- Bank of England
- Malden Wanderers
- Old Whitgiftians
- Oxted and Limpsfield
- Walton on Thames
- Worcester Park
Bank of England
BoE finished the season in 5th place with nine wins in a competitive league season.
The team got off to a slower than planned start taking until the 3rd (completed) game to record a win away against Dulwich, notably Charlie O’Brien (432 at 25) scoring an excellent 90 and also stepping up to complete an over at the death to help win the game.
The top order batting was bolstered by the addition of Ed Crowther who together with Damon Ridgway made sure the side regularly achieved competitive totals early in the season. Damon, in his 11th season with the club, caught one of the best catches ever seen against Dorking to ensure Bank’s second win. A game memorable for the destructive hitting by the returning Harry O’Brien and Joe O’Gorman (3 for 38) and Richard Rawlings (4 for 30) bowling in partnership to secure a complete performance.
Halfway into a hot season saw an opening stand of 214 against Oxted & Limpsfield with both openers Richard Rawlings (543 at 30) and newcomer Arvind Mann (480 at 32) scoring their first centuries for the Bank, a feat they each repeated later in the season.
Batting deep, the Bank were consistently giving the bowling attack a score to defend and Kit Winder recorded another excellent season at the Bank leading the attack with 32 wickets at an average of 15.6 and a best of 5 for 26 vs. Walton-on-Thames. He can thank the support he received from the relentless Nikul Ramesh, his opening partner, who bowled brilliantly all year without any luck. Other bowlers included, the attacking leg spin of Joe O’Gorman (27 wickets, best 5 for 36) bowling some incredible spells and controlled bowling from Arvind Maan and Ed Jones.
The Bank will rue small moments which could have seen them win twice as many games but this side continues to build and is well placed to deliver in 2019.
Dorking 1st XI
The season began with promise. New captain Toby Blood and the whole club looked to be in a good place.
The season began with a comfortable victory at home against Dulwich, however, defeats followed away to Walton and Kingstonian, when good positions were squandered with disappointing batting collapses; Bradley Erasmus was the star in these games with his first century for the club. Sanderstead where the next visitors to Pixham Lane and a Dan Douthwaite of 7 for 25 put paid to the visitors batting line up. Dorking knocked the runs off inside 15 overs. Two back to back centuries from Bradley Erasmus led Dorking to victories against Oxted and Worcester Park. It was fantastic to see Andrew Homewood returning to the side with a vital 68 not out.
Throughout the season Dorking excelled with the ball, with Jack Myers (22 wickets), Kieran Corbett (21), Chris Ward (8) and Charlie Edwards (8) all contributing vitally to the wicket column. This added to Dan Douthwaite (36) and Bradley Erasmus (38), Dorking had an attack to trouble any batting line up. A disappointing result against Bank of England brought Dorking back to earth but two wins against Malden Wanderers and Old Whits got Dorking back on the right path; Chris Ward striking a vital 50 against Malden and Cam Pitt making a chanceless 64 helping the cause.
With 6 games to go, Dorking were part of a 6 horse race and were in with a real chance of promotion. There were two further victories against Kingstonian with Erasmus scoring another 100 and Corbett bowling a fiery spell. Sanderstead were skittled at Old Saw Mill when Jonny Gale knocked off the runs with relative ease. A superb Cameron Pitt 100 at Worcester Park kept Dorking in the hunt but ultimately two defeats to Malden Wanderers and Bank meant Dorking fell just short of promotion.
Dulwich 1st XI
The team’s final position of 6th masked what was a difficult season. Most of the season was spent either in, or close to, the relegation positions but an excellent finish, winning four of the last five matches, saw relegation avoided comfortably in the end.
Performances were mixed to say the least ranging from 42 all out vs. Malden Wanderers to posting over 300 in the return vs. Sanderstead. However, four scores of less than 100, with others not much more, is a clear sign that improvement is required in the batting in order to become more competitive. As in recent seasons the bowling, whilst leaving room for improvement, was less of a concern and quite often was the basis for the victories that were achieved.
The spin triumvirate of Salaar Waqar (26 wickets at 17), Patrick George (25 at 14) and Alex Gledhill (19 at 16) all played a crucial part exerting control as well as taking wickets, George in particular, in his first full season at this level, showed a great level of maturity. Support came primarily from seamers Lodwick, Munawar, Crawford-Khan and Ellison who all had their moments with the ball. The latter in particular showed his all-round quality in his first season at this level.
On the batting there were no centuries and only ten 50s. Newcomer Matt Marfani led the way with 329 runs at 33 but too often early wickets were lost leading to being on the back foot from the off and a rear guard action being required.
Signs are positive for 2019, however, as the team is not that far short of competing in the top half of the division.
Thanks as always are due to John Lewis for his immaculate scoring and to all the umpires who give up their time.
Kingstonian 1st XI
Following back-to-back promotions as champions for the 1st XI, 2018 proved to be a frustrating season. Keeping faith with the team which gained the promotions, life was much tougher in Division Two. The first couple of games proved frustrating, with a low scoring affair vs. Old Whitgiftians and an abandoned game. As the weather improved, so did the results, albeit temporarily. An excellent win against a strong Dorking outfit proved the team could mix it in this division, with M Hasan continuing his previous season's form with 4 for 35. A local derby with Malden Wanderers also saw a wonderful high scoring game, with Haroon Ashfaq and Nadeem Shan contributing significant knocks in a narrow loss.
Batting proved to be the team’s downfall in a winnable game against Dulwich but the team made amends against Bank of England with a solid win before a creditable performance against eventual champions Walton on Thames ended in a losing draw. A couple of losses and several draws led to difficulty in picking up points consistently but Rohit Syed's 2nd XI form led to his promotion to the 1st XI and he often proved to be the glue in the middle order, along with skipper Amir Hussain. Dhavyat Udeshi also kept better, game by game, and he proved a useful addition.
Four losses in the final five games followed, with key players like Raza Sikander lost to injury. Sikander (270 runs and 18 wickets) and Nadeem Shan (254 runs and 15 wickets) ended the season as the team's top all-rounders, while opener Haroon Ashfaq provided the runs at the top with 574. Abdul Aziz again troubled oppositions with 19 wickets, while Haseeb Ahmed Mubashir’s spin picked up an excellent 21 wickets.
Despite the disappointment of relegation, the team, and the club, have come a long way in the last three years and everybody is relishing the challenge the forthcoming season will present to gain back promotion to Division Two.
Malden Wanderers 1st XI
In a fiercely competitive three-horse promotion race, the 1st XI confirmed elevation to the first Division for 2019, edging past Dorking on the penultimate day of an exceptionally hard-fought season. Early victories over Oxted, eventual league winners Walton, and Kingstonian built momentum; Stan Harrison and Alex Butler excelling with the bat, a theme that would recur throughout the season.
The timed format brought victory at Old Whitgiftians, before progress was checked by defeat at home to neighbours Worcester Park. More wins followed, firstly overhauling Bank of England’s 250 with just three balls remaining, largely due to more runs from Butler and a magnificent unbeaten century from Pete Young, before Kevin Boudville dismantled Dulwich’s batting as they were dismissed for just 45, the game completed inside 35 overs.
A spate of injuries preceded a tough run of games where the side was firstly unable to withstand Dorking’s bowling unit, then struggled to force a result bowling second against dogged resistance from Oxted and Kingstonian. Victory at Sanderstead kept Malden in touch with leaders Walton, who were beaten for the second time, Butler and Tom Long partnering with the bat to secure 24 points and set up four huge games.
In the first, Malden overturned Old Whit’s 296, Alex Redmayne sweeping the last ball of the match for four with one wicket in hand, after Butler had played his second match-defining innings in as many weeks. In the second, Malden defeated Worcester Park for the first time in two seasons, before a nine-wicket win over Bank set up a winner-takes-all showdown for promotion with Dorking.
In it, Malden restricted Dorking to 160, James Rimmer’s off breaks too good on this occasion for the Dorking top order, the game hinging on a staggering diving catch from Joe Lavender to dismiss key man Erasmus. Despite wobbling to 90 for 5 in reply, Malden maintained calm heads in the chase, Young and Long combining for what proved to be the defining partnership of the year. Young’s crunching pull for four took Malden over the line to spark memorable scenes in the shadow of Box Hill.
Thanks as ever to those behind the scenes at the club, without whom it would not be possible to turn out year after year. It was a season in which off-field efforts were matched with a renewed focus from the playing group, one that ultimately translated into league success and revived hopes for a side who feel there is plenty more to achieve in 2019.
Old Whitgiftians 1st XI
2018 was another tough season for the side as they were relegated for the second year running. The team struggled to capitalise on opportunities in the field to secure victories and lacked consistency with the bat, only passing 200 five times all season.
Highlights were the early season victories against Kingstonian and Bank of England and the loss to Malden Wanderers, who won off the final ball of the innings by one wicket.
The batting was led by Fawad Syed, who scored 740 runs, including three hundreds at 56.92 and Shaz Rana who scored 449 runs at 29.93. The bowling was led by the spinners, Harshil Shah (20 wickets at 20.15) and Shaz Rana (18 at 20), whilst the seam attack was led by Suliman Younas (19 at 28.37).
The side will look to strengthen after losing key players before and during the 2018 season and hopes to secure promotion back to Division Two in 2019.
Congratulations to Malden Wanderers and Walton on Thames, who were clearly the best teams in the division. Thanks also to all the clubs for their hospitality, the umpires for their commitment to the game and finally to scorer, David Hagger.
Oxted and Limpsfield 1st XI
It was a long and challenging season for the 1st XI; definitely the most demanding in recent history ultimately ended with a miraculous escape from relegation.
The contrasts between the 2017 and 2018 seasons are vast and interesting. The main differences were between battling for the glory of promotion vs. the impending gloom of relegation; a large talented squad vs. an extremely small and youthful squad; successes vs. learning experiences.
With numerous established players not being available this season opportunities galore became available for the talented young players being produced by the exciting junior coaching programmes. The club has full faith in the young cohort that will continue to develop and make everyone extremely proud in future seasons.
With points being hard to come by and wins even harder it would be correct to say that the three main elements of cricket did not often come together well for the majority of the season and performances ensured the side occupied 9th or 10th place for most of the season.
The batting was probably the best skill on display throughout the season with Jack Lloyd (845 runs) and captain Simon Jackson (792) leading the way and ending 2nd and 3rd respectively in the division tables.
With three leagues games to go the team was still in with a mathematically chance of survival. Win the remaining three fixtures and hope for some unlikely results from other teams in the last week.
Great team performances ensured that the three victories were secured and somehow all the other results went the right way (including no bonus points being earned by other contenders). One solitary point was the difference at the end of eighteen league fixtures and the resulting 8th place was good enough for this year but with significant improvement required in 2019.
That one point could have come from anywhere throughout the season and for this reason every player who played for O&L CC this season must be commended and thanked.
Sanderstead 1st XI
After three consecutive promotions, the priority for 2018 was to cement a place in Division 2 and build towards next season, something which was achieved with great success, finishing comfortably in fourth place.
With 4 new players joining the first team this year, it took a while to work out the best combination and as a result the batting was below par for the first part of the season. Despite that, Shareef Hassan constantly looked a threat, ending the season just shy of 500 runs which were all scored in a classy and destructive manner. Sam Owen’s promotion to the opening spot half way through the season paid dividends and he top scored in the second half of the season finishing with 304 runs. Tyler Ward found a new home at number 3 which he crowned with a chanceless 100* at Bank of England.
The bowling, as ever, was Sanderstead’s strength, with George Jackson and Nicholas Wilson taking 70 wickets between them as they formed arguably the division's stand out opening partnership. George would have finished as the divisions leading wicket taker comfortably if not for an injury which kept him out of bowling for the last four games and stranded on 36 wickets. Simon Carter finally found a slow bowling partner in Shareef and the two of them were constantly responsible for pulling the run rate back as well as picking up a handy 20 and 19 wickets respectively. Special mention to Jonny Lock who took 6 for 64 on a batters paradise at Bank of England and James Allen who had a season blighted by injury, but came back strongly at the end, picking up wickets and reminding everyone how threatening he can be with a swinging ball.
With an exceptionally young side, the team can be very proud of what they achieved this season on the pitch and even prouder of what they did off of it!
Walton on Thames 1st XI
After a miserable 2017 season, the 1st XI returned to Division 2 with cautious optimism amid many changes at the club. With several players moving on after the unsuccessful Division 1 campaign, 2018 saw several new faces arrive including a new captain in Dan Roberts.
In this context, the target was always consolidation in Division 2 with a view to pushing on in 2019. However, this aim quickly became obsolete as a string of fine performances and results saw Walton cement themselves in a three-way battle for promotion with Malden Wanderers and Dorking.
With high pressure on each match, excellent performances from all three sides led to a tight finish but on the penultimate weekend Walton secured a return to Division 1 at the first time of asking; the Division 2 title followed a week later at Old Whitgiftians. Crucial to the team’s success were its repeated wins in close, high-stakes affairs, notably both matches against Dorking, along with nail-biters against Worcester Park, at Oxted and at Dulwich.
Throughout the year there were many outstanding performances, notably in the batting department, where individuals were able to far improve on what they achieved in 2017. Young overseas player Eben Botha scored 552 at 34.50, new captain Dan Roberts made 507 at 33.8 as he jumped successfully from the lower leagues and James Madoc-Jones’s 459 at 32.79 was capped by a fine hundred on the last weekend. All three exceeded 2017’s highest total by more than 100.
However, the side’s greatest strength was in the bowling department, with club stalwart Mark Bainbridge taking 39 wickets at 11.95 as well as scoring 309 runs at 34.33. Jack Dominy again proved crucial with 31 wickets at 15.71 and another all-rounder in Matthew Nichols managed 26 wickets at 19.42 as well as 347 runs at 38.56, proving invaluable to the side’s fortunes. Eben Botha (20) and Ben Monk (12) also made regular contributions with the ball and opposition sides were often restricted in both formats.
Overall, huge strides were made in a short space of time as the team turned around a disappointing 2017 campaign to strike straight back in 2018. The players will feel better prepared for the rigours of Division 1 for this tough but exciting and ultimately successful season. Finally, many thanks to all those who assisted the team off the pitch, especially ever-present scorer Lawrence Nichols and those preparing the teas and the ground on a weekly basis. The side looks forward to the challenge of 2019.
Worcester Park 1st XI
Due to poor player availability and lack of depth in the squad, 2018 was a disappointing year for Worcester Park. The final tally of 6 wins 2 draws and 10 losses resulted in the 1st X1 finishing in 7th position.
The batting was led by Joe Hill with (716 runs at 59.67 with 1 hundred and 5 fifties). This was supported by his brother Rob (508 at 56.44 with 5 fifties). Other contributions came from skipper Kent (391) and Danny Palmer (289).
The bowling was dominated by the spin department of Waqas Sager (24 wickets at 19.50) with a best of 5 for 46 and Mike Arundell (21 at 24.90). The leading pace bowler was John Faller-fritsch (19).
Special thanks go to Alan Housden for scoring every week and also, many thanks to Barry and Adrian for preparing fantastic pitches.