We're coming to that time where we leave you to your own devices over the Winter (and my God doesn't it feel like Winter already), which has all the signs that we're firmly entering into the bonus season - seeing as we have just one Saturday left of the league. And it's a big Saturday. All eyes will be on the 1s to see if they can secure promotion against Purley at home and enter the heady wilds of Division Three. Eeeek! Fingers crossed. It feels as if it was only yesterday we were wishing you all go wells as you embarked on the new season, and what a rollercoaster of a season it's been, much to keep us busy and entertained with some fantastic tournaments, three Colts league wins and a table topping from the Ladies so far under our belts already. We're just not quite ready to pack away the stumps just yet though.
Opening the Batting
As we start preparing for the end of the season, one thing that has become a regular in the close down is the Surrey Cricket Foundation Player's Survey - the senior's and ladies' chance to share their views on all things playing. There will also be a prize draw for players completing the survey with some fantastic prizes on offer:
The survey will run until Sunday 26th September with the prize draw taking place shortly after the survey ends, so click here to complete.
Another end of season staple is the post-match end of season drinks, and this year is no different, so dig out your best Hawaiian shirt and let's see off the league season in style with the inaugural beach party, we can pretend its 30 degrees can't we - starting once all teams are back on Saturday evening.
So let's revisit last Saturday, the penultimate round of the league. In a possible first for this season (shall we check? Meh) all teams were batting first (and just as well), and three teams were live-scored on Play Cricket (this makes us happy). The 2s were at the Club taking on Banstead and had three Colts in their midst - Ed Marsh, Ethan Austin (on 2s debut), and Josh Fyfe. Batting first, the top order fared well, Paul Hardwick with 20, Cade Skelton 17, Jack Perks 12, all out for 82, Ethan Austin not out. In reply it seemed game on with Banstead two down for five runs and three ducks throughout the innings but a handful of good knocks pushed them over the line.
There was definitely something in the water Saturday, maybe it was the need to bump up that average before the books close, and over at the Rec with the 3s (v Normandy) runs were shared out amongst the herd, Dan Perks 18, four fours, Fin Lloyd 14, Kevin O'Flynn biffing it about for 27, Troy Bolger 33 from 46 balls, Arthur Walmsley continuing to impress with the bat with 20, James Pearson chipping in with 10, and Joe Blanks with a see ball hit ball 11 from 7, the team putting on 194 all out, an epic score.
We set ourselves a (STUPID, it was a good idea in 2020) challenge of trying to get to every Saturday game (think Challenge Anneka in a red Peugeot) - and after some technical issues early on in the day (we broke the internet) there was only about four hours to do it in. What we actually saw is in italic for info if you were wondering why the text was on the cack and the details sparse.
So on to our next stop Whiteley Village v 4s where you find an apology. Whiteley Village is a lovely place. We just wish we could have spent more time there. The 4s were strengthened by a knock of 34 from Sam Toone, and Beardy Steve impressed his fan club with 26 from 40, leaving the 4s 112 all out. In the time we were there they bagged the first wicket of the Saturday afternoon, Dylan Pandya working hard to bowl the opener, Sam Toone wearing a few to stop the runs, wicketkeeper Denis, our third Perks of the day we visited, in the mix with three catches and a stumping and its pretty much at this point we leave you to head over to the 1s for reasons that will become clear. While we were gone with time in short supply the 4s struggled to get two and three, but enter stage left Mr Josh Hawksley of the league-winning U13s. Josh was one of three Colts in the team (Mr Pandya & Mark Lemon), and went on to achieve astonishing figures of 4-5 off just three overs (3 aided by Denis and #4 a bowldy), his best figures of the season, and (even though we weren't there) firmly our moment of the day. Huge round of applause young Sir and we're just sorry we missed it. Despite all this, back to the outcome - two and three inflicted some irreparable damage before they got the heave-ho and the 4s' fate was sealed. Tell you what though - four on debut... Top job. The 4s are safe in their league and if they win against Malden on Saturday may finally end their league table tango with Shepperton ahead of them. We wouldn't miss it.
To Thames Ditton. The 1s over at Old Pauline started losing a couple of early wickets but with the help of Elliott Bloomfield (70) and Karthik Menon (47) they ran amok, putting on 112 for their solid partnership, along with Ben Hanger and Jack Ogle who put on 98 for theirs, the team ending on 256-5, their best total this season. Old Pauline in reply found themselves 4-3 (hence the need to get over there sharpish) and as four and five tried to rebuild and push on the aim was to ideally get a few more out to put the squeeze on and squeeze they did with wickets four, five and six departing before the hundred was up. There were three wickets in four runs in the bank via Will Cooper's spinny trickery and it was just a matter of time before the Pauline fell, a win by 113 runs and the rest of the wickets were shared around the team. A great game for the spectator. The 1s now require two points to gain promotion to Division Three, be it by straight win and/or via bonus points at home to Purley on Saturday.
Back to the Rec and the opener was bowled by Troy Bolger with Normandy on 0 and of the eight bowlers lobbing the cherry it was the two Joes (Clarke and Blanks) with the best economy, 2.22 and 3 respectively and five maidens between them, and again wickets were shared around the team, but they struggled in the middle overs to nick a few more which left the gate open for Normandy to edge towards the target. The 3s pushed them right to the end though, with the win coming with five balls to go. The 3s are safe, and like the 4s can go ahead of Normandy if results go their way on Saturday.
Sunday continued our smorgasbord of cricket with the culmination of the 5th annual Chertsey Premier League tournament. First up we needed to complete the Semi-Final, the Grove Armada taking on Meads Enforcers to see who would be taking on the Gogmore Knights in the Final. The Insta crowd voting as the game went on swayed towards Meads Enforcers on the win predictor but the Armada were confident, erecting their flag ten minutes into the game. If their intention was to bring some luck it didn't initially work, and batting first, they lost talisman David Sloan in at three very early on to Josh Fyfe for 2, stunning the crowd into silence. The Armada looked in trouble but it was the middle order of Jacob Loveridge, Cade Skelton, and Fin Lloyd who stacked up the runs, putting on 78 between them, going from 22-3 to 110-6. We had a Nuti-Nuti partnership (omitted that one from the bingo card) in which Nuti Snr thinks he lapped Nuti Jnr... We're not so sure. The Enforcers let go 24 extras during the game but wickets were shared around - Josh Fyfe, Joe Clarke, and Gary Porter two each and Hugh Aish-Lyons the one, and the Enforcers required 133 to win for a place in the Final.
The game's outcome swung throughout the second innings, too close to call at times, and with a run-shy pitch the Enforcers took a while to get going, but at 20-2 after 4 overs it was time for luxury "Big Al" Inwood and his big hitting to try and make a dent, and it wasn't just boundaries he went for, it was players too (unintentionally), for which Cade Skelton can attest. 8 in and the Enforcers were still shy at 37-3, but Big Al hung on in there for a valuable 38, Captain Ben Hanger putting on a steady 20, but it was all to no avail with wickets tumbling in the lower order and it was decided the Armada would meet the Knights in the Final, part-time bowler David Sloan throwing his cap into the bowling ring too with two wickets for the Armada. Anything can happen in the CPL.
So going into the Final there were a lot of things we needed to resolve, and a lot of history to be rewritten. Interest in the side-tournament - the bowling and batting awards needed to be settled with Zeeshan Mehtab now 50 away from David Sloan and Joe Clarke leading with 8 wickets but taking no part in the Final, hoping the Armada bowlers hot on his heels had run out of steam. Interestingly the Insta crowd predicted an Armada win going into the game and opening up David Sloan made up for lost time hitting into the Football Club repeatedly for a quick-fire 44, succumbing to the hands of... Zeeshan Mehtab. The Armada looked steady, but three quick wickets just after the halfway point slowed them down and the lustre they had at the beginning of the innings faded, ending on 127-8. Ed Marsh impressing with two wickets and an epic c&b from Will Cooper in amongst the mix.
The Armada had one change going into the game, legend Dan Shepherd a late shoe-in in for Dan Perks after picking up an injury in the Semi-Final, and he proved his legendary status by claiming the top three's wickets with his wibbly wobbly spin - shocking the two luxuries Ozman and Bhat who had made a rather large dent in the total during their tenure along with Paul Hardwick. We waited and waited for the appearance of Zeeshan to conclude what was turning into a grand battle with the Armada's Sloan and when he came in at four it became apparent he'd run out of time to win the cap with the score so far along and time running out, but there was still work to do - and the partnership with Jack Ogle proved crucial to winning the title in the 15th over, putting on 63 between them.
So we have our winner. The Gogmore Knights were the only team to win the title playing the least amount of games and picking up no bonus points, they were just a class above. We look forward to next year which intends to be bigger and bolder than ever before...
Oh, hang on, the side-tournament! Joe Clarke wins the bowling award with 8 wickets, and David Sloan picked up the best batsman cap with 252 runs thoughout the tournament, also adding a Moment of the Round as voted by the Insta crowd to his trophy cabinet for his two wickets and 46 runs across the day.
Saturday 28th August
Surrey Championship - 1st XI 256-5 v Old Pauline 143 a/o
Elliott Bloomfield 70, Will Cooper 3-42
Surrey Championship - 2nd XI 82 a/o v Banstead 84-5
Paul Hardwick 20, John Bailey 2-12, Hugh Aish-Lyons 2-16
Surrey Championship - 3rd XI 194 a/o v Normandy 195-8
Troy Bolger 33, Joe Clarke 3-20
Surrey Championship - 4th XI 112 a/o v Walton on Thames 113-6
Sam Toone 34, Josh Hawksley 4-5
Sunday 29th August
CPL Semi Final - Grove Armada 132 a/o v Meads Enforcers 114 a/o
Grove Armada: Jacob Loveridge 31, Josh Jackman 3-13, Jacob Loveridge 3-23
Meads Enforcers: Allan Inwood 38, Josh Fyfe 2-14, Joe Clarke 2-20, Gary Porter 2-31
CPL Final - Grove Armada 127-8 v Gogmore Knights 128-4
Grove Armada: David Sloan 44, Dan Shepherd 3-13
Gogmore Knights: Zeeshan Mehtab 34*, Ed Marsh 2-24
Wednesday 1st September
U15s 57 a/o v Windsor 131-6
Mark Lemon, Mae Pender-Grieb 6, Connaill Keating 1-3, Mae Pender-Grieb 1-12, Charlie Eagles 1-21
Sunday sees the Ladies hosting the Chertsey leg of the softball pairs league, a round-robin format of fast paced cricket using the softer ball, and the culmination of the Senior's League. We've also started padding out the bonus season...
Thursday 2nd September
Friendly - Ladies v Dad's Army (5pm start)
Saturday 4th September
Surrey Championship - 1st XI v Purley (H) 11.30am start
Surrey Championship - 2nd XI v Walton on Thames (A) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 3rd XI v Kingstonian (A) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 4th XI v Malden Wanderers (HRec) 12pm start
Sunday 5th September
Ladies Smash It League v Effingham, Wimbledon, Pyrford, & Walton
Dates for Your Diary
18th September - Colts Dinner
6th November - Fireworks Night
Bonus Season Fixtures
Thursday 2nd – Ladies v Dad’s Army
Sunday 5th – Ladies Smash It League
Saturday 11th – Strollers v Authors
Sunday 12th – Richard Luff Friendly
Saturday 18th – Ladies v Bluebirds (AM) Saturday game TBC
Sunday 19th - Ladies Ashford 8-a-side (A) Sunday game TBC
Saturday's 1st XI home tie v Purley sees Mr Martin Bloomfield sponsoring his last match of the season - many thanks Sir and lets hope it brings the 1s a little bit of luck.
Kohli's out btw...