- Old Rutlishians
- Valley End
- Walton on Thames
Beddington 2nd XI finished in its highest place for nearly a decade as a combination of savage hitting, excellent bowling and some very handy new recruits saw the team improve to potentially be a real force for promotion next year.
After great early wins against Sutton, Dulwich and Walton on Thames, the side were all set for what could have been an even better year. The evergreen Scott Dance averaged 45 with the bat and a host of players played match winning innings before disappearing to the 1s.
The later part of the season was one of missed opportunities. The team squandered opportunities at Guildford and Sutton where a likely win turned to defeat and sadly this epitomised the season. There was much promise but just short on regular quality.
In the bowling department Will Bevan led the way with 24 wickets at 16 apiece and notably Ben Butcher with 19 wickets at 23 apiece despite coping with a variety of different nicknames!
With young players like Beeton, Green, O' Sullivan and Gardner the club is well set looking forward and if captain Baker can keep the squad together over the winter, don't be surprised to see a charge for promotion next year.
Cranleigh 2nd XI
The 2018 season was undoubtedly a challenging one for the Cranleigh 2nd XI with several close matches going the wrong way in the latter stages after some valiant but fruitless attempts at taking seemingly unlikely victories.
The season was fraught with ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ like performances, with a failure to build on an early season victory against a strong Beddington only adding to the disappointment of ‘what could have been’.
However, it was not all bad. The introduction of 13 year old leg-spinner Sonny Clephane was a revelation; one to watch for the future. Solid contributions from Tommy Ealham, Harvey Jackson, Will Howard, Sam Wade, Dave Burke, Ryan Anderson, Simon Warren and Sam Bugler, amongst many others, showed what is possible when availability allows. The ever-present Dave White was a source of strength and stability, not to mention his boa constrictor-like spells throughout the season.
Thanks to all who played, supported, and helped out over the season; the team looks forward to 2019 and what it has in store.
Dulwich 2nd XI
The 2018 season was déjà vu for the 2nd XI in terms of the pattern rather than the league position. As in 2017 what looked like a potential promotion challenge in the first half of the season preceded a poor second half and a flirt with relegation. The 6th place finish was about right though a disappointment.
The batting was a mixed bag. When it fired it was good (8 scores of 200+) but when it mattered in the crucial games, or against disciplined bowling attacks, it spluttered a bit. There was an early century from Ed Towner vs. Cranleigh and there were numerous other good performances with 15 half centuries. However, only two batsmen scoring over 200 runs tells a story of a lack of both consistency and availability on occasions. The batting highlight has to be 13 year old Veer Patel’s 70 vs. eventual champions Sutton in a thrilling run chase, an innings that will live long in the memory of the significant crowd that had gathered.
The bowling was also a mixed bag. Good on paper, good in a number of games but on other occasions lacking potency. Only one 5-wicket haul (from Assan Crawford-Khan) signifies a lack of match winning performances, Matt Wright led the way with 24 wickets and newcomer Zach Brown showed huge promise at this level in the second half of the season troubling many batsmen with controlled swing. Special mention is due to 13 year old Ahmed Khan who played the whole season in the 2nd XI bowling his leg spin with a high level of maturity, skill and control. He is a real talent.
Huge thanks as always are due to Reinaldo Frezzato for his umpiring and Jenny Pratt for her scoring, both of whom are important members of the team.
Esher 2nd XI
After winning Division 2 last year, the main aim of the season for the Esher 2nd XI was some stability in Division 1. The season started against Walton with a nervy 3-wicket win. A knock of 45* by Dan Dickenson and a debut 4 for 16 from Jonathan Miles restricted the visitors to 125 all out. Esher then lost to Dulwich in a rain-affected game and were soundly beaten by Valley End in what was arguably Esher’s worst performance of the year; the only high for Esher was a fine innings of 96 by Jamie McCormack.
Esher bounced back by beating Sutton. Archie Stroud’s 106* and 4 for 10 was the standout performance. Esher then beat Old Rutlishians (Harry Alderson 4 for 25) and Cranleigh (Jim Steven 4 for 25 and Almaher Shelley 60). Sadly, a 3-game losing streak would follow, losing to Normandy (Almaher Shelley 50), Guildford and Beddington (Matt Sabben-Clare 60*). The loss to Dulwich earlier in the season was avenged as Esher ran out winners, with 92* by Pete Blackhurst. Esher then lost to Walton (Austin Wilman 4 for 58 and 55) and Sutton.
That prompted a 5-match winning streak, propelling Esher up the table. Austin Wilman’s 63 helped beat Valley End by 3 wickets, then 131 by Almaher Shelley and 52 by Adam Koep saw Esher set-up a 10-run victory against Old Rutlishians. Cranleigh were beaten with Almaher Shelley and Jamie McCormack scoring 50s and fine bowling from Jim Steven, Andrew McCallum, Oscar Nicholson and Freddie Harrison giving Esher a 19-run victory. Normandy were soundly beaten with Andrew McCallum’s 5 for 22 keeping the hosts total down to 84. Beddington travelled to Esher and stand-in captain Alex Mason’s 56 and Ruari Crichard’s 51* helped gain a 7-wicket victory.
The last game of the season saw Guildford thump Esher at home but, with a 3rd place finish guaranteed, Esher could look back with pride on what they had achieved throughout the year.
Guildford 2nd XI
The 2nd XI had three loses in the first seven games and promotion hopes were hanging by a thread.
However, after beating Esher at home the team went on a run of six wins in the all-day format; four bowling second! By the end of the all day games the side was sitting 2nd.
There was a wobble with defeat to Walton but a bounce back to superbly beat Normandy at home and then champions Sutton away.
Promotion was mathematically secured against Old Ruts and the team finished the season off superbly by demolishing Esher.
The strength was an experienced team with real depth in the batting. There were big contributions from Teale, Parker, Appleton and French with the bat. However, Henry Straw was immense with 599 league runs in only 10 innings!
Wickets were shared but Matt Teale showed promise with 21 wickets and Vik Singh's great consistency with 25.
Bring on the Premier in 2019!!!
Normandy 2nd XI
For the 2nd XI the aim at the start of the year was to burst back into the Premier league cricket but when the 1st XI bowlers began dropping like flies the early season enthusiasm and success had to be tempered with a succession of players being lost to the upper echelon.
In the end 5th place was a fair reflection on the season and thanks go to all those from the 3rd XI who helped out (in some instances on a weekly basis) and never let anyone down.
The batting was led by Ross Skidmore with 441 runs at the top of the order and when latterly he found a new opening partner in the emerging Sam Holland the side had found the ideal mix of youth and experience. Holland, the find of the year, stuttered at first after elevation from the 3s, but in the latter part of the season blossomed and his century against Valley End was a season highlight.
Elsewhere Dan Miles scored 428 runs when work commitments meant he could not join the 1st XI and he was the class act in the line-up while skipper Robinson regularly provided the mid innings impetus and 400 league runs have rarely been scored so lustily.
On the bowling front the skipper topped the charts with 37 wickets at 17.8 apiece while the speedy Dan Miles took 24 at under 14, including a devastating 5 for 25 versus Old Ruts. Older brother Chris Miles took 15 with his nagging left armers but otherwise there was insufficient support from the bowlers to lift the side above mid table.
Richard Burton proved invaluable behind the stumps and contributed important runs while latterly the return of George Mackenzie and Sam Jelley added some reliability to the side.
Thanks to umpires David Iliffe and Russell Home (the latter will be much missed after hanging up his coat) and to scorer Geoff Burton.
Old Rutlishians 2nd XI
The 2018 season saw the 2nd XI begin their 4th consecutive campaign in Division 1. Despite finding themselves in a relegation battle for large parts, the team dug deep and got the points to secure Division 1 cricket for a 5th year running. The season saw 18 games played; 6 wins, 3 draws, 8 defeats and 1 abandoned at Walton. It always rains at Walton!
There were some brilliant individual and team performances throughout the season. None more so evident from the first win of the season away to eventual champions, Sutton where the side chased down 210 with little trouble. A special mention goes to Dan Taylor for taking 5 wickets and hitting 76 in a match winning performance. In addition, young Fraser trimmings saw the team home with a mature, unbeaten 24.
It was brilliant to see the young players break into the team with the likes of Ayush Patel, Vinay Patel and Asad Khan stepping up. One notable performance was the important win over Walton on Thames where Vinay Patel opened the bowling alongside Stephen Chick where both took 5 wickets apiece to win the game.
There were plenty of other fine performances with the ball, many of those coming from the ever- consistent Chick who took 22 wickets at 13.41.
However, for hitting 395 runs at 39.5, taking some important catches behind the stumps and offering valuable advice on and off the pitch throughout the season, the Player of the Season was Cory Nelson.
A special mention goes to Jonathan Mapp, who took the reins while Watson carried out 1st XI duties and did an excellent job in his absence.
Despite results not always going the right way, the team can certainly be proud of the success at bringing through young, talented cricketers which bodes well for the future. It has been a pleasure to captain this side and everyone looks forward to the 2019 season.
Sutton 2nd XI
'A season of missed chances’ just about summed up the 2017 season and by God did the team not let those ghosts come back to haunt in 2018!
Well, that was not the thinking after the first 4 games of the season where 3 losses and an abandoned game left the team rock bottom of the league with 10 points; deja vu was starting to set in. The team then went into the time games and how thing changed!
Away at Cranleigh, Connor Griffin took 4 for 23 in his 14 overs restricting them to 120 all out. A ‘charming’ 50 from Luke Smith and a quick fire 24 from 14 balls for Chris Morris set the team onto winning ways. This win certainly helped the team talk the following week. After a gritty maiden league 50 for Connor in the 186 ao it was over to the bowlers, Sam Blake this week with 4 for 33, eventually skittling the opposition out for 171. A tremendous bowling performance and the favourite game of the season!
Away at Guildford, Aneesh Jhalla produced the season’s best bowling performance with 6 for 15, which helped the team to 3 wins on the bounce, giving some momentum for the season.
The wins just kept coming in the 100 over format of the game, in all 9! It did not stop there; 2 more wins came in the 50 over format, making it 11 on the bounce, and promotion was secured. A good feeling!
Guildford bought the team back down to earth the following week and clawed back the deficit built up. A win at Dulwich was slightly soured after hearing that Guildford had too won, meaning the team went into the final game of the season still needing 4 points.
In a season dominated by the opening bowling attack, Sam Blake (32 wkts at 18) and Connor Griffin (26 at 21), supported by the little wizard Aneesh Jhalla (32 at 16), it was time for the batters to step up. A wonderful partnership of 158 from what turned out to be the highest run scorers (Josh Blake 712 at 42 and Sam Woods 501 at 30), put Sutton on the way to the 225 needed with veteran all-rounder, Sam Schofield, giving a little fist pump as he scrambled to that with a single!
The loss to Walton in the final game was a bitter pill to swallow but does not stop everyone saying "We did it…..We are the Champions!!!"
Roll on Premiership Cricket!!
Valley End 2nd XI
Winning the final two matches of the season to hang onto a Division 1 spot for next summer added a little shine to an otherwise disappointing season.
There were a number of close finishes; in a cracking game at Normandy, defending 260 the team just held on in the final overs to win by 6 runs.
However, despite regularly getting into strong positions, the team invariably missed chances or lost wickets to eventually come out second best.
Availability was the usual roller-coaster. The most notable weekend featured a swing of 14 players being unavailable from the top two teams from one Saturday to the next.
Keith Fisher topped the batting, though this was due largely to being the only 2nd XI batter not to spend half the summer with the 1st XI, and Sam Reedman was the leading wicket taker with 25.
Walton on Thames 2nd XI
2018 saw the 2nd XI attempt to consolidate after a number of changes throughout the club. However, after a tough start to the season the side struggled to put together complete performances as often as was necessary. Good first halves of games were let down by poor second halves and vice versa, which left the team in a tight and ultimately fruitless scrap to avoid relegation. However, relegation on countback also felt unfortunate; few sides will ever have been relegated with as many as 175 points, nor with a season record of six wins and eight defeats. Not even an epic chase of 250 against champions Sutton on the final day was quite enough.
There were many positives to take from the season with notable bowling performances from newcomer Rob Kraus as well as old hands Paul Bainbridge and Asad Rizvi. Youngster Alex Minsull also shone as a spinner and the slow men were supplemented well by the return of Liam Desai’s wily medium-pacers. The seamers often struggled, although Luke Minshull battled away with the new ball.
The batting struggled to perform consistently, with a number of players dogged by starts which they failed to convert. Asad Rizvi’s early hundred against Cranleigh was not followed up; Paddy Haddow looked the part throughout but too often found his pad between ball and stumps, though captain Mike McDonagh found success in his new batting role in the middle order, leading the scoring with 430 for the year. Matt Haddow made key contributions when available but the line-up too often lacked cohesion.
A disappointing result at the end of the year, but good things too upon which to reflect, and a hugely talented group of players will pick themselves up as they aim to come straight back up in 2019.