Well that's July nearly ticked off, we told you it would be a busy one didn't we, we've been lying down in a dark room since Sunday afternoon.
Opening the Batting
Our opener today features something rather exciting - our first piece of silverware this season! Think it deserves a little write up, don’t you?
The U10s were over at Royal Ascot in their penultimate pairs cricket tussle of the Sunday West League last Friday (a rearranged game). Those not familiar with pairs cricket by the way, let's get you up to speed on the format: batting in pairs, each team starts with 200 runs/points and depending on runs and outages (-5 for them so they’re a no-no) this number swings about, creating your final net score and a very entertaining game in the process. There are then points for winning and bonus points handed out when the opposing pairs are compared post-match.
So going into the game it was win this game and the U10s win the league with a game to spare. We think. It all hinged on the win, enough bonus points, and a little bit of fairy dust from results on the Sunday to keep us out of reach from second place Camberley.
The gameplan: 20 overs to get 300+ points to be on the safe side. The U10s batted first and started promisingly, with 57 put on by first pair Max Toogood & Tommy Hawksley, and as the score moved around (Charlie Grant & Harry Mann with excellent composure for the third pair) it was the last pairing Scott Russell and Nathan Osborn who batted solidly to lock in the net score of 314. Game on.
The first wicket came in the first Royal Ascot pairing via Scott but the next proved a bit more elusive as the overs progressed. Runs started to build up, and as bonus points slipped away, at the halfway point the teams were neck and neck on run rate. Nothing was getting past Danny Battams in the field or wickie Oscar Toogood the whole innings though, and Captain Max marshalled his troops superbly. Going into the last pair RA were 289 with Chertsey requiring 5 overs to create a bit of magic. In the 16th over things started to unravel for RA with a wicket and they found themselves back on 289. After a couple of drama-filled overs, going into the last RA required six an over to win but two late wickets at the death meant the target was unassailable and a real team effort win for Chertsey was secured with enough bonus points in the bag for good measure...
Huge congrats to Coach Mark Osborn and his support Coaches, the parents, and most importantly the squad (many of who couldn't be there Friday), we must say we were so impressed with the professionalism and composure on show. Just wait three, four years and they'll be blazing a trail in senior cricket too. We. Can't. Wait.
The weekend was going to be spent rain-dodging (not one of our favourite hobbies to be fair) and the challenge we set ourselves to get to visit every Saturday team was made just a tad more advanced. Sorry 4s.
The 1s were over at Staines & Laleham, and needed points to continue their ascent towards a league title, relying on Kempton to do them a favour to give them a leg up v Hampton Wick if they could thankyou very much.
They lost opener James Richards early on but everyone batting next chipped in with a healthy score, David Sloan and Jake Taylor impressing with their partnership the most. After a downpour took away four overs late on in the innings the 1s went back on with a plan and a handful of overs later Captain Ogle took the decision to declare on 200, feeling it was a total the crumbly Staines & Laleham couldn't chase down and hopeful in anticipation of some rain perhaps later on looking at the forecast to help if needed. In reply S&L had other ideas, as did the weather, and after the 1s took a while to get their eye in, the first wicket came after 56 runs. Not exactly as per the plan. As S&L's two and three dug in the 1s started to build pressure and asked all the right questions but got no luck in return, and it was after 117 that the landslide finally started to come, Will Cooper with a tidy day we must say, two wickets in an over along the way, the team nabbing four wickets for just three runs during that tumultuous period and Jacob Loveridge on the rampage ending the day with career best figures of 6-32 in total. The score eeked to 137-8 due to ten and eleven finding a second wind but the S&L party was cut short finally, the last wicket's hoik coming back down with moon dust on it (Jake Taylor pouched natch) and the Chertsey (what seemed like a tough ask two hours before) party was underway and an end to a cracking game.
The 2s took on top of the table Malden Wanderers at home, and were ominously put in to bat by their opponents. They started well, but by the time Captain Wiggins came in and started smashing it about it was 52-3, and as we watched on at S&L with interest we saw opener Dan Perks reach his fifty, eventually departing on 137-6 with 69 under his belt. Hugh Aish-Lyons was the pick of the lower order bagging 26 off 31, and the 2s went on to end on a competitive 181 all out after 41.3 overs. In reply Hugh Aish-Lyons inflicted most of the damage removing the openers and finishing with figures of 4-46, Arthur Walmsley with two stumpings in the process and the run worm didn't have a lot of difference in course until around the 25th over when Malden just started to break away. The 2s took them to the wire though and kept things tight, but Malden just edged across the line, leaving the 2s not unhappy with things, pleased with their form the last couple of games going into their clash with Old Ruts away on Saturday.
The 3s were looking for some light at the end of the long Div 2 West tunnel over at the Rec v Camberley but it was to be an afternoon of toiling and rued opportunities, with dropped catches giving Camberley an unwelcome foot in the door. Dylan Pandya impressed throughout with three wickets in an over and contributing ten runs later on, as did Joe Blanks with his three early wickets, and in reply James Woolterton took Vishnu Remesh's usual bombastic lead in finding the boundary, Vishnu Yadav topping the batting figures with 19 from 12 balls, but alas it wasn't to be and they came away shy of a win.
The 4s headed over to Valley End for a great opportunity/tough lesson in further cricketing education for the six Colts in their class, two on debut - the U13s' Edith Schofield chipping in with 6 overs, and Barnaby Rowe with his first senior wicket and best figures for the season with 1-19. In reply the total was a tall ask, opener Jack Harris giving it a whack, but it was possibly just too tall an ask and the 4s headed home without the win, class dismissed early.
Let's move on to CPL Round Three Sunday. Looking at the utterly apaling forecast ahead of us going into the day we were lucky to get anything done at all. But with everything to play for rain wasn't going to get in the way of the Meads Enforcers and Grove Armada battling it out for a chance to knock Gogmore Knights off their perch and a bye to the Final. The Enforcers batted first and started verrrrrrrrry nicely, the partnership of Risk & Tindall adding 49 for the Enforcers within four overs, so the Armada had to try something new to shake things up. Step forward David Sloan with the ball (kept that one under your cap), usually renowned for his batting prowess, and coming out of it with the best figures of the team. The Armada fell foul of some dropped catches during the first half of the innings though which just set them back, and the Enforcers capitalised (Risk 19, Wiggins 20) and it was left to stand-in Captain Luke Westcott and Jake Taylor to set about doing some biffing just to be sure, Jake Taylor with some cracking shots, and the innings ended with Joe Clarke obtaining his best batting figures so far this season with 9 runs, Meads ending their innings on 166-8. The rain started to fall heavily during the Armada's innings but they were determined to carry on - Umpire Allan was armed with his brolly so we weren't going anywhere. The Armada lost opener Ravi early to Josh Fyfe but the triple threat juggernaut of Perks - Sloan - Loveridge edged them ever forwards towards the total required. Once Greg Burton had departed at 5th however there wasn't much to come for Jacob Loveridge to pair up with as Joe Clarke had sent most of them back to the pavilion on his way to 4 wickets, apart from enjoying the company of Felix Reisch, who played some lovely classic shots in his innings. In the end though it was a battle between rain and umpires but the Enforcers kept the Armada just out there long enough to carve out a result, and the Armada were short by eighteen.
Sadly conditions for the second game, Knights v Stars were just too soggy and the day was abandoned having given it a good old go.
So where does that leave us going into Finals Day on Sunday August 29th?
Our cert for the pirate ship Bourne Stars are doing just that (ours is an Adonis cocktail when you're ready), and the Meads' win against the Armada keeps them second. Two points each were awarded to the Knights and Stars for the abandoned game, so that means for the second year running, our qualifying finalist is decided by the net run rate - Gogmore Knights, who could win their first title since 2018, or will it be either of the Enforcers or the Armada, who take each other on again in the semi final from 12pm. The Enforcers are the reigning champions, so they'll be looking to be the first team to retain the pink bat, or can the Armada win it for a record third time? We're rewriting history whatever the outcome.
Friday 23rd July
U10s 134-4 v Royal Ascot 116-4
Max Toogood 38, Scott Russell 1-4, Max Toogood 1-12, Nathan Osborn 1-15
Saturday 24th July
Surrey Championship - 1st XI 205-7 dec v Staines & Laleham 169 a/o
David Sloan 38, Jacob Loveridge 6-32
Surrey Championship - 2nd XI 181 a/o v Malden Wanderers 182-8
Dan Perks 69, Hugh Aish-Lyons 4-46
Surrey Championship - 3rd XI 81 a/o v Camberley 187 a/o
Vishnu Yadev 19, Joe Blanks 3-28, Dylan Pandya 3-32
Surrey Championship - 4th XI 81 a/o v Valley End 380-1
Jack Harris 22, Barnaby Rowe 2-19
Sunday 25th July
U13s v Horsley 117 a/o & Send 151 a/o
Luke Russell 30, Aidan Cassin 2-13, Adam Singh 2-23
U14s 138-6 v Esher 146-5
Arthur Walmsley 48, Josh Fyfe 2-16, Mark Lemon 2-31
CPL - Grove Armada 149-7 Meads Enforcers 166-8
Grove Armada: Jacob Loveridge 35 & 2-26, David Sloan 2-15, Josh Jackman 2-23
Meads Enforcers: James Tindall 53, Joe Clarke 4-21
CPL - Gogmore Knights v Bourne Stars - Abandoned
Thursday 29th July
Social League - Academy v Otters 11
Social League - Marist v Pirates
Saturday 31st July
Surrey Championship - 1st XI v Hampton Wick (H) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 2nd XI v Old Rutlishians (A) 12pm start
Surrey Championship - 3rd XI v Ashford (A) 1pm start
Surrey Championship - 4th XI v Shepperton (HRec) 1pm start
Sunday 1st August
U9s v Camberley
U11s v East Molesey
U13s v Windsor
League - Ladies v Horley (H) 2pm start
Wednesday 4th August
U10s v Valley End
U12s v Weybridge Vandals
Dates For Your Diary
29th August - CPL Finals Day
18th September - Colts Dinner
With teams coming to the business end of their seasons, where are we at? Well...
1s - The 1s are currently second in their league, so a win against one point ahead Hampton Wick Saturday won't do their chances of promotion any harm. Picking up pocketfuls of points in the games in the following weeks against Maori Oxshott, Old Emanuel, and Old Pauline will be important to ensure promotion to Div 3.
2s - The 2s find themselves bottom of a tough league, but have found form over the last couple of weeks so hopefully they can have a late surge up the table.
3s - Currently 7th, the 3s will be looking to push up the table and providing points are picked up over the next few weeks, they'll avoid it coming down to the last week to secure a good position.
4s - Currently a comfortable 7th, it's between them and Shepperton dancing around 7th & 8th for the next few weeks to cement their positions and the next two weeks will be important as they take on the bottom two teams.
Ladies - The Ladies have finished top of their north-west Slam table which means they qualify for a knockout tie against their north group second-placed counterparts Richmond on August 11th. In the League in their first season they are 7th with two games to go, the first of which is this Sunday from 2pm against Horley. They also have their softball Smash It league to see them through to the end of the season.
Colts - with one team's league win confirmed (U10s Sunday West), there are two more age groups with silverware in the pipeline: the U12s and U14s, who are in the last throws of their season with a handful of games to go. The dev teams are all but done, the U11s finishing the best so far placed 2nd in their league. Some teams will now enter Summer cups and friendlies, the U11s begin the Jim Warden Trophy, and U13s have just started the Ray Denne Cup.