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It was a busy time for clubs on week eight of the AJ Sports Surrey Championship. Richard Spiller runs the rule over Premier Division matches and plenty else:


Sunbury v East Molesey

Strength in depth is the mark of a successful side and East Molesey underlined that quality as they won by three wickets in a last-ball thriller at Sunbury.

Middlesex all-rounder Martin Andersson’s 112 – incorporating 10 fours and three sixes – dominated a total of 272-8 from the maximum 66 overs, chiefly aided by Colby Dyer (38) and Conor Fulton (34no). Toby Porter’s 3-70 added to the paceman’s impressive haul so far this summer, left-arm Matt Tigg delivering a marathon 22 overs to finish with 4-101.

A successful chase looked doubtful at 82-3 but Pakistani all-rounder Hussain Tallat (70) added 105 with Jamie Southgate, East Molesey’s director of cricket going on to supervise the chase by finishing with 77no. They went into the final over needing four runs, losing Tigg from the first delivery but Southgate taking a boundary off the penultimate ball. Leg-spinner Dyer claimed 3-73 in 14.

Sunbury took seven points for their part in a fine match yet still find themselves ninth. If relegation seems unlikely, a successful defence of the title is looking increasingly precarious given they are 58 points off the pace.

Moles remain in Reigate Priory’s slipstream on the back of five wins from the last six games, having opened with two defeats.


Reigate Priory v Ashtead

They began brightly but Ashtead will go into July hoping for a change of fortunes after becoming Reigate Priory’s latest victims.

The leaders won by five wickets, topping the table by six points, as they seek their first title for a decade.

Fraser Sheat removed Surrey’s Ben Geddes for a duck with the fourth ball of the match and went to claim 5-26 in 14 overs as Ashtead were dismissed for 112.

Conor Young’s 25 was the best of a thin crop, two wickets each for Jacob McLoughlin and Michael Munday supporting Sheat.

Wicketkeeper James Crosthwaite’s unbeaten 55 saw Reigate to victory, brothers Tom and Sam Homes striking twice apiece.

That at least earned Ashtead a bowling point but they are now seventh.


Sutton v Guildford

Jono Merlo’s commanding 90 ensured Guildford won by five wickets at Cheam Road, taking them into the top half of the table for the first time this season.

Sutton – whose excellent start on their return to the Premier Division has faltered – failed to take advantage of choosing to bat on an excellent pitch, being bowled out for 185 in the 60th over.

Their innings was held together by opener Ryan Hackney (59) after the early departure of Cameron Tanner (5) and Surrey’s Josh Blake (10), Rehan Ratnasapabathy (38) the other main obstacle to an attack smashed for 385 by Sunbury a week earlier. This time they showed much greater discipline and were backed up by fine if somewhat noisy outcricket. James McMillan’s 3-40 included having Blake caught behind while skipper Olly Birts (3-34) cleaned up the tail with customary efficiency.

Australian all-rounder Merlo, having bowled 17 overs in claiming 2-50, was back in action after Cameron Tanner’s flying catch at gully to remove Oli Soames (13), one of three victims for the persevering George Jackson.

At 61-3 Sutton had a sniff but Merlo was joined by wicketkeeper Tom Geffen in a partnership worth 110 and swept superbly in taking the match away from the hosts, in the process becoming one of three players who have passed 500 runs this season.

Fabian Cowdrey’s left-arm wrist spin, when belatedly introduced, removed Merlo and Jason Soames in short order but Guildford had plenty of time to complete a victory which puts them fifth.

Sutton slide to sixth, 10 points behind them.


 Weybridge v Esher

Beleaguered Weybridge showed admirable resilience as they fought their way to a draw.

The basement club might trail the rest by a hefty 48 points but seeing off Esher’s attack should bring new heart to what is proving the toughest of summers. They went into the match having lost all but one match – and only rain achieved that – and things looked little better when Esher amassed 330-5dec from 64 overs after winning the toss.

Australian Teague Wyllie’s 70 could not prevent the visitors slipping to 134-5 but David Brent’s 111no – taking just 82 balls, featuring 10 fours and four sixes – led an unbroken sixth wicket alliance with Freddie Price (74no). Harshil Patel’s 4-37 from 16 overs was an outstanding return.

When Joe Lavender rapidly removed Sarel Erwee and Nathan Tilley, Weybridge appeared set for another pounding. Ben Way (33) and Phil Mann proved formidable obstacles, the latter then forming another dogged partnership with Patel (14no) to finish 25no as Weybridge batted out their 56 overs at 162-8. Lavender finished with 4-41.

That netted just four points for Weybridge but left pride intact, Esher’s 13 seeing them in fourth place but surely reflecting that giving the bowlers more time to finish the job would have been worthwhile.


Wimbledon v Banstead

Wimbledon’s attack proved too much for promoted Banstead, who were beaten by 139 runs at Church Road.

Needing 251 for victory, the visitors collapsed to 48-8 and limped to 111 all out as Ollie Pike ((4-30) and Jonathan Dewes (3-31) did much of the damage.

A ninth wicket stand worth 50 between Paul Byrne (25) and Tyler Meyer (21no) salvaged some respectability for a side encouraged by gaining the best of a draw at Sunbury and then beating Sutton in the previous two games.

Wimbledon had needed 65.1 overs to reach 250 all out, opener Jason Marshall (51), skipper Jack Boyle (47) and Michael Turner’s 42 the mainstays against an attack in which Byrne (5-56) and Harri Aravinthan (3-49) profited most.

Wimbledon stay third, seven points off the lead, Banstead slipping back to eighth.


Best of the rest

Spencer increased their lead at the top of Division One to 16 points as they saw off Cranleigh by five wickets.

Relegated last season, Cranes were bowled out for 201 in the 64th over, Jack Scriven making 66 with Troy Johnson and Gus Grant taking three wickets each. Johnson went on to hit an unbeaten 64 against an attack featuring Surrey left-arm spinner Yousef Majid, who took 2-59 in 20 overs.

Malden Wanderers lost ground as Valley End beat them by 30 runs, Ed Young’s 106 dominating a total of 228 all out – Adam Dyson collected 5-42 – and Zac Elkin’s 95 proving in vain.

If some MPs feel on dodgy ground this week, they should try batting at Sandlilands. Addiscombe’s line-up have only managed to pass three-figures once there so far this season and on Saturday were shot out for a miserable 36 by Cheam in their Division Two clash. Highest score in an innings lasting just 16.2 overs was extras, six of which came in byes. Profiting most were Hazrat Shah (6-17) and Nomaan Ali (4-12), Cheam knocked off the runs in 6.1 overs to win by nine wickets.


Sunday extra

Surrey Championship clubs will make up half of the teams in the quarter-finals of the Club Cricket Conference Cup.

East Molesey, who lifted the Bertie Joel Trophy three years ago, won a high-scoring contest at North Middlesex. Hussain Tallat’s 54 was the best of their 275-9 from 45 overs, the hosts recovering from 89-6 and 153-9 to go close. They will be at home to either Ealing or Blackheath, who play their third round match on July 7.

Camberley disposed of Watford Town by 93 runs, mainly thanks to Will Hall making cracking 118 out of 286-6 before dismissing the visitors for 193.

They can look forward to being at home to Bromley, who inched past Sunbury by two wickets.

Banstead crushed Harefield by 10 wickets, Mohammad Shahid (4-17) and Tom Pitchley (3-34) principally responsible for bowling them out for 58 to set up a home clash with Horsley & Send, who were given a walkover by Hertford Town.

Another busy weekend faces three Surrey Championship clubs, league games being followed on Sunday by the National Club Championship last 16.

Sutton host Brentwood, Wimbledon facing a lengthy journey to visit Wanstead & Snaresbrook but East Molesey take a hop over Hampton Court bridge and into Bushy Park for their encounter with Teddington.



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