Skip to main content

The rain was back to mar week nine of the AJ Sports Surrey Championship Premier Division programme, but some clubs got through. Richard Spiller sums up what happened at the midway point of the campaign:


Guildford v Wimbledon

A precipitous collapse of six wickets for two runs by Guildford opened the way for Wimbledon to force victory between the showers at Woodbridge Road and go top.

The hosts were set for a competitive total at 134-4 in the 33rd over of an innings which had been cut to 51 by a late start and further interruptions, Australian all-rounder Jono Merlo (32) and Adam Thomas – who made 25 on his 18th birthday – having made early progress.

But when Fred McMillan (14) edged Jonathan Dewes to Stephen Reeves at slip, it began a dizzying decline. Jason Soames (38) was caught behind without addition three overs later as left-arm spinners Dewes and Reeves sliced through the rest of the order. Debutant Matthew Bissett at least got off the mark, as did last man Olly Birts, but Guildford crumbled to 136 all out from 41 overs.

Dewes, whose change of pace troubled all his opponents, finished with 4-13, Reeves’s five overs including three maidens as he claimed 3-4.

Wimbledon had 49 overs to make the runs but another downpour soon trimmed that by 14, Guildford groundsman Joel Cheng’s excellent work getting the match restarted. Alex Mills had already edged to slip before the break but Jason Marshall (29) steadied matters before leaving Tim Lloyd (62no) to supervise the rest of the pursuit, which was achieved by six wickets with 3.4 overs to spare.

Wimbledon’s win took the 2022 champions top by seven points but Guildford – who claimed no reward from the match – dropped to sixth and have yet to achieve any trace of the consistency which earned them runners-up spot last year.


Ashtead v Weybridge

Moving back into the top half of the table was Ashtead’s reward for inflicting basement side Weybridge’s latest reverse.

Granted more luck than most with the weather – 28 overs were lost – Ashtead were held up early on by former England opener Nick Compton (41) and young left-hander Stuart Van Der Merwe (45) after the early removal of Sarel Erwee for five.

But from 115-2, Weybridge suffered their familiar sinking feeling in declining to 149 all out in the 45th of a maximum 51 overs, seamers Simon Keene and Sean Hunt claiming four wickets apiece.

The hosts gained a solid start from Ragu Aravinthan (78) and Jevan Kher (19), their platform worth 72 built upon by a rapid 40 from Marcus Caprano-Wint. Only the loss of three wickets for four runs in the dying stages gave Weybridge much to smile about, off-spinner Phil Mann removing another former England opener in Mark Stoneman for a third-ball duck.

Ashtead’s winning margin was six wickets in the end, Weybridge’s seventh defeat leaving them 54 points adrift of the rest at the halfway point.


East Molesey v Sutton

Chasing their first victory since June 1, Sutton came within two wickets of success between the showers at East Molesey.

They had to wait until 1.35pm for any action at Graburn Way, East Molesey choosing to bowl first before more heavy rain after 2.5 overs caused another delay until 3pm.

Sutton now had a maximum of 39 overs to bat, owing valuable innings from Chris Swanson (48), Fabian Cowdrey (24) and Joel Walker (32) for reaching 162 all out from 38.3.

Pakistani all-rounder Hussain Tallat and left-arm spinner Matt Tigg claimed four wickets apiece although they were outshone by Sam Burge taking five catches in the slip cordon.

Given 29 overs back, Burge’s luck expired when he was run out while Moles slumped to 16-3, Jamie Southgate’s 34 calming the hosts. At 85-7 after 22, a win looked beyond them as seamers George Jackson and Swanson took two wickets apiece with three for left-arm leg-spinner Cowdrey. It was left to skipper Nick Stevens (20no) to steer his side to the winning draw at 123-8, taking nine points to Sutton’s five.

The weather wrecked any hope of play in the Banstead v Reigate Priory and Esher v Sunbury matches.

Premier placings at midway – 1 Wimbledon: 141; 2 Reigate Priory: 134; 3 East Molesey: 131; 4 Esher: 105; 5 Ashtead: 101; 6 Guildford: 96; 7 Sutton: 91; 8 Banstead: 86; 9 Sunbury: 76; 10 Weybridge: 22.


Best of the rest

There was only one outright result in Division 1, Walton deepening the relegation worries of Old Wimbledonians while easing their own.

The Raynes Park-based side were dismissed for 96 in the 36th over, Sushant Marathe (42 and Zah Azeem (21) the only players to reach double-figures against an attack in which Evan Beck, Sunny Patel and Mark Bainbridge all collected three wickets.

Christiaan Oberholzer’s 51no ensured Walton were home and hosed by eight wickets in just 21 overs, Walton remaining eighth but now 39 points ahead of the danger zone.


League placings at week 9, Premier – top: Wimbledon; Bottom 2 – Sunbury & Weybridge. Division 1 – top 2:  Spencer & Malden Wdrs; Bottom 2: Old Hamptonians & Old Wimbledonians. Division 2 – top 2: Old Rutlishians & Camberley; Bottom 2: Addiscombe & Farnham. Division 3 – top 2: Dorking & SinjunGrammarians; Bottom 2: Streatham & Marlborough & Old Whitgiftians. Division 4 – top 2: TrinityMidWhitgiftians & Sanderstead; Bottom 2: Purley & Kempton. Division 5 – top 2: Alleyn & Horley; Bottom 2: Kingstonian & Churt & Hindhead.


Sunday extra

The miserable weekend weather means two Surrey Championship sides must try again in their efforts to reach the quarter-finals of the National Club Championship.

Sutton barely got started against Essex side Brentwood and replay on Sunday, as must East Molesey on their short hop to Teddington’s ground in Bushy Park.

But Wimbledon’s ambitions were terminated by a 68-run defeat at Wanstead & Snaresbrook. Chasing 169, the men from SW19 were routed for 106 as wicketkeeper Michael Turner (40) and Tim Lloyd (26) gained little support.


Leave a Reply

Close Menu