- Battersea Ironsides
- East Molesey
- Walton on Thames
- Woking & Horsell
The usual slow start because of availability issues did not materialise picking up two key wins and a concession after a tough first game at 2016 Premier Division champions, and eventual league winners, Spencer. Struggling with first innings scores definitely caused issues throughout the season and losing players to the 3rd team, although not as big an issue as before, did affect options.
There was a breakthrough season for U14 all-rounder Sam Conlan being the leading wicket taker with 13 wickets, as well as weighing in with a first senior 50 with the bat. Dominic Lloyd can count himself unlucky having had more than five times as many chances missed than the 6 he took for many reasons. U14 spinner Ambar Vishnoi only played four games but picked up 8 wickets and his father Gyan was miserly throughout the season giving pressure from one end consistently with his seam bowling.
Batting wise new captain Gareth Amer led the way with 255 runs, Sam Conlan picked up 126 runs and Ben Gale 122 runs. Only six scores of 50+ show where work is needed for 2019.
Stand out moments were winning away and then getting a comfortable draw against 2nd placed East Molesey, with Daniel Geddes getting 98 in the draw, Josh Watson losing SEVEN balls in his 88 against Chertsey, a 110 run partnership between Chris Latham and Sam Conlan at Beddington from 23 for 6 and finally a great team performance chasing against Weybridge to secure safety.
Battersea Ironsides 4th XI
The season started with some new players, most of the 2017 squad returning and thus high hopes for a successful season ahead; it did not turn out as hoped for. There was a big squad but poor availability.
There was a good start to the season and then availability across the whole of the Club left the 4th XI struggling. 8 wins was the good news, 10 defeats, including 3 games conceded, the bad news.
Notwithstanding the varied results team spirit remained good and there were some fine performances. Shaigan Khan scored 344 runs at 28.67 and Ross Drabble made 249 at 27.67 including 118 vs. Walton. Ross Drabble also had a good season with the ball taking 21 wickets at 7.86 and was well supported by Nasek Wahhab with 13 wickets at 12.00. Will 2019 be better in terms of getting better availability? Who knows!
Beddington 4th XI
The 4th XI produced another mixed season, not really finding any momentum until the last few weeks of the season. Any suggestion that this uptick in form was related to the captain going on his summer holiday should be greeted with scepticism! A 5th placed finish to the campaign, with 8 wins, 6 loses and 3 draws from the 17 completed games was a fair reflection of this inconsistency but does not reflect the team spirit and fight that was displayed, especially in holding out for draws against Spencer and East Molesey, games where it may have been easier to roll over and head to the bar sooner!
There were a number of notable performances both with bat and ball this season, including a hat trick for Stephen Mann in a 5 for 21 return against Weybridge, when 1st slip finally bribed Manny into bowling three straight balls in a row. Dan Bainbridge’s 5 for 20 from 12 overs against Purley was another bowling highlight. Unsurprisingly Dan and Stephen led the team’s bowling success across the course of the season; Dan with 22 wickets at an average of 11.27 and Stephen with 17 at 11.18. The third leading wicket taker was Jon Cowlin with 10 wickets at 18.
Batting wise, Will Brown fell agonisingly short of a maiden century sweeping his way to 98 to setup a win over Ashtead. The seasons batting stats were headed by player of the season, Martin Richards, having started the season batting far lower in the order, a forthright word with the skipper saw him promoted up to 4 from where he never looked back, scoring 409 runs at an average of 45.44 and second place in the league batting ranks. He was ably supported by Will with 273 (seventh place in the league ranks) and Alan Carroll with 240.
Chertsey 4th XI
After starting the season winless from the first five games, it looked as though this would be a tough campaign for the Chertsey 4th XI. However, a fruitful June, in which the side won two and drew one of their five matches, helped ease some pressure.
Those results sparked an improvement in both confidence and performances and three wins on the bounce in August, against Woking & Horsell, Ashtead and Spencer, ensured that Division 1 status was retained for 2019. By the end of the campaign a seventh-place finish can be both seen as a good result, all things considered, and something to improve upon for 2019.
Star performers for the outfit were Hugh Aish-Lyons with the ball and Craig Skelton with the bat.
Aish-Lyons topped the team’s wicket-taking charts with 17 scalps at 13.59 runs apiece and a best return of 4 for 38 in the win against Woking & Horsell (a game he also scored 28* in during the run chase). Mentioned in the 3rd XI report as well, Joe Clarke had a good season in the 4s too, with 16 wickets at a measly 10.63 and took one of two 5-fors in the side during the season.
Skelton’s team-leading 227 runs came at an average of 28.38, with the highlight a bat-carrying 48* in victory over Ashtead in July. Bill Pulling also broke the 200-run barrier for the side, scoring 201 with a best score of 91.
Tim Beer, Josh Loveridge and Kevin O’Flynn all reached triple figures for the campaign while David Sloan (he of the 3rd XI run feast) scored 99* in his only appearance for the side.
East Molesey 4th XI
At the beginning of the season and participating in Division 1 of the 4th XI section for the first time, mid table would have been a good return for the season’s efforts but to finish second and to gain a second promotion in two seasons was unbelievable.
The juniors made a tremendous contribution to the success of the team with notable performances form Jack Crowther who finished with 24 wickets, the second highest in the league, Dan Sultan 295 runs and Harry Porter 224 runs for the season and Ollie Mills 16 wickets, including one 5 fer. All of the boys that played this season were an absolute credit to the club and testament to the coaching and development program.
Finally a big thank you to Rod Porter, Darius Burge and Keith Tomlinson who with a combined age of 200 brought the average age of the side up, encouraged and organised the boys and most importantly provided transport!
Purley 4th XI
It was a satisfactory season for the 4th XI, with a fourth place finish improving vastly on the bottom spot the previous year, including a comprehensive win over title-winners Spencer showing the potential if a settled side could be put out more often, although better availability throughout the club did help too. One catalyst for improvement was mid-season pick-up James Smith, with 364 runs at 72.8 and an unbeaten century in the Spencer victory, as well as six stumpings. Other contributions came from veterans Nick Hunt (336 at 30.6), Ben Cox with (257) and Alan Thake (256). Nick Hunt also figured prominently in the bowling figures, with 32 wickets at 15.5.
The bowling was a notable improvement thanks to two newcomers adding some youth to the considerable experience. Mulana Umer sent stumps flying and returned 24 wickets at 14.2 as well as providing some entertaining swishing down the order, while Azizullah Hakimy’s box of tricks brought him 18 wickets at 11.6. Hunt and Hakimy both took five-wicket hauls.
Spencer 4th XI
Season 2018 was a total opposite of the season before in every sense possible for the 4th XI. The team played 18 games of which 11 were won, 3 lost and one drawn, one abandoned and an epic tie. Availability was top notch for most of the season and the skipper won more tosses than usual. There were plenty of outstanding performances. Corey Hamilton’s 6 for 11 vs. Ashtead in game 1 was one devastating spell of aggression and discipline at the same time. Also Hasan Jafri’s 92 at Woking and a last ball stunner of a catch to tie the game was a thriller to watch, Dan Shacklock’s blistering 102*at Beddington in a mammoth total of 324, Hussain Jafri’s tight spell of 3 for 26 defending a small total vs. Purley away and Ali Bukhari’s outrageous spell of 3 for 6 at Battersea Ironsides in a decider for the title.
Youngsters too played a big role in a number of wins; under 16 player Moin Khan’s brilliant 93*at Walton on Thames batting second, under 15 Saqlain Aftab’s opening burst of 5 for 18 vs. Weybridge at home and under 16s Yusuf Saleem’s patient but solid knock of 62 that played a big part in winning the title at the end vs. Battersea Ironsides.
Top three in the batting department were Hasan Jafri 438 runs at 29.20, Moin Khan 218 runs at 72.67 and Aun Naqvi 189 at 21. Top three bowlers were Wajahat Abbas 22 wickets at 15.32, Corey Hamilton 20 at 9.20 and Hussain Jafri 14 at 14.86. Best all-rounder Ali Bukhari scoring 110 at 27.50 in the lower order and taking 11 wickets at 15.55 with his leggies. Best fielder by far with much improved wicket keeping skills over the previous year would be Aun Naqvi with 21 victims in the 4th XI of which 12 were caught and 9 were stumped who also ended up at the top of the wicket-keeping chart for the club in league games with 27 victims in total.
Overall a brilliant season no doubt for the 4th XI, going right back where they belong in the top flight, the Premiership. The team look to build on this season’s performances and also push the youngsters coming through who will no doubt go on to play for higher XIs.
Walton on Thames 4th XI
The Walton-on-Thames 4th XI fought hard all season long in an attempt to stave off back-to-back relegations and almost pulled it off. Hard fought victories against Weybridge and Beddington proved not enough as Ashtead pulled away with a game to go to see Walton relegated.
A typically youthful side saw big performances from Ryan Bradley, Jake Bainbridge and Bobs Hey (all U13) help Walton to their two on-field victories. However, it was Ryan’s dad, Geoff, scoring 89 alongside Sachin Wilde’s 99, that set up the first win at Beddington. Ryan’s 10* was crucial in seeing Walton over the line; for a side with 7 players under the age of 16 to chase down 227, away from home, showed great character.
The other memorable match came against local rivals Weybridge when ugly runs from skipper George Cates and father Tony saw Walton set Weybridge 150 to win. Steve Gray looked like he would see Weybridge over the line with a bludgeoned 55 but Oliver Clarke came to the rescue getting Gray lbw, ending with 3 wickets on the day. Jensen Chau (4 for 26 off 10 overs) and Sammy Davis (3 for 17 of 9.5) shared the other victims as Weybridge were bowled out for 144 in a thrilling finish, another game where Walton showed they had the character and determination to ensure the victory against a well led Weybridge side.
Unfortunately, these two victories were not enough to mitigate three concessions in four weeks at the start of the season as Walton were relegated on the penultimate Saturday.
This was another season in which the Walton youth learnt a lot from playing adult cricket. With some of 2017’s crop already having graduated to the 3s this year it seems sure that more of the young 4s will make the same move up in 2019.
Weybridge 4th XI
It was a tough season for the 4th XI. For the previous few seasons the side has battled to maintain its status in the league despite having to bear the brunt of availability issues in other sides. Unfortunately, this year it was just too much to overcome.
Despite this, there were still many positives to take from the season. Nathan Jones and Henry Francis stepped up from junior cricket and becoming established members of the side which was fantastic to see. The club hopes that they will continue to be a part of the side for years to come and that their success will inspire other young players to want to play as well.
Steve Gray was the leading run scorer and provided some stability at the top of the order and his experience was vital in helping the development of younger players.
Nick Mills was the leading wicket taker and in addition to his bowling he provided a great deal of energy and enthusiasm both on and off the field.
All of this leaves the side with a positive outlook going into next season where a new challenge awaits. In a time where many clubs are struggling to get sides out, the 4th XI have done extremely well to stay together and next season the team should be confident that this will give them a chance to be competitive in a new league.
Woking & Horsell 4th XI
The 4th XI had a very successful season. At times selection was difficult but the side managed to play the majority of games and finish 3rd in the league winning over half of the fixtures.
The standout moment was the draw against Spencer who more or less demolished every team that they played. A few people shined throughout the season. Elliot McPherson performed fantastically as well as his younger brother Alex. Both were happy to play anywhere and get on professionally with the games. A few other juniors played regular as well such as Jude Silverton, Will Carter and Rahman Malik which helped majorly with selection.
Overall a good season and everyone looks forward to pushing for promotion next season.