2015 Reports for 1st 2nd 3rd 4th XI, Surrey Trust League (U21) and Development League

Surrey Championship 2015 Team Reports – Guildford CC

1st XI

Despite ultimately finishing 7th in the league, 2015 was a relatively successful season for Guildford CC1st XI. For a side that has battled with the possibility of relegation over the past two seasons, being well clear of that situation and looking up, instead of down, is something Guildford will look to build on in future seasons. The key to this was consistently picking up points throughout the season falling into large periods of back to back losses.

There were a number of highlights from the season. Most notably doing the double over the league winners Sunbury, but also coming out on the winning side of some very close, and somewhat tough, early games against Beddington and Leatherhead, which set up the season nicely. Not winning these games could have resulted in a very different season.

Individually, Ben Jeffrey scored a very classy 145* away at Beddington and Bradley Erasmus (who also excelled with the ball throughout the season) fell just short with a match winning 99* against Leatherhead away as part of respectable total of 450 runs. There were also a number of noteworthy contributions from Lincoln Edwards, who was playing his first season for Guildford as an overseas player. With the ball, there were two stand out contributors; Duncan Selmes and Ollie Birts, who both only played half a season, through injury and school respectively, but still managed returns of circa 25 wickets each.

Ultimately a promising season with lots to build on for next year.

2nd XI

A disappointing year for the 2nd team resulted in last place and relegation from the Premier league to Division 1 on the second last weekend of the season. In truth it was a miracle that the team was still able to technically stay up that late into the season. The tone was very much set when the team lost 7 out of the first 8 games and only went on to win 5 games overall.

The bowling was ably led by Chris Weill who took 32 wickets from 165 overs at an average of 21.66 and proved to be especially useful with the old ball. He was well supported by Sanjay Hundal who took 15 wickets from 75 overs at 27.78 and Alex Sweet who took 12 wickets from 55 overs at 19.35. However the bowling unit as a whole too often bowled boundary balls releasing pressure. The batting was too often weak and lacked discipline, losing wickets in clusters at vital times. Henry Straw scored 420 runs from 14 innings at 38.18, Aqeel Iqbal 288 runs from 13 innings at 22.15 and Ben Walter 218 runs from 6 at 36.33.

Ultimately the frustration of the season is that the team were relegated, not because there are bad players but the club could not get enough of the good players in the tam at the same time.

We lost 2 stalwarts of the 2nd team, albeit non-playing, in 2015. Ed Bailey moved to Somerset during the season and is enjoying scoring down there. Barry Williams also left for the West Country and we wish him all the best. In their place Martin Montgomery took over scoring and was a great addition to the team. Derek Morgan took over the majority of umpiring and was a friendly presence on the field, most noticeably doling out sweets to Guildford and opposition alike after wickets.

3rd XI

Following a strong finish to 2014, the team was optimistic going into 2015. Unfortunately, and largely down to a lack of availability, the team struggled, and it was again a season of two halves, with the side only narrowly avoiding relegation by winning five from the last six matches.

The season began strongly with two wins from the first three, which was unfortunately the last time the team experienced victory until 1st August, beating East Molesey at home, thanks in no small part to Tim Walter’s 81, Sam Moldon’s 65 and figures of 19-6-29-5 from the skipper, Jon Burrowes. This kick-started the successful fight against relegation and included some fine team and individual performances.

The batting was led by Tim Walter, who was backed up by some key performances, including a brilliantly paced 71 by Benji Thomas on an uneven deck at Dunsfold CC and Nathan Tilley’s maiden senior hundred, 122 at Brook CC vs Cheam, which made batting look easy on a day when almost every other player struggled. It should be noted that Nathan scored 202 from only four innings at an average of 50.5. Mention also goes to Will Jenner – whose consistency brought him 207 runs from 12 innings – and Sam Moldon, who scored two fifties from four innings at an average of 49.33.

On the bowling front, there were several standout performances, including Will Jenner’s 5-16 vs Ashtead, the skipper’s 5-29 against East Molesey, Zaf Iqbal’s 5-64 vs Valley End, as well as 6-19 from Jonny Charles, also against Valley End. In general though, it was a team bowling performance over the course of the season, with Cameron Green taking 20 wickets, 19 from Nathaniel Brittany, and 15 from Will Jenner and Jon Burrowes.

If the team can maintain a consistent line-up throughout the 2016 of the quality it had towards the end of 2015 there is no reason why it can’t be challenging for promotion.

Surrey Trust League

Academy Under 21 XI

This season saw ourselves struggle against some strong opposition; however we have shown great potential as a squad and I hope to come back better and stronger next season. We had a young inexperienced team, which sadly showed too often in our results with many errors in different departments, whilst individually we saw some spectacular cricket from some of our youngsters. Many of our players had to step up from last year as we lost many key individuals for this season, and I was very happy to see players fulfil their places. We had Fred McMillan who scored his maiden century for Guildford with a strike rate of above 100. Cameron Green was someone I could rely on with the ball and this showed with his 12 wickets this season for the Academy, and this led to him winning player of the year. We also had Olly Birts who has shown throughout the season why he has been playing for the 1st XI as he added great threat with the ball, and sometimes he thought he could do the same with the bat…

This season showed us all that we have some great youngsters in our ranks, as they were frequently being tested by 1st XI cricketers from other clubs, giving them valuable experience for future years. We were very good at restricting opposition teams from running away with the game with our strong bowling attack, keeping most teams around the 200 mark. However we struggled with the bat, whether it was chasing a target or setting one. We have got a lot to work on to come back stronger, but I can truly say that we are extremely lucky to have such a good bunch of youngsters at the club, that I have no doubt we will bounce back and achieve much more as a group.

Development League XI (U-18)

The Development side had a mixed season, albeit one with plenty of positives to take away. A young side was picked in every game despite competition rules allowing up to four players over the age of 18 and this ensured that relatively inexperienced players had important roles in the side, which can only benefit their development as cricketers.

This was seen in the first game against Walton-on-Thames when, chasing 150 in a 32 over game, 15 year old Benji Thomas came in at 58-3 and scored a chanceless 52 not out, compiling a match-winning 95 run partnership with Fred McMillan (42*).

Another convincing win followed against Shepperton when Alex Sweet (101) and McMillan (80) put together a 136 run third-wicket partnership which laid the platform for an easy win. It was fantastic to see two young batsmen taking responsibility and putting the side into a position from where we could not lose. Cam Green picked up 4-24 as we won by 121 runs.

A disappointing loss by 16 runs came against Normandy as, chasing 209, no one was able to take control of the run chase. Whenever a partnership looked like it was getting going, a wicket fell and this pegged us back too much. However, that does not take away from a disciplined bowling and fielding performance against a very strong batting line-up.

Thanks to concessions from Byfleet and Weybridge, we qualified for the semi-final against Normandy again. Despite a magnificent century from Will Jacks, we lost by 8 wickets as we were ultimately outclassed.

While we may have fallen slightly short in the end there are plenty of positives to take out of the season but also lessons for individuals to learn which should stand them and the club in good stead.

Thanks as ever to Dale Corstorphine for umpiring the side and Martin Montgomery for scoring.