were not quite able to get over the line that day but credit must go to Ashtead who were consistently the best cricket side played against this season.
In the end the league was sewn up the following week at Sutton in a really good game of cricket where the all-round talents of Eric Anand and Jak Gaff came to the fore once again and a rare outing from Joel Haverson saw Wimbledon over the line and allowed the champagne to flow.
In the batting department Brad James led the way in both runs and style, with 351 at 35. Leading on the bowling front was De Silva with his 22 wickets at 18. But probably the key contributor over the course of the season was Eric Anand with 212 runs at 23, 14 wickets at 16, 10 fielding catches, 6 keeping catches, 1 stumping, 3 goals, 2 tries and a touchdown!
What was particularly pleasing over a season with such varied availability was the number of young players that were brought into the side and who quickly became key components!