Team Reports

2023 Season Reports

The 1st XI’s singular objective for the season was to gain promotion, a goal that was decisively secured by winning their division with a game to spare. Rain wreaked havoc on all outdoor preparation and best laid plans were undone, lacking any match practice, when losing badly to Staines & Laleham on a wet wicket in week 2. It was imperative to bounce back immediately and chasing down 240 at Thames Ditton provided just the impetus required. The stand-out performance of the season followed against eventual runners-up Ashford, setting 313 and bowling them out for 98. This was the start of 5 consecutive and defining victories, the last three by winning the toss and batting first in ‘time’ games. A couple of ‘slip-ups’ – poor batting in games despite being in commanding positions – were lessons learned for the future. A nail-biter in the penultimate match at Horley, when batting nerves were ultimately dispelled, proved not only good enough to secure promotion, but also Championship winning as news of Ashford’s abandonment was confirmed. A division-winning season will always have highlights, and although there remains a question as to whether the side actually hit their batting straps, Jayce Morgan’s superb century against Egham and Sam Williams’ maiden 1st XI league century were certainly two. The Vice-Captain ended up with the highest average in the division for anyone with more than 4 innings. The team bowled very well throughout, especially the strike bowlers. Ben Ives was exceptional and ever reliable, topping the division with 34 wickets, and was backed superbly by Jayce Morgan (29 wickets) and Matt Winter (21). It would be thoughtless not to mention the outstanding quality that Robbie Warburton brings to the fielding unit leading the whole Surrey Championship with 31 keeping victims, and also skipper Anthony Brady for the skillful marshalling of his troops. With renewed focus and determination to progress, allied to astute and proactive recruitment, there is no reason to suggest that the team cannot challenge in Division 4 next season.

Having been relegated in 2022, going straight back up was a fantastic achievement in Stephen Self’s first season as captain. Lying 8th in the league after an unimpressive and damp start, nine timed matches, a weakness in previous years, loomed large. However, it was in those games that the team thrived, remaining undefeated for 11 matches that saw the 2nd XI fly up the table. The highlight of these was at Godalming who remained 9 wickets down for 20 overs, with every single man on their hands and knees around the bat. Victory was secured with 6 minutes of play left as an edge finally carried to the shortest of short legs. A great moment after 57 overs of hard work. A win over Horsley & Send sent the 2s top of the league with 3 games left, only for a loss at Merstham to derail championship aspirations but also guarantee promotion with 2 games to spare as other results went in our favour. A slow finish to the season shouldn’t take away from what was a successful campaign. Cameron Lagerberg (295) and Rob Warne (281) scored crucial runs at important times. Nick Cook (29) and Gunjal Patel (25) regularly took wickets, the latter rewarded as Player of the Year bowling with great consistency and accuracy at an average of 11.8 and a 2.5 economy rate. The skipper deserves special credit for leading the Surrey Championship for most catches by an outfielder (18). It is hoped than an excellent team spirit and more consistent batting can help harness the momentum to make a strong push for back-to-back promotions.

Last season provided stability for the 3rd XI. This season was about progression and trying to challenge for promotion. Finishing 3rd was a place higher than in 2022, but unfortunately just short of the promotion places. A big part of the plan continues to be using the 3rd XI as a platform for the more talented juniors to play competitive senior cricket, giving them the opportunity to develop. Not having some of these juniors available for the first half of the season, due to school commitments, meant that we didn’t quite have the batting strength necessary. Four of the first 8 matches were lost, before renewed energy brought victories in every remaining game played bar one, an admirable chase of 236 against Croydon CC, losing to the eventual league winners by just 1 run. Bowling was a team strength, with Mike Armfield (24 wickets) and Mike Brugnoli (21) finishing as the top 2 wicket-takers in the division, and Saad Amin (17) in 4th place. U15 Ollie Scott performed very well taking 12 wickets. Three bowlers bagged 5-wickets hauls, and only once did a team score more than 200 against us. The batting improved throughout the season, with 7 half-centuries being struck (6 in the last 5 games),although there was not a standout run-scorer. Two U17s, Haran Subrahmaniyam and Micah Thomas, showcased great potential in the two games they played. Results demonstrated that the team clearly has the capability to get promoted. To achieve this a better start to the season is necessary, requiring good availability in May and June and key players remaining fit.

The 4th XI ended the year on a high note winning 3 of the last 4 games. Generally, matches were hard fought and played in a good spirit, enthusiasm never wavering despite coming across some strong batting line ups. The weather wasn’t kind, interrupting play and causing cancellations. This didn’t dampen spirits, as everyone applied themselves commendably. Tom Lang and Ewan Macmillan scored memorable half-centuries, whilst U14 bowlers Freddie Harris and Sara Kodilkar impressed with their consistency and threaten to trouble senior batsmen regularly next season. The best bowling performance was Mo Shafique’s 5-wicket haul against Chipstead, but really everyone gave their utmost with the ball, often toiling hard with little or no reward. Persistence and commitment were key to winning the last three games, providing encouragement for the new challenges that next season will bring.