The weather has given us absolute murders over the last few weeks and thankfully Summer looks like its on the way at last. Just in time, just in time, as... the 5th annual Chertsey Premier League tournament lands with a supersonic boom this Sunday.
After much hype and speculation on the terraces the first round festivities begin at 12pm on Sunday with Grove Armada kicking us off against Bourne Stars and the 2020 winners Meads Enforcers in a repeat of last season's final taking on Gogmore Knights shortly after.
So how does it all work? Let's catch you up.
In a T20 format, four franchises (Gogmore Knights, Meads Enforcers, Grove Armada, & Bourne Stars) will play each other over the next three months (in a "round" the last Sunday of the month), and whoever comes out on top of the table after these three rounds is guaranteed a place in the final on Finals Day (the fourth round, Sunday of Bank Holiday in August). Whoever is placed second and third will fight it out on Finals Day in the semi final to meet the aforementioned finalist in the last match to crown our winner. Whoever gets the wooden spoon will take over the pirate ship at the Grove Road end of the ground on Finals Day. Some would argue this is the real prize. Got it? ish?
The four squads have already been picked in the draft we held at the end of April, but now the Captains can bolster their teams each game by picking up to two luxuries (a player from another club) and one Chertsey legend - a Chertsey player who hasn't played in the league last season. If you want to see who's with who after the draft just check out our CPL page over on the website including our squad lists here, and we'll release the teams prior to each game.
The rumours have been rife about which players' services the four Captains are going to secure as their luxuries and legends, with spies circling the various local club grounds over the last couple of weeks looking for players attending secret tap ups: who will secure the services of the Chertsey Prince Ryan Ballerino, surely Jonathan Dodd will be picked up (a switch to the Stars on the cards?), will Ricky Redmond head back to the Knights? Is fan favourite luxury Alan "Big Al" Inwood staying with the Enforcers? Who will nab a Kempton Miah brother, will they both play? Monty Panesar has even been thrown into the mix, an incredible piece of gossip along the lines of Jade Dernbach in previous seasons? Anything can happen...
So let's get down to the nitty gritty, what's the form? Well, depending on your opinion, the stats don't lie, and they say the last time these four teams met (16th August 2020 and in the third penultimate round) the outcome was Grove Armada coming out on top over Bourne Stars, sending them to pirate ship oblivion, Troy Bolger (on the rich list this season going for £4m in the draft and enlisted to Bourne Stars) top scoring for the home grown with 35 for the Armada along with Cameron Wakefield picking up a fistful of wickets (staying this season with the Armada), and the luxuries did the rest of the damage with two Staines & Laleham's players earning their crust - Gordon Leeks top scoring for the Stars with 40 and Ciaran Dunne grabbing two of the three the Armada wickets. Meanwhile the Enforcers were thwarted by the Knights in the second game of the round 151-6 to 150 all out despite eventual orange & purple cap winners John Bailey (he now of Bourne Stars for the 2021 season) & Dave Risk (retained by the Enforcers) putting in shifts (3-8 & 43 respectively). Meads had their revenge though, also meeting the Knights in the Final late August, where Dave Risk & Big Al went big (Big Al hitting some of the biggest sixes we've ever seen) to take it home to the Enforcers' trophy cabinet.
Each round we'll be setting you a challenge, this round we want player nicknames, think Ryan Ballerino aka "The Chertsey Prince", the only rules, keep it clean, and don't be mean. Use the hashtag #cplchallenge or reply to our post going out tomorrow to play along. We've also got a make your own 4 or 6 card on the go, check out here to download.
We have also got some great news regarding sponsorship, we have another sponsor for our scorebox! Say hello to Southern Cross Flooring, who supply, install and restore high quality wooden floors, including parquet. Based in Kew and have been for over 20 years, they offer expertise in the best products and methods for each individual project they face. Contact them for a free quote at www.southerncrossflooring.co.uk. There's still plenty of room on the box and other options available, just head over to our Sponsorship page on the website for more info.
For those who have completed their membership, you can now come down and collect your membership cards on Friday from our Membership Secretary Beth Bailey. The bar will be open too, after we were washed out last Friday. See our opening times below:
Thursday and Friday 6pm to 11pm
Saturday 2pm to 11pm
Sunday 2pm to 10pm
Don't forget your social distancing if you're coming down to spectate - we're currently operating 6 to a table and table service, and make sure you're wearing your mask if you're moving around the clubhouse.
For those who still need to complete your membo sign yourself up here.
A Mr Steve Anthony was the first friendly face through the gates on Saturday due to spectators now being allowed into Club grounds but he was made to wait for play in the 1st XI game v Staines & Laleham after a week of rain left us with a soggy outfield, and while the damp wicket was attended to - towels, leaf blowers, and soppers were utilised play began at 12.40pm. Staines & Laleham batting first found themselves 0-1 and despite a good recovery, wobbled in the middle overs, us gifting a few more runs than we wanted to ideally, S&L ending on 164 all out - Will Cooper completing the innings with his 13th-16th wickets of the season so far. A moist playing surface meant the ball needed to stay hit and the 1st XI started strongly in reply and a resilient performance by the middle order saw the 20 points won in the 36th over and our only win of the day.
The 2nd XI faced a strong Malden Wanderers side away from home, who elected to field first, the best decision of the day with bad weather forecasted later on for any captain (the 3rd XI match was called off at Camberley Friday morning). Our Captain Wiggins with a hard fought 25 was unlucky not to push on and Chertsey came the wrong end out of the low-scoring encounter.
The 4th XI won the toss at the Rec v Valley End and Captain Toone elected to field, Jack Drage on his return bagging two wickets in an over (ending on 3-15), and this seemed to be catching, with Ed Marsh (ending the game with 3) and "Beardy" Steve Reynolds also nabbing two in an over. Halfway through their innings and Valley End found themselves on 73-5, Captain Toone catching a brace of wickets, Valley End ending 161 all out. Captain Toone led by example with 22 in return and accumulating a nice shiner to the head in the process, unfortunately Chertsey just couldn't get going and Valley End left with the win.
Sunday saw the return of our favourites the Strollers, taking on a Chertsey Royals XI captained by Boasty, and it was lovely to see the likes of Mr Bussey, Beer, Smith et all back on Chertsey soil - slightly sad though Mr Jay didn't make the trip, we'd made posters and everything. Despite being plagued by downpours, the teams got their exercise in by dragging the covers on and off in their 25-over jaunt. Paul Russell the standout bowler, the Jack Lloyd of his day we think, with more appeals than Blue Peter, meant Umpire Alan was kept on his toes, and Russell bagged 3 of his 4 wickets in his first over alone. At times not sure of the names of his team mates Captain Chenery secured the services of a special guest - Ryan Boast. We frequently have to check the ages of the "Strollers", who are meant to be in their 40th year (Stuart Eagles just squeezed in) but we allowed the youth in this once just to give Boast Senior a surprise - and this paid off with Boast Senior being caught at short third man by Boast Junior on 43. The Strollers, set 98 to win, romped to victory with 5 overs to spare.
The Ladies took on Walton in a rearranged league match on Wednesday evening, and in an entertaining game at the club we saw some amazing stats, Amy Bailey taking (we think) the first ever 5-fer for the Ladies, helping reduce Walton to 113-8. In reply Molly Sellars and Mary O'Farrell put on a incredible 80 run stand for the 4th wicket, Molly ending 61* (her first 50 for the Ladies), Mary 21* and ending the night with a valuable win.
Saturday 22nd May
1st XI 165-6 v Staines & Laleham 164 a/o
Dave Risk 36, Will Cooper 4-28
2nd XI 64 a/o v Malden Wanderers 68-1
Matt Wiggins 25, Josh Jackman 1-16
3rd XI v Camberley - Abandoned
4th XI 107 a/o v Valley End 161 a/o
Sam Toone 22, Jack Drage 3-15, Ed Marsh 3-37
Wednesday 26th May
U13 dev 72 a/o v Esher 117-5
Kit Schofield 14, Aidan Cassin 2-16
League - Ladies 114-3 v Walton on Thames 113-8
Molly Sellars 61*, Amy Bailey 5-21
Thursday 27th May
Social League - Dads Army v Marist (H)
Social League - Otters 11 v Salesian (HAbb)
U10s v Esher
Saturday 29th May
Surrey Championship - 1st XI v Hampton Wick (A) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 2nd XI v Old Rutlishians (H) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 3rd XI v Ashford (HRec) 1pm start
Surrey Championship - 4th XI v Shepperton (A) 1pm start
Sunday 30th May
CPL - Grove Armada v Bourne Stars 12pm start
CPL - Meads Enforcers v Gogmore Knights 3pm start
U9s v Camberley
U10s v Valley End
U12s v Byfleet
U14s v Maori Oxshott
U14 dev v Long Ditton
Monday 31st May
U10s dev v East Molesey
U15s v Finchampstead
Wednesday 2nd June
U9 dev v Malden Wanderers
U10 dev v Esher
U14s v Chobham
Dates For Your Diary
30th May - CPL Round 1
27th June - CPL Round 2
11th July - Colts Day
18th July - President's Day
25th July - CPL Round 3
29th August - CPL Finals Day
We are pleased to announce some good news - the Club has secured an ECB "Inspired to Play" grant which aims to increase the number of new colts and ladies into recreational cricket this season, so watch this space...
We'll see Sunday you for round one... bring some nice nibbles.